Summer Bucket Lists

Here’s my summer bucket list for 2017:

Do you make summer bucket lists? I didn’t used to, but the past two years I have had everyone in the family make one that we can realistically (and affordably) accomplish in one summer.


I love the kids’ lists! Last summer my 8-year-old son included things like “Chew gum every day for 20 days straight,” “Invent a new recipe,” and “Write a book.” My middle son’s items from last summer were surprisingly fun for the whole family, with things like “Go to a pro baseball game” (we got cheap last-minute tickets to the St. Louis Cardinals) and “Go somewhere overnight” (we stayed in The Loo and went to the StL Zoo, which is free, on that same trip to the game). We didn’t go on a vacation anywhere last year, so that quick overnight trip to St. Louis really hit the spot.


My bucket lists usually include projects I want to do (I loooooove that feeling of finishing a project!), although I really do try to add some things I think would be fun, too. For example, I had “Go hiking” and “Go on a road trip,” both of which we were able to accomplished by going to Starved Rock State Park near Oglesby, IL (it’s AWESOME if you have never been, and is a stone’s throw from Matheissen State Park if you love to mountain bike and hike!).


I try not to include tasks that I view as “work,” like trimming the shrubs and cleaning the garage. I know some of the items on my list (like painting the upstairs hallway maybe?) look like work, but I always kind of look forward to painting a room. It’s not a chore that I do on a regularly scheduled basis and I love the “after.”


This summer again I’ve tasked the kids with making summer bucket lists. We aren’t going on a big vacation again this summer, so I’m kind of hoping someone will come up with an idea for a short jaunt we can do one a weekend.


My own bucket list once again includes a few projects, but I also added one this year that I usually feel guilty doing in the summer: chilling.


Do any of you find it hard to relax too? I always feel guilty if I sit down to read a magazine or watch TV during the summer. My mind tells me I should be working on revitalizing unit and lesson plans, cleaning, doing yard work, or doing something PRODUCTIVE. Don’t get me wrong, I love productivity. There is almost no greater feeling than finishing a big task or project and being pleased with how it turned out. But I’ve never been able to relax without that feeling of guilt, so this summer I put it on my bucket list thinking maybe that’ll help relaxing seem like a “goal” I’m trying to accomplish. Semantics, I know, but maybe it’ll work. I’ll let you know how that goes.


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