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The Indoor Kid

I was driving the ChickieNob and a gaggle of her friends around, and one of them was talking about how much she loves winter because of skiing and snowboarding and hiking in the cold and sledding, but she also loves summer because of the pool and soccer and horseback riding and… She finished off her long list of activities she loves with a shrug: “I’m just an outdoor kid.”

Her list of activities sounded like my version of hell.

Like skiing, in general, is an activity I associate with the desolate world of Hoth.  Going UP a hill solely for the purpose of coming DOWN a hill without even the benefit of seeing a tauntaun?  Why not just stay at the base of the hill in the first place?  Exercising in the cold?  So I can sweat underneath layers of clothing?  No, thank you.

I feel equally about hiking — and really, viewing most things I’ll see in nature.  I feel like at this point in life, I’ve seen a lot of flowers, a lot of rocks, and a lot of pretty views.  I did the camping years and I’m full.  If I’m going to walk, I’m going to walk for the sole purpose of getting from A to B.  And it’s likely going to be in a city.  And if we’re not in a city, there better be historic ruins.    And I can tell you the months that I won’t be walking outside: the months when all the foliage is gone and most life forms are hibernating because it’s cold.

Plus I don’t like mountains.

Flat land.  I’m good with flat.

I’m a little better with summer activities, such as hanging out at the pool or beach.  But what I like about those things is that I am outside doing an indoor activity.  I drag my books outside and pretend that I’m indoors except that there is this strange thing called natural light hitting the page instead of the glow of a lamp.  I don’t mind biking, but only because I know that if I go biking during the summer months, I can hold that up as evidence during the rest of the year that I do go outside, and therefore feel let off the hook from participating in other outdoor activities.

I called into the backseat, “I’m an indoor kid.”

I like reading books.  And doing craft projects.  And not going outside.  And working on computer games.  And not going outside.  And writing and cooking and drawing.  And doing none of these activities outside.  I even like to run indoors.  And do yoga indoors.  And really, if we owned a stationary bike, I’d probably opt to do that indoors and skip the summer bike rides.

I would rather visit a really good library than witness a breath-taking view.  I am pro-museum.  I would rather see old buildings made out of stone than go witness stones in their natural habitat.

I am the sort of person who would probably feel a little sad and claustrophobic having to live in an underground bunker, but the reality is that I would soon realize that my life isn’t appreciably different.

The child was stunned by the idea of someone choosing to be indoors and then proceeded to try to convince me that I should want to be an outdoor kid, completely disregarding the fact that two people can have very different tastes, and what makes one person happy could make another person miserable.  I’m never going to be an outdoor kid.  I’ve never been an outdoor kid.  I’m an indoor kid.

Which are you?  An outdoor kid or an indoor kid?


1 Nonsequiturchica { 02.03.15 at 8:05 am }

Outdoor kid! I would much rather be outside with nature than inside.

2 a { 02.03.15 at 8:29 am }

I enjoy the outdoors, but it hates me. I am allergic to everything (not terribly, just annoyingly) and I burn easily. So I stay inside more often than not. I like winter because I like shoveling snow a few times. But now that I have Reynaud’s phenomenon, I can’t be where it’s cold. I love the pool, but I don’t love sunburn. I find most bugs entertaining, except for the ones that are everywhere – gnats and flies and ants and mosquitoes. But we have plenty of stick insects and butterflies and praying mantises.

When I was 24, Ideveloped an eye allergy, and I was taking a medication that gave me hives on my wrist. I showed the doctor, who said it looked like poison ivy. I told him it wasn’t and he assured me it was. Finally, after a little more discussion, I said “I know it’s not poison ivy because I DON’T GO OUTSIDE!”

In reality, I am a city girl. I like sidewalks and architecture. I enjoy a good vista, but I don’t camp, so there’s a limit to how far I will go to see one. My minimum requirements for life are city water and city sewers, so I don’t go without bathrooms.

3 Alexicographer { 02.03.15 at 9:06 am }

Outdoor. And not in a city. Preferably somewhere that I cannot hear the sound of cars (at all, anywhere, or, if I do, it’s one car coming down the road so that I hear A car and then it passes, and then maybe another one, later. But never carS! An occasional plane overhead, or train whistle in the distance, is not a problem).

In terms of where I live, I also want to be on public transport and near top-notch medical facilities (just in case) and good restaurants, so … there is some incompatibility in my preferences!

4 Lori Lavender Luz { 02.03.15 at 11:06 am }

Indoor kid here, too. I’ll sit next to you and read, but keep those crafty things away.

5 nicoleandmaggie { 02.03.15 at 11:07 am }

I like mountains and hiking and weather that’s 76 degrees with just a bit of humidity, no mosquitoes. I also enjoy having a library in walking distance in such weather, preferably with lots of flowers and bushes along the way. (In short– I wish I lived in California.)

