365Outside

Refresh Your Life

Month: September 2015

Why We Don’t Buy Into the “Season of Gratitude,” And Neither Should You!

Storefront Seasonal Gratitude

This whole “season of gratitude” business has been on my mind a lot lately.  The weather is cooling, and the seasonal displays in storefronts no longer feature beach chairs or bathing suits, but instead pumpkins, hay bales, and, the ever-strange display platform for decorative gourds, the cornucopia.  Yes, there are holidays streaking across the calendar towards us.  Home Depot even has Christmas Trees out.  Seriously.  If the stores had their way, it seems, there would be a season for everything and no one would ever be able to keep up with what was next.

But indeed, with the weather still decent, there seems to have been a steady theme to my stream of consciousness looping back to “Aren’t we lucky,” and “I feel so blessed.”

Gratitude washes over me.

Junior on his first day of school, 2015

Junior on his first day of school, 2015

This is a busy time of year for us, which I believe is no different than for most other families.  There is all the back-to-school excitement, we are trying to lap up the last drops of summer, fall activities have started up, and my oldest baby is having yet another birthday. (Didn’t he JUST have one last year??)

Through all this, there are of course all the big things to be grateful for . . . we are healthy, we are together, we are content.  And there are smaller things . . . my cup of tea while I’m writing after the kids are asleep, the way the sun dances in pink streaks across the river as we dart home near sunset, the funny way The Lady prances around the backyard on her toes when the boys throw a ball for her.

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Little Bear digging for clams during a low tide sunset.

It seems strange that there is a “season” for gratitude when, at least for me, the swells of gratitude seem to flow like the tide all year round, sometimes ebbing, sometimes flooding, but always in motion.  Storefronts would like you to think, ’tis the season to be thankful!  But isn’t it always?

The gratitude washes over me.

Everyday Gratitude

Really, though, this year the gratitude I’m feeling is deeper.  It is too easy to lose track of what makes us so lucky.  It is too easy to forget that our everyday experiences are a product of privilege not afforded to many.  Someone commented on my blog a while back about people who cannot play outside because they do not have access to clean, safe, green spaces.

And it is true.  We are so blessed to live where we do, to step outside every day and worry only about whether we’ve put on enough layers, or enough sunscreen, or enough bug spray.  It is a sad reality that for some people, playing outside is not so carefree.

The gratitude washes over me.

Before we married, The Captain and I lived on a sailboat and ran study abroad programs for college students.  Over the course of our travels, we often saw deep poverty.  In Morocco there were children begging for the raincoat off my back.  In Borneo, children splashed in a dirt-brown river, using an old rotten refrigerator as a boat.  In St Lucia, a disabled teen paddled out in a dugout log to sell his homemade jewelry, his livelihood.  It was so embarrassingly easy for us to offer material help, and sail off to our next destination feeling as though we had done something altruistic and “good,” when in fact our gifts wouldn’t last long at all.

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One thing that always stood out to me was the gratitude of the children who had so little.  It seemed like the happiest children were the ones who had the least.  They were content to play with sticks and dirt for hours, so the offer of a bottle of bubbles to blow, or a plastic shovel to dig with, was akin to the most grand of gifts and set their faces alight with awe and appreciation.  They had so little that they simply could not ignore what they did have.  They took nothing for granted.

The gratitude washes over me.

Small Stuff Gratitude

We can learn something from such a simple concept, that those who have the least are often the most aware of what they do have.  It’s a sad reality when privilege becomes our day-to-day norm and we forget that it’s a privilege at all.

In fact, it’s even easier to forget that this poverty doesn’t just exist abroad.  There are people living in the depths of poverty everywhere.  And there are lots of people right here in our own country who don’t have safe places to explore, who can’t go outside without fear.  This year, I am trying to be grateful for even the smallest things.

IMG_1394Today was again unseasonably warm, and I took Junior and Little Bear for a hike through a reservation to a scenic overlook where we could look across the ocean towards where The Captain’s tugboat must have been.  The hike started on a narrow trail through the woods, then widened, and finally came out to a gigantic lawn looking south across the water and towards the city.

IMG_1440The boys ran ahead, the way they do when in a large open space, as though the intrinsic nature of children (and dogs too, for that matter) is to fill such vast openness with their joy for it.  They climbed an apple tree and argued over which dot on the distant horizon might be daddy’s boat.  They ate a snack on the rocks by the water, and looked in the tide pools for minnows and crabs.  It was such a simple, perfect morning, and again I found my thinking on loop, “We are so blessed, we are so blessed, we are so blessed.”

