I feel like I have written this before… like every single August. When I wake up and realize there are only two more weeks left before school begins, which means summer will officially be over. Sigh. Ugh. Sigh again. Only two more weeks of unscheduled, uncrazy (is this a word?) mornings. Late evenings with friends, enjoying the sunshine late until the day and coming home from work with a more relaxed schedule. Breakfast for dinner? Sure why not. Ice cream for dinner? Of course!
When I begin to think of summer ending, I become a bit anxious because what it also means is only two weeks left of our family’s “to do list”. Since the girls were small I have organized a list of fun things we were going to do as a family during the summer, as well house projects which would be finished by Labor Day weekend.
As I think about the things we have not done yet this summer (like tile the back splash, try the CTfastrack Bus or take my parents to Ellis Island) or things we have started but not finished (like redoing the girls’ bedrooms or figuring out what to do with the crocked path on the side of our house)… the end of summer blues set in, and I realize I have two weeks to left to finish my summer bucket list.
I have two weeks left to do all of this (did I mention lose 25 pounds as well) to get this all in?
I have often mentioned how much I love my lists. At work my lists keep me focused and working on reaching my goals. They keep me on a path, grounded, and the feeling of checking off something I have accomplished is instant gratification. Much like work goals, my lists keep me organized at home too. And a summer “bucket list” is a fun way for me to involve the whole family in figuring out what we want to do during the two months the girls are not in school and life seems to slow down a bit.
Or so I thought.
When I looked own at my list this morning I saw so many things NOT checked off.
But then something funny happened…
As I walked into the family room early this morning to open the shades, something sparkly caught my eye. Something glittery and sparkly was peeping behind the bookcase, and as I pulled it out I realized it was the poster board I gave my 11 year old earlier this summer. Unbeknownst to me she had turned it into her own summer “bucket list”… fun things she wanted to do. (I’m thinking my oldest, who will be 14 decided she would have a “go with the flow’ this summer. You know the kind which involves sleeping in and being on YouTube all day.) My youngest, however took my bucket list to heart and here is what I found… an oversized poster board with big square boxes and drawings inside each box, indicating an activity or event she wanted to accomplish this summer. Complete with a gold glitter border.
I realized as I looked at her summer-list, she had accomplished quite a lot. Her list might look a tad different from mine (I did not see anything remotely having to do with house projects) but I loved that she had set out to accomplish some things. She was just looking at life from her perspective. As an 11 year old. Her list included watch the best movie ever and swim your best time to eat the best ice cream ever, mini golf and have the best time at the beach ever. Many had a red line checked through them. God I love her. She stills wants to go on a scavenger hunt and zip lining, so I am going to try and make this happen before schools begins.
I guess I need to take a better look at my lists, and look at them through her eyes.
We have done a lot we could check off … lots of fun days at the beach, a fun trip to Atlanta to visit my sister and family and a spontaneous dance party. We have played much more on the weekends then usual and guess what? I did lose five pounds. So rather than think of what we have not accomplished on my bucket list I am going to look at it through her eyes… what summer brought us and the special moments we had… beautiful beach weekends with family and friends collecting sea glass and watching our kids laugh with delight, late night cocktails and heartfelt talks with girlfriends, cousin hugs and giggles in the pool, birthday celebrations and wonderful backyard barbecues with my parents and in-laws, both girls reaching their best swim times, growing cucumbers in our garden and absolutely, definitely, without a doubt eating the best ice cream.
Sure there are things on my list which will probably be there again next summer, but as September quickly approaches I am feeling much more accomplished, and ready to face next season. Besides, who says I can’t begin exercising more in September, or tile in October?
And did I mention I lost five pounds?