Former Extension Educator, Family Life
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Sunday, July 2, 2017
We are almost two weeks in to summer, and for me that is a little sad because that means the longest day of sunlight has already come and gone. In addition, as I look at the calendar, we are in the midst of celebrating the Fourth of July. I always look forward to watching the fireworks, though! That is always on my "summer to-do list." What are the things that you like to do each year? Are there new things that you are hoping to do, to try or to learn this summer?
A couple weeks ago, right when our kids got out of school, we as a family developed a summer bucket list – a list of things that we hoped to do at some point this summer. We sat at our kitchen table brainstorming things that we thought might be fun or things that we have enjoyed doing in the past. Some of the items on our list are everyday things, like riding our bikes and taking a family picnic at the park, and other items are bit more adventurous, like going to the drive-in theater.
Whether you are single, coupled or have young kids, teenagers or grandkids, I encourage you and your family to take a moment and create a family bucket list. You can even make a bucket list with a group of friends. The point of making a bucket list is that it can help you:
- Be intentional about some things that you want to do in order to avoid procrastination
- Manage your time and schedule those activities that are a priority on your calendar
- Stay active in mind and body, especially for the children who are out of school for the summer
- Gain a clearer insight on what kinds of activities are important to you and/or your family
- Use your written list as a motivator to try to make things happen
Some people think that a bucket list only holds the big goals, dreams or adventures; however, it can include the everyday experiences that you do not want to miss. Your bucket list can be as big or as small as you decide. Some things to remember as you create and work on your bucket list are:
- View your bucket list as a to-do list tool that is referred to frequently. Put it somewhere that your family can see it regularly, like on your refrigerator.
- Enjoy yourselves as you complete the goals you set out to reach together.
- Document the fun that you have completing the tasks with pictures, journaling or video.
- Your list should be treated as a working document. You may change your mind and remove items, or you may have other things you would like to add to your list.
- If you face obstacles along the way, do not let that stop you – you can always adjust or modify your plans.
Remember that this should be something that should be fun and not overwhelming. The activities do not have to be expensive vacations but can be a drive to a neighboring town to explore or simply a picnic in your own yard or local park. Do not just develop your bucket list and tuck it away – get working on it! Fall will be here before we know it. Do not feel stressed or rushed by the fall and Christmas décor in the stores. Enjoy each season for the gifts that it brings. However, do enjoy time with your family. Be intentional and create a family bucket list to incorporate some family fun in to each season all year long.
What's on your summer bucket list? If you need some ideas to get you started, you can search summer bucket list or go to Pinterest for multiple suggestions. Another idea is just to think back to what you liked when you were a kid: swimming, eating local ice cream, watching/playing baseball, going to the beach, creating something, attending a concert, watching fireworks, running through the sprinklers…oh I could go on. I clearly still like all of those things.No matter what adventures your individual or family summer bucket list takes you on, I wish you a safe and fun summer.