And the gratitude washes over me.

Hard Work Gratitude

Of course, then it was time to leave.

Leaving such a place is always so much harder than arriving.  The hike back to the car was about a mile.  Little Bear wanted to be carried, so I strapped on the Ergo and snuggled him between my shoulder blades.  Junior did not want to carry his backpack, but he did not want me to carry it either.  In fact, the only thing he seemed to want at first was to writhe around on the grass and rub his tears in the dirt.  It was not pretty.  I eventually got him moving with the promise of applesauce, but he insisted on reading his map while we walked, so he kept tripping and scraping his knees.

It took us a while, and many many rounds of “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad,” before we got back to the parking lot.  But we made it.  I was feeling exhausted and rushed, because it was lunch time and then naptime, and we were suddenly running late for both.  As we crossed the parking lot, a car pulled in next to ours.  A family got out with a boy who looked about the same age as Junior and Little Bear.

“Have a great walk,” I wished them, as we skulked past, Junior with scraped knees and tear streaked cheeks, Little Bear swinging his water bottle against my shoulder, gently showering me each time.  We must have looked a mess.

“It’s a beautiful day for it!” they smiled.  They were exuding joy at being where we were, at beginning their walk on such a beautiful day to such a beautiful place.  I had to smile, (though I suspected that their walk would probably end similarly to ours) because it’s important to think that though it’s sometimes hard work, we are blessed just to be here to put the work in, and to reap the benefits of its rewards.

The gratitude washes over me.

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The boys enjoying the vast, open space.

Glorious nap time!

Glorious nap time!

A Mother’s Prayer

The boys are napping now.  The sun is out, though it was not forecast to be, and there is a gentle warm breeze rustling the curtains.  It could be any day now that the weather turns, and we are back to bundling on layers of warmth before heading outside.  Every day now is a gift.

I shut my eyes and feel the gratitude wash over me like a mother’s prayer.  We are so blessed.  Thank you for this beautiful day.  Thank you for these beautiful children.  We feel so safe.  We feel so loved.  Thank you, thank you.

We don’t need a storefront season to remind us – we are so blessed.

And the gratitude washes over me.

Top 5 Activities for a Beautiful Fall Weekend

Looking to get outside and enjoy the crisp, beautiful weekend ahead?  Not sure where to begin?  We’ve got you covered.  Here are our favorite fall activities outside, with or without kids!

Junior learned to ride his two-wheeler this fall!

Junior learned to ride his two-wheeler this fall!

1. Go for a bike ride!

With the trees just starting to change and the air getting a little cooler, it’s the perfect time of year to take in some sights and get your heart pumping.  Choose a fun destination like a restaurant with a view or a farm with hot cider, and make a day of it!  Or, if you’re local to us – check out the Gloucester Grand Prix this weekend!  Cyclocross, beautiful water views, and a beer garden.  Doesn’t get much better.

 

2.   Sit around a fire pit after it gets dark.

It’s easy to forget about outdoor time after the sun goes down, especially once the weather starts to cool.  But the shoulder seasons are a perfect time to put that outdoor fireplace or fire pit to use.  We especially like to make an evening of it with the grill going in the backyard, a pot of hot cider, and s’mores around the fire.  If you don’t have a fire pit, check out local events or farms – some might be hosting bonfires!  We even have a local farm that rents out private fire pits for family use on fall evenings.

Our 2014 pumpkin picking trip.

Our 2014 pumpkin picking trip.

3.  Visit the orchard!

Fall means apples and pumpkins, and what better way to celebrate them than to go straight to the source.  I love apple picking in theory, but with both kids along it’s generally easier to buy our apples in the farm store after visiting with the farm animals and checking out the tractors.  If the objective is to enjoy a fun day together, go with the flow and enjoy whatever works best for your family!  I’m partial to the cider donuts here, but we are lucky enough to live close to many other options.

An offseason beach walk for The Captain with Little Bear in tow.

An offseason beach walk for The Captain with Little Bear in tow.

