How is it going as you prepare for a summer of fun, relaxation, experiences and relationships? As spring gets busy (it is super busy around here), revisit your summer mission statement and keep at it; just do the next thing.
This week we are going to create our “bucket list” for this coming summer. A “bucket list” is a list of things you want to do or experience.
Start by making a list of all the things you want to do or experience this summer. You can make separate lists for yourself and for your family if that is easier. To start with, just make a list of whatever comes to mind. Be sure to include simple, easy things like:
- run through the sprinkle
- eat a cherry popsicle
- take a nap in a hammock
As well as things that require a bit more planning, preparation and expense like:
- visit the zoo
- go to the beach
- July 4th fireworks
- go camping
- go to the county fair
There are probably more things on your list than you will be able to accomplish in one summer. As a family (or with your spouse) look at the things on your list that involve more time, planning, preparation and expense. Choose the ones that will fit into your family’s available time and budget without causing added stress. Now schedule them in and make the necessary reservations and time-sensitive preparations.
After you have finished that, take a second look at the items you decided wouldn’t work for your summer or budget. Is there something similar that you could on a smaller scale?
Example: If you wanted to go camping for the weekend but don’t have the time or equipment, could you set up a tent and sleep in the yard for the night? This involves much less time and preparation, is still a fun and memorable experience and leaves an easy escape for a sudden thunderstorm!
Now, make a list of the fun, little, everyday things and post it somewhere you will see it often. This will help you remember to take the little bit of extra time and preparation to make these things happen (like adding cherry popsicles to the grocery list).
As you plan activities keep in mind the necessary down-time needed by members of your family. My family needs quiet alone time pretty much every day (it is a central part of our daily routine). We also cannot handle being away from home (even for a few hours) every day and running errands and getting groceries “counts” as an activity away from home. Therefore I know that we can plan no more than two or three out of the house activities each week. However, sometimes I can add an extra activity onto something that has to be done, like stopping to play at the park after getting groceries or going to get ice cream after church. I know that adding nature-oriented, low people and short activities works well for my family (of mostly introverts and highly sensitive people).
Remember that clear communication is very helpful in making your summer run smoothly. The night before, or each morning, talk with your family (spouse and kids) about what will be happening that day. Remind each person about his/her specific responsibilities (daily cleaning habits, educational pursuits, etc). This lets everyone know what to expect and what is expected. You can leave some things as a surprise (like a trip to the ice cream shop after dinner or a stop at the park after the library). I prefer to use the word surprise rather than the word secret. A surprise is always something good (make sure to keep this true) but to some people a secret is not always a good thing.
Summer is coming quickly! Are you getting excited?
What are some of the big and little things on your bucket list?