It’s Not Over Until It’s Over
Is your life ruled by the school calendar? If so, you may be starting to feel a bit anxious. You may feel as if summer is coming to an end and you haven’t relaxed or experienced what you really wanted to this summer. Take heart. It’s not too late! Summer is not over yet!
During a recent workout, I overheard a teacher comment about the approach of August and the angst she feels. School professionals, students, and parents sometimes think of the beginning of August as the end of summer because it’s time to begin “back to school” preparations. Yet, there are four weeks until many schools resume classes at the end of August. At least that’s the case here in eastern Pennsylvania. Furthermore, the official end of summer is over 7 weeks away.
What’s on your bucket list? There’s still plenty of time to check the bucket list and make this summer memorable.
My coach colleague, Emily E., shared this Summer Bucket List with me. It’s a simple tool you can use to create your list for the remaining weeks of summer. Another friend, Emily B, posted this creative idea on Facebook. This Summer 2017 Vision/Idea board was created with her children and will be updated as the summer progresses. I loved this idea so much I asked if I could share it.
The following list of questions might help you decide what’s important for your summer of 2017 bucket list. Use these as a starting point to dream and plan what you want to accomplish during the remaining weeks of summer.
1.Who do you want to see or visit? You might want to meet a friend for breakfast or lunch. Visiting someone may mean a day long adventure or overnight trip to visit in their home or somewhere halfway between. My son and I met halfway in Chincoteague, VA for a memorable Mother’s Day weekend. It was a great visit made even more relaxing because we cut the drive time in half for each of us. I spent one summer intentionally reconnecting with friends. Once or twice a month, I met a different person for breakfast or lunch. Over the course of the summer, I reconnected with at least 5 different friends.
2. What is your “one thing” for this summer? What is it that must happen for you to feel like you had a summer? To phrase it another way, what is the “one thing” you will regret not doing this summer? A trip to the beach, mountains, lake, or a favorite park may be your A list item. Maybe it’s cleaning, painting or organizing something at home, planting a garden, renovating a room, having a personal retreat, trying a new sport, or completing a summer reading list. If this is a summer when your season of life is characterized by a move, graduate school, marriage or new parenthood, your “one thing” may be very different from your typical summer bucket list items. It’s OK. Identify your “one thing” for THIS summer and do it.
3. Where do you want to go? What’s the one place you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t? If you’re short on time, money and energy, think of the free or low cost tourist attractions or places of solitude nearby. I lived in Eastern PA many years before I went to see the Liberty Bell. I’m so glad I went. I’ve, also, discovered many lesser known gardens, parks, or museums within an hour’s drive. I’m certain there’s someplace that will suit your interests, schedule and budget. A planned, unhurried visit to your favorite spot in your own backyard might be what best fills your bucket.
4. When will you do this? If you’re following the school calendar, schedule when you will do this “one thing” in the next 4 weeks. Include the people most important to you and set your plan in motion. If you need solitude, plan for that.
5. Why is this important? This is probably the most important question to ponder. None of us needs another item to add to our already long to do list. But, if summer ends and you “don’t feel like you had a summer”, you may regret it. Summer means different things to each of us. To many of us, it is a time to relax, enjoy time with family and friends, and have moments of recreation. Having time for recreation is important for physical and mental health. You alone know the value of your “one thing” to you. My sister and her family took a once in a lifetime bucket list trip this summer. This trip was important because it may be the last time they can all take a vacation together. Her son graduated from college and her daughter begins college in a few weeks. She said it was the best vacation she’s ever had! This experience has created a great memory that cannot be repeated. She returned to work with more energy and enthusiasm after ten days of renewal. I can hear it in her voice.
There are still weeks of summer remaining. There’s time for you to “have a summer”. I encourage you to give yourself permission to take time off to experience and design your best summer. Time off to just be. Be present. Be at rest. Be happy. Be unplugged. Be away. Be on vacation. Be renewed.
If you would like an additional tool to design your best summer, contact me. I’ll send you a document electronically.
Savor the season, make memories, and fill your buckets until they overflow.