4.  Off season beach trips.

For the majority of people, the end of the summer heat means the end of beach season.  For us, the beach is gorgeous year round and just gets quieter as the weather cools.  This time of year, I pack wetsuits for the kids so they can splash in the water if they want.  The water feels so warm right now, but bring a good towel and at least one pair of warm, dry clothes to get cozy in afterwards!  If you’re not bringing kids, just enjoy the quiet (unless you happen to be next to my family, in which case, enjoy the show!)  We find that walking on the beach in the offseason yields way more beach treasures since the pickers are fewer, and the parking costs a lot less too!

Surf check, October 2014

Surf check, October 2014

5.  Stroll the farmer’s market and try to make a local meal!

Years before we were the 365Outside family, we wrote about our experiences eating 100% local food for a week (except for coffee – because, coffee!)  Since then, we have tried to make local eating a regular part of our diet by sourcing veggies, meat, eggs, and dairy through local farms.  Fall is a great time to explore your options since so many hearty vegetables are in season.  I like to fill a bag with whatever looks good and make a giant, delicious autumn stew.

You Have 100 Days. How Will You Use Them?

For our family, 2015 will be the year we learned to play outside. It sounds simple, almost even silly, to have learned something that used to be a normal way of life in times past.  It was not long ago that everyone was outside every day barring the most extremes of weather.  Children walked to school or did not go to school at all.  Cows needed to be milked, water needed to be fetched, and socialization happened exclusively face to face when one person arrived at the other’s home, work, church, etc.  Slowly over time, inventions of convenience and comfort took over.  Electricity, plumbing, heating, telephones, televisions, cell phones, computers, internet.  And don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond grateful to live in a time when I can flush the toilet from the comfort of my own home, but there is still something to be said for simplicity.

Little Bear, after a sledding wipeout.

Little Bear, after a sledding wipeout.

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The first snowfall of 2015, when it still seemed novel and exciting!

Starting the 365Outside Challenge on
January 1, 2015 was the change my family needed to become happier, healthier people.  But it did not come naturally.  There were days when I hoped the kids would forget to ask, and I could forget to offer.  There were days when I had to bribe the kids with the promise of hot chocolate upon our return.  There were countless eye rolls and furrowed brows.  There was one day, when it was 29 degrees below

freezing, that we only lasted for five minutes. It literally took us longer to put on all our gear than it did for us to call it quits that day.  We live in northeastern Massachusetts, where this winter’s snowfall broke just about every record in the books.  There was a stretch of 30 days during which we received just shy of 8 feet of snow.  The plow piles were so huge that they didn’t finally melt completely on our street until two weeks before Memorial Day, and in the city they lasted well into the summer.

Endless possibilities for Junior and an icicle.

Endless possibilities for Junior and an icicle.

But what we will remember of 2015 will have very little to do with how horrible the winter was.  We will remember morning walks down the unplowed street under a canopy of glistening trees.  We will remember icicles that became swords, light sabers, popsicles, and jewels.  There were afternoons filled with sledding, snow forts, and Tonka trucks barreling through the slush. Later there were glorious puddle stomps, dump truck mud adventures, worm hunts underneath the soggy woodpile.  2015 was the year of soggy boots and mittens hanging by the woodstove, jars of imprisoned bugs emptied back into the garden, a bucket for sandy feet by the door.  Junior learned to swim and ride a two-wheeler.  Little Bear begged to steer the boat and ride along on surf trips with The Captain.  We watched countless sunsets over the river as we hurried to pack up a day’s worth of beach gear and get the boat back before dark.  We hiked, we picnicked, we adventured.  For us, 2015 will not go down in history as the worst winter on record.  It will go down as the best.

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Today, there are 100 days left in the year 2015.  100 days to change the way you remember this year.  100 days to make outdoor play your norm.  By pledging to get outside every day for the remainder of 2015, you can refresh your life, both physically and mentally.

To read more about the 365Outside Challenge, click here.

To learn more about the health benefits of daily outdoor activity, check out our Get Up and Go Factsheet available here.

Why wait until New Years to make a resolution?  You have 100 days to set a happier, healthier precedent before the new year starts.  Are you ready to refresh your life?

10 Things I Learned From Camping with the Kids

I will admit it.  About 12 hours into our camping trip, I was already fantasizing about bailing.  I was lying in our tent’s predawn glow, essentially on the ground (because my circa-1985 Thermarest had slowly deflated over the course of the last 6 hours) and I was trying to stay as still as possible so that I wouldn’t wake Little Bear who was about 18 inches away.

