We have been camping.
While I was sat on a tree stump squinting at the LearnDirect study pages on my phone, I had an image in my mind. A vision of a warm cup of tea, a clear kitchen table, my laptop, a napping baby and an hour of study time.
As it was I had to make do with a tree stump, a sleepy baby on my back and a website which isn’t really suitable for mobile consumption and allows you to read approximately 2.7 words per scroll.
Camp studying comes with its own challenges. Not least, ensuring my phone had enough charge and enough data to enable me to log in to my remote learning course. Thanks to my ickle pink power brick and an obsession with Airplane Mode, I managed to have enough of both to enable me to continue to study.
But studying in the sun’s rays, surrounded by the woods did have its perks. I found it very grounding to be studying surrounded by nature. By a world that just grows by itself. Greenery that just has the knowledge to flourish and survive.
With nature ringing in my ears I continued my reading and note-taking between games of Scrabble, toasted marshmellows and glo-stick revelry.
Camping is about enjoying freedom. The open fields, the space, the night sky, all o their best to remind us we are part of something much bigger, It’s these two ideas that have stuck with me over the last few days. As I get my head around being accepted as a #DigitalMum and get excited by the freedom that opportunity should offer and the idea that I could be a small part of the big digital age picture.
Usually a camping trip is about getting away from technology. Leaving the chargers at home and letting the digital world rage without me. This year I have needed to bend the rules – just a little.
Camp studying reminds me that grabbing the odd 15 minutes here and there makes learning possible. That anything I learn in 15 minutes is enough. It isn’t about sitting at the kitchen table for hours on end. It’s about making a positive effort to do a little every day and setting a realistic goal.
So I logged in with the intention of spending 15 minutes studying each day. Some days mini Cooper 3’s nap allowed me a bit more time. But it didn’t matter if she didn’t because I was only ever aiming for a quick win in a short amount of time.
If I managed to learn something new in just 15 minutes, then I achieved my goal.
Like nature I am slowly but surely growing. I may not notice it on a daily basis. I may not see a massive change in a week. But eventually the sum of all these 15 minute study sessions will be a big change in mine and my family’s life.
The Kitchen Table… somewhere under there (honest!)
And so we return home with three muddy children stinking of camp fire. To a house of empty cupboards, forgotten toys and a telly. I fire up the lap top, log in and venture towards the kitchen table.
Alas, my dream is not to be once more; mini Cooper 1 is making HMS Victory, the washing we didn’t take camping with us is folded and piled up along with The Piles of Doom which continue to grow and never seem to diminish (and never will all the while I spend my time writing blog posts and studying rather than sorting them).
What’s a mum student to do? I gaze out the window at the nature, pop the baby on the toy mat, return to Sofa HQ and log in.