Absent of that I like curling up and reading books.

6 Sharon { 02.03.15 at 11:49 am }

I’ve always been more of an indoor kid. Though I do love a good hike, and I love the ocean.

7 fifi { 02.03.15 at 11:51 am }

That’s a tough one. I love hiking or biking in the outdoors; I love the feeling of changing landscape and weather. Whereas anytime I’ve been on a stationary bike or treadmill, I’ve wondered what I did to deserve such punishment. But I prefer my relax time indoors, with a book or Netflix or just cuddled up with Himself.

As for seasons, I’m not a fan of ice, and I’m too sunburn-prone and mozzie-magnetic to love the summer. I prefer the “in-between” seasons, spring and autumn, when everything is changing.

8 Valery Valentina { 02.03.15 at 2:21 pm }

Thank you for finally letting me realise what my problem is with museums: they are so very much indoor for an outdoor kid like me!
I loved living/being in climates warm enough to not need windows in houses: that way you can even have that outdoor feel when indoors!
A day not outside is a day not lived in my life.
My country is flat, that helps with the walking and cycling.

9 JustHeather { 02.03.15 at 2:30 pm }

I’m both. I think it really depends on so many factors. For example, right now it has been snowing (lightly) non-stop for days. I like winter and sometimes even love it. But at this moment, being pregnant and uncomfortable, I’m sick of it! It is not fun to waddle in the snow and ice and praying I don’t slip and fall. I can’t bend over to pick up the handle of my son’s sled, I can’t slide down the hills, etc. I’m not a skiier (downhill or cross country), but I might be willing to learn for my kids, someday.
I love the beach, walks in the forest and elsewhere. etc. But I also love going to museums, other historical places/things.
I also love reading, anywhere (inside, in the bus, in the car, by the beach, on the grass…)
To sum it up, it depends on the activity, people, my mood and what not, but I can be both.

10 Catwoman73 { 02.03.15 at 2:47 pm }

If I had unlimited time and money, I would say for sure that I’m an outdoor girl. I would travel and hike and camp and learn to climb mountains. But obviously, I don’t have unlimited time or money (especially not money!), so I make the best of it. I love the outdoors, but since I can’t afford to go skiing all the time in the winter (as an example), I enjoy doing yoga and ballet instead. I don’t view this as a bad thing, and I certainly don’t allow myself to feel like I’m not living my ideal life- I really enjoy these activities. So I suppose that circumstance has made me a bit of both. But I would probably choose to be outdoors a lot more if nothing stood in my way.

11 Pepper { 02.03.15 at 2:54 pm }

Indoor all the way! I see lots of online pics of people having fun in the snow with their kids and… we’re inside painting. She doesn’t mind snow fun, but she’s happy to wait for my husband, we all win.

12 Valery Valentina { 02.03.15 at 3:07 pm }

Forgot to add that if the weather is OK and our yoga class is outside for a change I find it so much more relaxing. Much more space, not hitting or smelling my colleagues, softer underfoot. Free, not scooped up. But i get that the ants are a disadvantage of the parc .

13 Ana { 02.03.15 at 3:08 pm }

I’m a bit particular about the weather, but as long as its not too hot or too terribly cold (a little cold is OK) I love being outdoors. I’m not into camping, but I like hiking (I like going inside at the end of the day), I love the beach, I just like sitting in the backyard to eat or read or hang out. As long as its not too hot or too cold that is.

14 earthandink { 02.03.15 at 3:41 pm }

This is like extrovert/introvert but with inside/outside. I’m both. If I were forced to choose, I’d choose inside because the things I do inside are the things that I hang my life on. Still, I spent much of my younger years skiing (I started at age 3) and my middle years hiking in beautiful views (I lived in Sedona where that’s pretty much what you do: hike and then stop and say, ‘oh look, pretty’ and then hike some more.) Now …. not sure. I’m a bit of both. So my answer is no answer.

15 loribeth { 02.03.15 at 3:48 pm }

Sports of any kind, indoor or outdoor, are not my thing (team sports especially), although I do like walking (outside) & yoga (inside). I like being outdoors in small doses when it’s not too hot or too cold (as it is now), especially if there is some nice scenery to enjoy. But I am an indoors girl at heart. My mom always had to tell me to put the book down &/or turn off the TV set & go outside to play. 😉

16 Ann Z { 02.03.15 at 3:54 pm }

I need both. I love staying in and reading or baking or reading some more. I do Aikido indoors, and sometimes yoga. But the times I’m most content are when I’m outside on a long walk just able to think to myself and breathe in the outside air. And stones in buildings are awesome — they’re often cut and polished so that you can see the layers and the fossils in the rocks. But going outside and seeing rock outcrops or a stream running over rocks is a highlight for me. So yeah, both.

