Living Your Best Life,  Well-Being

What will you do this summer?

As I drove to my chiropractor appointment this morning, I noticed the marquee on a local elementary school: “Last day of school, May 21.” It seems like yesterday that the stores set up the school supply lists and that school supplies were on sale. Where has the school year gone?

I was always excited that school was out for the summer. It was a time to slow down, to have some quality time with friends, to spend time at the park district pool, and go on vacation. On the other hand, I was always excited that the school year was getting ready to begin.

As a parent (and high school teacher), I embraced the summer. I spent quality time with my kids and introduced them to “kid courses” at the local community college, spent time with my mother and her garage sales and explorations, and then, closer to the end of the summer, worked on units and lesson plans for the coming year.

Un-scheduled free time.

In the past 10 to 15 years, I have noticed an increasing number of articles coming through my social media, blogs, and emails about scheduling the summer with your children and lists of things to do with your children to limit their time on the electronics.

But what about adults?

I miss my impromptu summer activities and my planned summer activities: planning to go to the pool with friends, knocking on someone’s door to go on a bike ride, or sitting on a rainy day playing a never-ending game of rummy.

I have always been a great “I’d like to do this or that this summer.” kind of person, but without a plan, the summer races past me and I have not clicked off anything on my “wanna do” list.

This year I plan to take two ideas and smash them together.

IDEA ONE: Give each day of the week a theme. (I found this on several Mommy blogs, but why can’t it work for adults.)

IDEA TWO: A “this” summer specific list with categories. (A version of the bucket list.)

What is a bucket list?

It’s a list of things you want to accomplish within a certain time period. I think, it originally focused on what you wanted to accomplish before you died.

BUT, why do we have to think that far ahead. I want to focus on only three months: June, July, and August. (And what I do from today through May 31 doesn’t count.)

Want to follow mine? Great.

Want to create your own? Great.

Either way, I’m finding it important to identify things I want to accomplish so that when I say “I don’t know what to do.” or “I’m bored.” or “There’s nothing to do.” I have a plan of attack.

My directions: List at least 3 things under each category. Why? Because you have three months. If one activity fits in multiple categories, it can only be added to one.

Day of the Week Themes:

MONDAY: Makin’ It Monday (What craft can I work on today?)

TUESDAY: Tasty Tuesday (What new food can I make or try?)

WEDNESDAY: Walking Wednesday (Where can I take a hike or long walk?)

THURSDAY: Thirsty Thursday (Maybe a drink — maybe knowledge)

FRIDAY: Fun Friday (What can I do that is fun? Garage sale anyone?)

One new experience:

Williamson County Fair

Attend concert at the Ryman

Try ziplining

One place to visit:

Country Music Hall of Fame

Nashville Zoo

Participate in one of the Nashville Haunted Tours

One thing you like to do at least once during the summer:

fire works

Mini-golf

go fishing

One thing to learn:

re-learn my Spanish

how to make a t-shirt quilt

how to play violin by ear

One activity you remember from childhood but haven’t done since:

join the library adult summer reading program

run through the sprinkler

Spend a whole day playing cards

One thing that many people would only do with a child in tow:

play in the fountains at Centennial Park

Jump in one of those Jump parks

swing on a park swing and/or climb on the monkey bars

Try one new food or recipe:

breakfast item

grilled item

instapot item

One thing you’ve done before but want to do again:

see a movie at a drive-in movie theater

spend time star-gazing

kayak

Things you just want to add that don’t fit in any category, my category already has three items, or I want to repeat often:

Visit the driving range

Picnic breakfast

Picnic lunch

Picnic dinner

Make s’mores

Go on a hike

Go camping

Enjoy homemade popsicles

Explore Columbia, TN – especially all the shops on the square

Go garage saling

Pickers Creek winery

Muletown pottery ladies night

The Parthenon in Centennial Park

Full day bike ride

Explore a new restaurant

Leave “Happiness Rocks” everywhere

Make my perfect summer playlist

Go geocaching

What would you add? At a lost as to what to add to your list? Do a Google or Pinterest search.

Hi, I’m Becky. (Ok, Rebecca, but I am rarely addressed that way.) I am a writer and a musician with a tendency to enjoy a variety of crafting opportunities, but I retired from teaching in 2014. I taught in the high school English department: various levels of English, creative writing, public speaking, and theater (acting, directing, and technical theater). As a teacher, I held the philosophy that I wouldn’t give any writing assignment that I personally wouldn’t or couldn’t do. That philosophy strengthened and broadened my own writing.

Thanks for reading.

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This article was first published on Medium.com on May 20, 2019. “What Will You Do This Summer?

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