“Um…I guess we could do that.”
My response was equivalent to how I would respond if he asked if I wanted to clean out the garage. I like organization. I like cleanliness, but the garage is the last place I want to practice those two things. Probably because the only thing I claim as mine in there is my vehicle.
Here’s the thing. I DO like the outdoors and I DO like nature. I think I have just been misunderstood and mislabeled.
Hear me out on this….
I experienced the same premature prejudice from my family with pets. I didn’t grow up with pets. I don’t see a great need for pets. I have three children and take seriously the responsibility of raising them into thriving, helpful additions to our society. Why do I need to add MORE responsibility in my life by having a pet? Because of this perspective, I got labeled by my family as an animal hater.
An animal hater!?! Really? I accidentally hit a suicidal squirrel with my car one time and cried. I cried and he didn’t even DIE! I love most animals. But that doesn’t mean I want the responsibility of taking care of one. Oh, did I mention, we have a dog? But that’s another story.
For the longest time I think my husband secretly thought of me as a nature hater. For similar reasons as the pet issue. It’s only been in the last year he discovered that I LOVE nature (at least I sure hope he has now. “Babe, you know this now, right?”). I just don’t enjoy it the exact same way he does…or quite as much.
When the hikes became more about seeing land formations and waterfalls, I was all in. When there were bridges and rivers and caves involved, I said “Heck yeah, let’s go!”. When a camping air mattress and battery-operated fan were offered for camping, I said, “I’ll consider a one-nighter.”
I’m still all about that “glamping life” and have no shame in it. I enjoy comfort and a good night’s sleep, and that will never change. But just because I’m married to a stud who loves and frequents the outdoors more than I do, doesn’t mean I don’t love it too.
For quite some time I could tell my husband felt this was a huge gap between us and desired for us to love this hobby equally. Being in nature together has definitely increased, but so has having a better understanding of each other’s differences. Once I realized that nature had more to offer than a path lined with trees we were able to tailor our choices better. My enjoyment increased as we explored new and varying locations.
If you’re like me and aren’t initially ecstatic about spending loads of time hiking or backpacking into the woods for days, don’t assume that means you won’t find ways to enjoy it and things you really love that entice you about it. And if you’re like my husband and have a spouse who you wish was more enthused about all of your outdoor adventures, approach it more with an open mind and ask them better questions. You may just both find out it’s a lot easier than you thought to meet somewhere in the middle.
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Hope From the Trail
Hope From the Trail features original content related to the healthy pursuit of self, others, and nature. Be sure to stay connected for all things outdoors.