17 Mali { 02.03.15 at 6:42 pm }

Hmmm. I think I’m both. My happy place is being on safari – you can’t really get more outdoors than that. Well, you can I guess – I love being out in the wide open spaces of Africa with the animals for 7 hours a day or more, but equally I like getting back to a nice room and a glass of wine, relaxing with a book. A day at the beach or pool (preferably a mix of both) at a tropical resort needs to be followed by a nice shower in air-conditioning! I was very sporty as a teenager/early 20s, and I do love walking, though only under certain circumstances. I love spending days outdoors, love being in gardens or the bush (forest, you’d call it), by the beach, etc. Like you, I like doing indoor activities outdoor – reading under a tree, eating outside as long as I’m not in the sun, etc. If I have shade, I’m very happy spending my entire day outside. It’s one of my major gripes with my iPad – that it doesn’t work well outside in bright light. I burn easily, and my father died of skin cancer, so I’m a bit paranoid about that. Very paranoid. So I’m an “outdoors in the shade” person, I think. But I don’t like extremes of temperature, and I’m scared of heights, so tramping (hiking, you would say) up mountains or across swing bridges etc is a no-no. Outdoors – but only in certain environments.

But I end up spend most of my time indoors. It makes me happy though when I’m connected to the outdoors – with windows or doors open, or hearing the weather outside (wind or rain), going to sleep to the sound of waves, etc.

18 Justine { 02.03.15 at 10:15 pm }

Indoor kid here, with an appreciation for the outdoors. That is to say: I love the view, but don’t need to hike up the mountain. Does that make sense? I can’t run inside, though. Or bike. I need scenery to be motivated, because I can’t read while running. Never did manage to perfect that. And we do tend to go for walks, but I take the kids “downtown.”

But here’s the rub: my husband is decidedly an outdoor kid.

And I’m an evil parent: I send my kids outside ALL.THE.TIME.

19 Persnickety { 02.04.15 at 7:32 am }

Both. I grew up skiing and hiking and swimming, and they are all things I still like to do. But some of it is circumstance- I love the rush of skiing, but don’t actually want to travel several hours to stay a few days in the mountains skiing- I prefer to live within driving distance, which is why I haven’t skied in 10 years.
And when I can take my indoor things outside, like reading or crafting, I do.
I live in a part of the world where it is easy to be outside most of the year, so that has an influence too.

20 deathstar { 02.04.15 at 11:09 am }

I’m a bit of both. There are days when I would prefer to be inside all day long, preferably in my pjs and robe or some version of uber comfortable. Like when it’s raining, I hate getting rained on, even if it’s just a fine mist. Of course, I live in Vancouver, so apparently one must get over that or you’d never go out at all for 9 months and all weekends of the year. Mostly I prefer to go out and then back in again. Like going for a walk in the forest, drinking outside on patios that overlook water, then going INSIDE eat, then go to see a movie or play INSIDE , then going back OUTSIDE to a HEATED patio for drinks. In my world, those are activities to be enjoyed. I have been snowshoeing twice which I loved, skating inside an arena, white water rafted (never again), I like cycling on flat surfaces, and I love picnicing. So both!

21 Jamie { 02.04.15 at 10:39 pm }

Outdoor kid! Growing up I lived for being outside and loved the summer and weekends when I could be free to play outside, go to a park or roam around the woods. I burn easily, so I am careful to wear sunscreen and appreciate the shade. However, I do appreciate the quiet and cozy ways to also enjoy the inside during winter. I love snow and like to go outside then, too. But, curling up with a blanket, hot tea and a book or watching a movie are lovely.

The one thing I find difficult about living in Florida is all of the sunshine. I just have not gotten used to it. It is so sunny for so much of the year that it becomes exhausting. I feel like I always have to be “on.” I feel like if it is sunny and nice outside that I have to be out and doing something in it or I feel guilty like I’m wasting a beautiful day. The sunny winters throw me off because I’m used to hibernating and bring down the pace in a way that is rejuvenating for me. Crazy to be almost complaining about Florida sunshine! It’s too much sometimes. 😛

22 Mrs T { 02.05.15 at 4:23 pm }

I’m an outdoor kid, I guess. But not sporty. Definitely not sporty.

23 Tiara { 02.14.15 at 8:40 am }

Finally catching up after vacation & love this post. I’m definitely an indoor kid. Anything I really enjoy doing I could essentially do inside & would prefer to. I find it challenging with a preschooler because she wants to be outside & I do it for her…but I’d be just as happy if we stayed indoors

24 BattyNurse { 03.06.15 at 2:51 am }

mostly indoor person although I really like to be able to see the outdoors. I think a lot of the time I stay indoors because my skin doesn’t get along with the sun very well.

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