January is also a wonderful time to immerse yourself in tennis. In Melbourne the Australian Open runs throughout the second half of January. The telecast of the many court battles being fought by players whose fitness is enviable, in temperatures that often resemble what you would expect in outback Australia, has me captivated.
The first month of the calendar year is also a time for family holidays. Family holidays, much like the families that take them, can come in many forms. Some people love taking a flight to a new destination, enjoying the luxury of a hotel and resort-style pool. Others may enjoy staying at home and having a 'stay-cation' where they relish the opportunity to become tourists in their own town visiting local attractions they may otherwise usually bypass. While others again, may enjoy the simplicity of a camping holiday with the family. It has been the third option which my family have enjoyed this year.
In our family, a camping holiday means sleeping in until it gets too hot to lie in the tent any longer, spending our days being active swimming, bike riding or hiking, maximising our time together as a blended family with lots of shared reading time, board games and laughter as we talk about the 'Favourite Part of our Day' over our evening meal. It also means delighting in not showering for many days in a row!
Our camping holidays provide lots of opportunities to create memories. This holiday we went on our first bush walks together to some gorgeous locations, and I even had reason to teach my 6 and 8 year old step daughters to go to the toilet in the bush (quite a funny experience). As we hiked my husband and I shared with each other our first memories of family bush walks when we were kids. Despite the time that had passed, our memories of wonderful holidays from our childhood stayed strong.
As January, and our camping holiday, draws to a close, I will be starting the year ahead with some special memories from our family time together I also hope that some of our shared family experiences are creating some great memories for our daughters to reflect on and treasure when they grow up.
As February commences, we have already planned some of our family holidays for the year ahead. In winter we are planning on going on our first family ski trip and we are all really looking forward to the mid-year break already. While we won't be camping on that holiday I'm sure that it will be a time for further building on our family memory bank, and that is one of my priorities for the year ahead.
Proverbs 8 verse 14: "Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom. I am understanding: I have strength."
Merewyn Foran is married and a marketing director of a not for profit homelessness agency in Melbourne.
Merewyn Foran's archive of previous articles can be found at www.pressserviceinternational.org/merewyn-foran.html