I had it all planned out.  The Captain and Junior, sound asleep in their own tent, could stay the course and I would bring Little Bear back to my parents’ house, not far away, where I would sleep on a real bed, in complete silence and darkness, and wake to espresso.  It would be decadent.

Our campsite, finally all set up!

Our campsite, finally all set up!

You have probably already figured out that our family is not one to dabble.  We do not in general lightly sample but instead tend to dive headfirst into whatever adventure is next (after The Captain checks the water, that is.)  This is how we came to spend four years living on sailboats, how we came to buy a house sight-unseen, and how we came to have two little boys in the span of 19 months.  So it should not come as a surprise that when we decided to take the boys camping for the first time, we booked an off-grid site for the middle of September in New England.

Truthfully, the site books up six months in advance so, having not come up with the idea until March, September was the earliest availability.  But timing aside, we did purposefully choose a campground that had no running water, no electricity, and no street access.  There would be no retreating to the car for a morning coffee run, no asking our neighbors if we could borrow some dish soap, no packing the car full of supplies for every possible what-if scenario.  We would have to arrive, with all commodities, by boat and rely only on what we had packed.

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Sunrise on the first morning (aka what convinced me not to pack my bags and head for the hills!)

But, I did not end up leaving early.  I ended up lying perfectly still for another hour, until Little Bear began to stir, and I dared to unzip the tent and step into the dewy morning.  After my morning coffee and a sunrise swim, the world was right again.

We only spent two nights out there with the boys, but it was long enough to know that we wished we could stay much longer and that next time, we will.  The learning curve was steep, and I’m sure there will be plenty more to learn next time.

To get started, here are ten things I learned this time along the way:

1. Never underestimate the power of simple comforts from home.  

My children are creatures of habit and nothing says comfort to them like a cup of warm milk and a snuggle with their lovies.  This was one area in which we didn’t skimp.  If you have a comfort routine at home, stick with it on-the-go.  Along these lines, I left my pillow at home, and missed it all weekend.  If you have the space, pack the things from home that bring you the greatest and most basic comfort.  A pillow and a steaming mug of hot coffee in the morning are pretty much all I need.

2.  Surrender the schedule

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Early morning beach romping for Little Bear

Before I had kids, I was one of those extra-annoying people who talked about how, when I did have children, they would be super flexible and “just along for the ride.”  HA! I’m officially sorry to everyone who had to listen to that bull.  My kids are the opposite of “along for the ride.”  In fact, sometimes I feel like it’s me who’s being taken for a ride!

We have a pretty rigid schedule that we usually stick to in  order to make sure that the kids are getting enough rest and eating healthily.  When we can’t stick to the schedule, they tend to transform from adorable, affectionate little munchkins into holy terrors.  Have you seen what happens when you feed a Gremlin after midnight?  Very similar experience.

In any case, when camping, it went out the window.  The kids were up late with the campfire.  They were up early with the sun.  They rested multiple times during the day, sometimes napping, sometimes not.  They did a lot of snacking.  A LOT.  But since the entire day was pretty open without any commitments, we were able to make it work.  They were still mostly well-rested and well-fed, so this laissez-faire approach worked better for our schedule while camping.  It was not easy for me to let go of our usual schedule, but things were SO MUCH easier once I waved the white flag.

3.  Good company is key!

Our private beach!

Our private beach!

Since The Captain and I already spend enough time staring into each other’s eyes (just kidding . . . kind of!) we brought along some good friends and their daughter.  It was awesome to have our friends along, and not just because they brought all the things we forgot.  Friends also bring a fresh perspective and, when needed, a different voice to tell your kids to quit it.  These friends in particular were a huge help because they had spent a lot of time on the island in the past, and could show us around!  Plus their daughter playing with our boys is just about the cutest thing ever.

4.  Coffee.  As much as possible.  As soon as possible.  

Enough said.  But really, this is no different from my daily life.

5.  No shame in plan B.

Even though I didn’t end up taking Little Bear to seek refuge with Nana and Poppy, if he had not started sleeping better and had the weather not been as good as it was, we would have.  It was comforting to even know that was an option.  And there is no sense in making everyone miserable just to say you finished what you started.  Remember, 365Outside is not a competition – it is supposed to be fun.

