Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fun Stuff to Do This Summer - Or ELSE!

This week I read an awesome post over at "Our Busy Homeschool" titled "You Won't Find a Summer Bucket List On My Wall." The author writes:
"You won’t find a summer bucket list with elaborate plans on my wall.  I want our summer to be low-key and relaxed – a list dictating 50 out of the ordinary things I will do leads away from the relaxed summer I want for my family.  Instead, we will simply live each day together."
She's absolutely right, you know. Bucket lists can be a huge source of mommy-guilt and to-do-list stress. I experienced this when I tried to do a Fall/Autumn bucket list last year that just stressed me out because of all the great, cool things I wasn't doing.

But I realized that there's a difference! I happen to adore the Fall/Autumn/Winter seasons. I look forward to them all year. My mind is naturally brimming over with things to do during those times of year. Apples! Pumpkins! Fall leaves! Christmas! The inspiration never stops. Bucket lists? Who needs 'em?

Additionally, with our lovely cool winter months, the kids play endlessly outside. They don't need a lot of inspiration - our lovely weather provides it!

But summer? Summer in Phoenix?

Well, I have to confess. I loathe summer. Loathe, despise, abhor summer. The only reason I'm not saying "I hate summer!" is because that word is verboten at our house. Otherwise, I'd probably use it to excess.

And in summer, my one original idea is to hang out in the house praying for the next six months to pass quickly.

The children are much better at enjoying summer than I am! 

Last year I actually set out on a super-ambitious goal - to practice contentment during the summer. To enjoy summer, as if that were possible.

And I succeeded!

I focused on not complaining, on enjoying the perks of summer - evening water-play, long evenings, etc. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed the summer. And I was under the impression that my one-time effort would be sufficient. Now I would naturally and effortlessly enjoy summers!

I was wrong. So very wrong. As this summer has rolled around, I have been overwhelmed with all my usual dread of this season. Gripe, moan, complain. It looks like I'm going to have to do this "practicing contentment" bit all over again.

And in the mean time, I need a bucket list of fun things to do this summer. Because otherwise, you're going to find me curled up on the couch all summer muttering, "Is it November yet?"

And when November rolls around, I'll toss the bucket list in the trash and enjoy the season bucket-list-free!

Here, then is my list for the season. It has been highly abbreviated from last year, for several reasons. Firstly, it was too long to begin with. Secondly, I currently have the energy of a dying weasel. I don't have the stamina for a bunch of running about. And thirdly, I am finding the heat intolerable in my gravid state. I will probably only be hitting the great outdoors (briefly!) to sit in the evening shade and sip an iced drink. I don't think that summer park days are going to be my strong point this year!

I'm looking forward to seeing your (far more sophisticated) summer lists this year!

And apart from this simple list, we'll be leaving most of our (non-school) time unstructured!

Things to Do This Summer!

Go stargazing
Game night
   Roast marshmallows
  Water balloons
  Go to a library event:  ____________________
Make s’mores
  Go swimming
Go to Bass Pro Shop
Go on a night-time walk with the lantern
Eat dinner outside
Play outside in the sprinklers
Wading pool outside
Paddleball outside
Make homemade ice cream in the old-fashioned ice cream maker
Celebrate the 4th of July!
Joe’s Farm Grill for milk shakes for our anniversary!


  1. That's pretty smart--to know yourself and your limitations and devise ways of helping you and your family experience maximum joy.

  2. Ha! I love it! I think I would loathe summer in Phoenix too. It great that you know what you need for this season and when you don't need a list of ideas to motivate you (fall/winter). Try not to roast that wee baby you're growing while you're outside!


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