One Day a Week ~ You never know where it might go

Welcome to a week of winter inspiration! This post first published January 2012. Being outdoors every weekend together started us on the path to where we are now - living in a beautiful place, doing work that is an expression of our strengths and values, and having amazing adventures as a family.

There are days when I am tempted to pinch myself. We are living a life that a few years was just a dream.

Can you believe it all started with an intention to be outdoors every weekend as a family?

Well, perhaps that wasn't the only catalyst for our huge life change, but it was a big part of it.

You see, from our weekly outings we got a taste of the "good stuff". A taste for the outdoors, a taste for adventure, a taste of freedom.

We started to dream and talk about how we might spend more time outdoors together. How we could maybe thru-hike for months at a time or at the very least live in a more natural setting. 

Being outdoors every weekend together started us in that direction. It was one of the first steps on the path to where we are now. Living in a dream location, with our priorities and values charting the course of our days instead going with the flow (when the flow was heading in a direction we didn't like).

I don't want to scare you into thinking if you start hiking on a more regular basis, or doing some other activity outdoors together you'll have to re-order your life priorities and end up with a large scale life change.

But wouldn't it be kind of cool if that did happen?

Imagine if being active, in nature, got you more in tune with each other and even more in tune with your spiritual practice, giving you a chance to exercise with your family, instead of trying to juggle everyone's schedule for one hour at the gym.

Imagine having time to unplug, time to dream, time to push your limits and boundaries. Consider how this time together would help you form a more solid relationship with your family and deepen your understanding of this planet we call home.

And what if all that connecting, challenging, uplifting, sweaty, tiring and beautiful time took you places you can't even imagine right now?

I can't "guarantee" any life changing results from a one day a week practice outdoors, though our life has certainly been changed by it. But I am certain your body will thank you, your relationships will grow, and you will view nature and your place in it differently.

In short, you will not be the same.

One day a week. It might just change your life. I know it has mine. 

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  • JenP

    JenP on Feb. 7, 2014, 4:33 p.m.

    Love this look back! Something I have often wondered about your one day a week ritual...I know you have said Sunday is your One Day, but do you ever change it due to weather? Or do you just keep your plans regardless and match your gear to the weather? Also, how old were your kids when you started the tradition? My youngest is just two, and while I don't want to use that as an excuse, it does seem to complicate things a bit. :) 


    • renee

      renee on Feb. 7, 2014, 5:02 p.m.

      We adjust for the weather and also for sickness. Which means means winter months can be sporadic. But if we can't do a whole day we try to do at least half a day. Also a whole day means we set that time aside, which includes preparing food in the morning, driving to our destination, having our hike or ski, driving home again etc. 

      Sometimes even if we can't do as much physical acitivty as we'd like, because someone isn't feeling well, etc. it's worth it just to leave the house - to drive somewhere, go for an easy walk, or out for coffee (our family's favorite out of the house pasttime).

      We started family hiking when Brienne was three and I think we started a one day a week practice the following year, when she was four and a half. 

      I encourage you to do what works for your family and push just a wee bit beyond your comfort zone now and again.


    • Laina

      Laina on Feb. 7, 2014, 6:52 p.m.

      We have a few littler ones, too and 1 of them is 2.  We have "modified" the one day a week idea to work with our family.  Firstly, it does get bumped sometimes due to the only day we have to dedicate to it is Saturday, and sometimes, other things come up like company etc.  (sometimes the company joins us, sometimes they aren't into that kind of thing or we modify it).  Sometimes we just want to do something else.  But the goal is to go one day a week.  In the winter, we get very cold winters, so sometimes we cannot go due to weather (especially with littles, as they are immobile, it makes it harder beyond the "baby under your coat" stage).  Secondly, we don't do a whole day usually at this stage of our life with the littles.  What works for us is to do a few hours in the morning.  I know in many ways its better to do a whole day, but this works for us. We can be back for lunch and naps.  It worked even better when I had prepped lunch ready to eat when we got home and/or had supper waiting (as a homemade freezer meal or crockpot etc). The odd time we do a lunch and go longer in the warmer seasons.  I want to do that more.  So, we do "one day a week" but modified it for our family, and I am sure it will change over the years as the kids grow older and as we get more comfortable with it.  I wish we had another day in the week when it would work for us.


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