Ah, the carefree days of summer. As a child I could barely wait for school to let out so my days would belong entirely to me. I loved to spend the mornings watching favorite television shows. Later, I might play “pioneers” with my brothers and cousins. There were the countless hours spent at my grandparents’ house next door playing, sharing “sweet tea and saltines”. And of course, lots of time to read.
Those summer days of childhood may be gone but with some planning it’s still possible to have an enjoyable season. It’s all too easy to let the days slip by and suddenly realize in September that we didn’t make the most of summertime.
I suggest creating a summer bucket list to make sure that doesn’t happen.
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Create a Summer Bucket List
1. Go swimming
If you have your own pool, lucky you! If not, there are still options. A nearby lake, community pool, YMCA/YWCA, a generous friend with a pool…
Or you can do what I’m planning to do this year. I’m setting up a large, inflatable pool in my backyard for the summer. It’s not nearly big enough to swim in but I can kick back in it and at least enjoy the water. I plan to play island music, sip piña coladas and pretend I’m at the beach.
2. Host a barbecue
Invite some friends over, throw some burgers or steaks on the grill, and enjoy the pleasure of dining alfresco.
3. Make homemade ice cream
We live near the peach capitol of Oklahoma and there is nothing to compare with the taste of homemade peach ice cream. I can’t wait!
4. Read your favorite children’s book
Remember what it felt like to spend an entire afternoon stretched out across your bed, totally engrossed in a book? Pull out that tattered copy of The Secret Garden, your favorite Nancy Drew mystery or, if you’re a lot younger than I am, Harry Potter. Clear your schedule and read for several hours, guilt-free.
5. Watch one of your favorite old television series from start to finish
Choose a series you own on DVD or have access to via Netflix, Hulu, etc. Start with the very first episode and watch all the way through. If you’re thinking, “I don’t have time for that!” consider substituting it for other mindless “entertainment” such as scrolling Facebook or Instagram. Or watch while on the treadmill.
I’m planning to watch Sex and the City this summer. I’ve only watched episodes here and there because we didn’t have HBO back in the days it was on television.
6. Take a road trip
It doesn’t have to be a two-week trek across the country (although it could be). A weekend trip can be fun, too. Or, if you really don’t have the time or money for a trip, just go for a long drive. Roll down the windows, blast some tunes and enjoy seeing something new.
7. Tackle a small organizing task
This may not seem like a fun thing to put on your bucket list but hear me out. There is something deeply satisfying about completing an organizing task you’ve been putting off. I’m not talking about decluttering and organizing your whole house, or even a whole room. I’m talking about something like a jewelry box, the household junk drawer, spices, or your DVD collection. Choose something that you can complete in less than an hour, turn on some music or listen to an audio book while you work.
8. Learn something new
Have you always wanted to learn how to can fresh produce? Summer is the perfect time. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try your hand at making homemade tortillas or fresh pasta. Or maybe take a dance class and learn the salsa.
9. Take a “Staycation”
Even if you’re planning a real vacation, consider a staycation, as well. As Jane Austen said, “Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.” Whether for a week or just a weekend, vacationing in your own home can be the ultimate in true comfort and relaxation. Here are some great staycation ideas:
10. Go to the movies
Is there anything better than sitting in a cool, dark theater munching on buttery popcorn on a hot, summer day? You don’t even have to get someone to go with you. If there is something you want to see and no one else in your family is interested or available, go by yourself.
Have you ever created a Summer Bucket List? If so, I’d love to hear what’s on yours. Leave me a comment and I just might add your suggestion to my own list.
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