6.  The greater the risk, the greater the reward.

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Sunrise swim for Junior and The Captain

Though it would have been a lot easier to drive up to a campsite, pull the tent out of the car, and set it up right there, it wouldn’t have been as fun.  We are adventurers, after all! We didn’t want to be in a cramped campsite, wedged between strangers and tripping over each other. Instead we chose a campground accessible only by personal boat, with only 10 campsites total.  It was quiet and there was a ton of space to spread out.  Our campsite even had its own private beach.  We spent most of the weekend blinking at each other, repeating how we couldn’t believe how amazing the place was.

7.  Pray to the weather gods

We seriously lucked out!  When we booked this back in March, we knew that September could be a gamble.  It could have been 50 degrees and rainy.  There could have been a hurricane.  It could have been completely miserable.  Instead, it was 77 degrees and sunny.  There is no way we’d have been able to stick it out if it had been horrible weather.  We are all for enjoying the outdoors regardless of the weather, but with nowhere to truly dry off and warm up, the kids would have been a wreck within a few hours.  We were so grateful to enjoy this last gasp of summer!

8.  It gets easier the longer you’re there.

We wished we could stay longer not only because we were having so much fun, but also because it takes a while to settle in and get the hang of things.  The second night was much easier (as in, we actually slept) and the kids were really getting the hang of things.  It only took a full 36 hours of repeating “Do not wear your shoes in the tent,” before they began to listen.  Imagine the possibilities if we’d stayed a week!  They would have probably achieved world peace . . . or world domination.  Hmmmmmmm.

9.  Children are primal, wild beasts.  

The kids, going berserk.

The kids, going berserk.

As soon as we got off the boat and unloaded what was, literally, a boatload of gear, the kids went nuts. It was like returning a wild animal to its natural habitat.  They sniffed around for maybe two minutes and then were immediately running in circles, kicking up dirt, making crazy little hooting sounds.  Our friends’ daughter was literally picking up handfuls of dirt and rubbing them into her scalp.  Little Bear found an old half-burnt log and smeared the ashes on his face before he tried to take a bite of it.  And you know what?  That’s ok.  No, I’m not going to let him eat things he finds lying around in the woods, but it’s ok for them to get filthy.  It’s ok for them to let loose.  That’s why we’re here.  It’s nothing a dip in the ocean won’t take care of.

10.  It’s all about the memories.

Our kids had their first s’mores.  They watched their first sunrise over the water, in their jammies, before stripping down for a morning swim.  They built sand castles, dug rivers, foraged for firewood, and went “bear-hunting.”  They went to sleep when it got dark and woke when it got light again.  For a few days, they lived a simpler, happier life.  And that makes me happy too.  We will definitely be back.

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How Playing Outside Makes Me a Better Mom

Outside, we operate at kid-speed.

Outside, we operate at kid-speed.

My kids are too young to really explain to me why they are happiest outside, but I know that they are.  Outside, they aren’t bored.  They aren’t fussy or needy.  They aren’t tantrum-throwing tyrants who have led our parenting motto to the international policy of not negotiating with terrorists. Outside they are the leaders, and they thrive in their own time.

A Hurried Life

During our normal day-to-day, I feel like I’m always rushing.  And I feel like everyone around me is always rushing too.  It is a rushed world.  For me, one of the hardest parts of parenting is slowing down for my kids.

Little Bear, determined to do everything in his own time.

Little Bear, determined to do everything in his own time.

Sometimes I’m not patient with them when it happens.  I mean, I’m trying to get two toddlers into shoes and jackets, out the door, and into the car before we’re late for school which leads to being late for swimming which leads to being late for grocery shopping which leads to forgetting milk, bread, and toilet paper, and/or being late for school pick up.  And either way, that leads to a tired, hangry kid who wants to flail on the floor by the door instead of taking off his shoes.

Nope, that’s not a typo.  He’s hungry-angry.  It’s the worst kind of toddler that there is.

But I know that if I push more now, that if I get loud and put on my teacher-voice and demand that he take off his shoes IMMEDIATELY (which is exactly what I want to do more than anything), he will crumble.  See, beyond his hangry gnashing teeth and rigid arched back, I can still see those scared eyes, begging me to please slow down.  He just doesn’t know how to tell me yet.

An exhausted, unshowered, hurried Mama, doing what Mamas do.

An exhausted, unshowered, hurried Mama, doing what Mamas do.

