Our family is very fortunate in having cousin Hannah, the matriarch of the family, turn 92 recently.
Hannah’s four children are now in their 60s and her grandchildren are now having children. Our littlest cousin and her newest great granddaughter, Sloan, was just born a few months ago. One of the mantras that Hannah has always told each of us as we began having children was that whenever our children were fussy for whatever reason, to get them outside into the fresh air – in a stroller, on a tricycle or whatever we could do. She promised it would calm them down and actually make everyone feel better.
On a recent Sunday, I remembered Hannah’s advice and re-implemented a Sunday walk, scooter or bike ride around our neighborhood. I again became a believer that getting outside is a true tonic, just like cousin Hannah has told me for years. I walked with the dog, our older son was on his bike and our younger son was on his scooter. Within minutes, they were speaking with one another and laughing. We saw our neighbors, chatted and waved. It all just felt so good on so many levels.
After about 30 minutes, we naturally wandered back home and when we re-entered the house, our moods were much more steady, calm and focused. Homework began more easily. I heard more laughing in the house and I approached my work with a more relaxed and creative mindset. The evening just flowed.