Today, we’re sharing our summer bucket list!
A couple of months ago when my bestie S was finally making the transition from a wheelchair to crutches, we met up with a few friends for dinner. It was an event that had been on her bucket list since the accident last October and we were thrilled to finally get out of the house for a seemingly normal activity.
I’m not really sure how we got on the subject, but we started talking about how easy it was to get off track with goals and dreams once the newness of January and February wore off.
While we were still excited about the goals we had set for ourselves in early January, we realized how difficult it had become to remain motivated to reach those goals as the days stretched into weeks and the weeks into months when our “real lives” started slowly taking over our calendars.
Honestly, it’s something I hear all the time from my sisters, fellow bloggers, friends and you.
Well, that conversation led to us discussing our Word of the Year which ultimately inspired this post and our summer bucket list.
We were all going around the dinner table talking about the progress we had made on our Word of the Year and goals when we got to one of S’s closest and most trusted friends.
“I’m doing great on all my goals,” she said, “but I’m too embarrassed to tell you my Word of the Year.”
To be honest, we all kind of looked at each other dumbfounded because this girl is a total rock star. She’s fought several battles with cancer, raised four great kids, run multiple successful businesses, contributes to her church and community in a big way and still finds time to do special things for her husband, family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.
We all sat there silent for a few seconds when she finally said, “I’m just worried if I tell you my word you’re either gonna laugh at me or you’ll think I’m selfish. Either way, I’m too embarrassed to say.”
Of course, we all immediately started reassuring her there were no embarrassing words of the year. A few minutes later she sucked in her breath and said, “Ok, here goes. I’ve got to step out of my comfort zone some time. My Word of the Year is….”
…and then she said her name.
We sat quietly as she explained why she had chosen her name. She recounted the tough years being a mom, the constant changes at work, her time as a caregiver to an ailing mother, the many months spent at the hospital and doctor appointments waiting for cancer treatments and ultimately the untold stress it had all taken on her spirit.
She didn’t need to justify herself to any of us. Yet she laid out her case so succinctly I’ve often thought about that conversation as I’ve grappled with my own struggles all these months later.
About this time nearly every year, I find myself dealing with a bit of burnout and an empty creativity tank. It’s not because I don’t love this job. Believe me, this job is definitely a ton of work, but it feels like a dream job. I love it so much that most of the time my brain doesn’t turn off no matter how physically tired I am or how emotionally drained I’ve become from decision fatigue.
Last year, we had to take a summer sabbatical because S had shoulder surgery and needed the entire summer to rehab. This year though, we’re making a deliberate choice to slow our posting schedule down to 2 or 3 days a week so we can fully concentrate on school, developing healthy habits and routines, celebrating self-discovery, embracing change, filling our creativity tanks with new adventures, simplifying our homes, and being intentional with the white space we create in our calendars this summer.
In short, we’re boldly claiming our names for the summer and we hope you will too!
Now you might be thinking the Summer of _______________ (fill in your name) sounds awesome but there is no way I can _______________ (fill in your excuse).
Let me reassure you, right now, you can definitely still have a summer that celebrates everything that makes you special while still working a full-time job, being a wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend or caregiver. You just have to make it a priority #truth
So, what does the Summer of ____________ (fill in your name) look like, you ask?
It means you make the time to:
- Say yes to the things you really want to do
- Say no to the things you feel obligated to do or are only doing out of guilt
- Enjoy a summer sunrise or sunset
- Do a 48-hour social media detox
- Plan a staycation
- Find a good summer read
- Finish a goal you’ve been putting off or too long
- Host a slumber party with your sisters, besties, or girlfriends
- Try a new recipe
- Take a day trip
- Go on a date with yourself
- Invite someone new to coffee, lunch or dinner
- Send a postcard
- Pick fruits or vegetables from a roadside stand, a farmer’s market or a you-pick farm
- Create healthy routines for skincare and cleaning
- Pray, meditate or practice gratitude daily
- Live out your affirmations
- Plan a progressive supper with your family, friends or neighbors
- Start a journal
- Learn a new skill or hobby
- Stop negative self-talk
- Do something out of your comfort zone
- Become more self-aware
- Be inspired with TED Talks
- Practice random act of kindness
- Find ways to turn obstacles into opportunities
- Apologize first
- Enjoy nature with a walk on the beach, a day at the lake, or a fun hike
- Replace a bad habit with a good one
- Start & finish a new home project
- Be a cheerleader
- Go all day without complaining
- Treat yourself to something special
- Take more pictures or commit to photo walks each week
- Explore a new city
- Start juicing
- Save the planet and go green
- Prioritize rest and good sleep hygiene
- Create healthy meals
- Write a letter to your future self about how awesome you are
- Take action
- Turn off the TV
- Go to an outdoor movie or concert
- Commit to your personal growth
You guys, how many times do we say we’re going to do something that is really important to us only to let the entire summer slip away without taking action?
Let’s be better than that and take our summer back!
Let’s flip the script and vow that this year really is going to be our year.
The year we take full advantage of our summer by letting go of the excuses and take action. By honoring what makes us special and unique, by prioritizing our needs without feeling guilty about it, and by doing more of the things that makes us happy and less of the things that makes us feel obligated to gratify the expectations of others.
Let’s be bold and claim our names and celebrate the Summer of ______________ (insert your name) for all new adventures and opportunities that have yet to come our way.
Are you with me?