Slowing Down

He needs me to pause.  To talk quietly with him.  To touch him gently.  He needs me to wait until he is ready to take off his shoes because it’s the only thing he can control right now.  AND IT IS NOT EASY.  Honestly, I want to pry them off his little feet.  But instead, we are sitting on the cold tiles in the entryway, him sniffling quietly and me just sitting there with a hand on his back.  This is motherhood.

Playing outside daily has helped me to reconnect.  Playing outside is slow time.  It is kid time.  The minutes may fly by, but in my role as facilitator and then spectator, I am slow.  Even when the boys are running past in a blur of raincoats and muddy boots, I am watching them carefully, slowly, trying to memorize these moments.

Sometimes outdoor play is just a blur of toddler energy steaming past.

Sometimes outdoor play is a blur of toddler energy steaming past.

“I Live You.”

The Captain was offshore last week and I sent him a picture of the boys.  He wrote back, “I love them,” and I wrote to him, “I love them too.”  Only, when I was typing it, in my rush, I wrote, “I live them too.”  I quickly corrected it and sent my response, but I thought about it for a long time after.  It was even more true than what I had meant to say.

I do love them.  I love them so deeply and so intensely that my core aches when I pause to feel it.  But even more so, I live them.  From the moment I wake up, they are my world.

I live to hear their little feet padding down the stairs in the morning.  I live to snuggle them while they cozy up with their morning cup of milk.  I live to press my nose into the spot on their heads where the hair spirals and I breathe them in.  I live to check on them before I go to sleep at night, gently tucking the corners of the sheets back in, putting away books left in their beds, kissing their sticky sweet foreheads.  And in other ways too, I live them. I live to feed them, to bathe them, to teach them, and to raise them.  I live every moment of them, even when they are writhing around on the floor with dog hair stuck to their teary faces.

Other times, outdoor play just means lounging on the back deck with your brother, checking out the clouds.

Other times, outdoor play just means lounging on the back deck with your brother, checking out the clouds.

So when we are outside, I live that time with them.  I try to notice what they are noticing.  I try to let them lead our adventures.  They become the trailblazers, the chiefs, the innovators.  Sometimes I offer activities or ideas, which they sometimes accept and sometimes choose otherwise.  Our time outdoors is just as much about letting my kids be kids at their own speed as it is about reconnecting with nature.

To the person thinking: “That’s great, but I could never do that.”

First off, don’t worry.  There are many of you, and you’re in good company.  So if you thought I was singling you out, breathe easy, friend.  The blog has only been up 24 hours and this is the comment I hear the most.

There’s a tricky balance in starting something like this. The 365Outside Challenge started as a challenge for me and my family.  When it began, I had no idea if we’d be able to see it through.  How am I going to carve out the time for this?  Will I be able to motivate myself to go out when it’s 16 degrees and windy?  What if the kids mutiny? We’re just so busy.  I’m just so tired.

I bet you’re nodding.  Who isn’t busy?  Who isn’t tired?  We had to start small.

Sometimes getting outside just means going for a bike ride around the neighborhood.

Sometimes getting outside just means going for a bike ride around the neighborhood.

We got outside on New Years Day for a nice long walk beside the frozen river.  The next day we dusted off the bikes and rode them up and down the hill on our street.  When we visited our cousins for the following two days, the boys pretended to hunt dragons on the back hill before it began to rain, sleet, and snow. Eventually we tried “sledding” and the kids ended up soaked but stoked before we went inside for hot chocolate.  Soon enough we had made it seven days, a full week.

365Outside is more concept than competition.  It is a choice to get outside more.  It is a pledge to lead healthier and happier lives through exposure to nature.  It is a promise that you can refresh your life.  It is a breath of fresh air.

Stuck at JFK airport for 12 hours. THE WORST.

Stuck at JFK airport for 12 hours. THE WORST.

For our family, in our circumstances, it has worked to play outside every day.  Today marks day 257 in our journey.

Truthfully, there was one day, back in February, when we did not get outside, but that was only because we were flying out of Boston and missed a connecting flight, dooming us to stand-by purgatory for 12 hours.  Don’t get me started on that day.  It was all around horrible.

But my point is, do what works for you.  Your challenge does not have to be 365 days.  It could be every day for a week.  It could be once a week for a year.  It could be ten days a month.   Create your own challenge.  Choose something that is outside of your comfort zone, but not unachievable.  Start with a week and grow it from there.

You never know, your seven day challenge could turn into 365 days.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  What’s keeping you inside today?

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