I recently began climbing a dogwood tree in our backyard. It began as a way to hang out with my kids. Then I started climbing when they weren’t even around the tree. It’s my space to look up and feel like a kid. It’s just pure fun.

The winter lets sunshine into places in our 50 year old yard that the summer closes off. Without leaves shading the usual places, the light drips onto the ground and into high up spaces. It’s in the middle, of the ground and the up-high places, where I find it relaxing. I climb up, then rest on a few branches and limbs perfect for lounging back and soaking up the winter sunlight. When I first climbed the tree it hit me: I spend way too little time looking down. I look down at my phone (too much!), I look down at my counters, kitchen sink, Legos on the floor…you get it. My kids are about three feet tall, and of course I’m constantly looking at them. But, that’s down too. So, literally looking up is a welcomed shift.  When I’m there, hanging out above the ground and between the branches, I look up and it automatically changes my mindset to follow upward.

When the air is brisk and fresh I find myself breathing slower and with intention.  Sometimes there’s a breeze moving through the empty branches all around me. Other times it’s so still there are no sounds at all. Both are life-giving in their own way. I don’t even have a picture to post with this, because I have been so in the moment when hanging out in a tree. (That picture above is from a winter hike a long time ago.)

It’s a new year, and I am desperate for new things. Climbing trees is pretty basic, free and definitely not new in anyway. For me, though, it’s new and fun. I’m keeping it in my life as a way to chill out and find simple moments of fun.

Are there ways you have fun and chill out throughout your week? Would love for you to  share in the comments.