Summer Plans FOR ME

My friend, Franki, shared this link with me: Mom’s Summer Bucket Lists. Franki and I like to joke that we are successful when we manage to put on lotion or lipstick. On the rare occasions when both occur, it is a gold star day.

The article made me realize that although I helped my kids write three things they want to make sure happen this summer, I kind of slid through without a list of my own. I say kind of, because I did make a list. Looking at it now, I realize it wasn’t a list for me. It was a list for them.

I’m not a big subscriber to the do-all-kinds-of-things-for-yourself movement. I think it’s important to take care of yourself, but that self-care can happen in small (and effective) doses — like lotion and lipstick.

At the same time, I’m not a big subscriber to wear-yourself-ragged-because-you-only-take-care-of-others-and-never-yourself mentality. It’s important to take care of others. We all have someone in our lives who drains energy — every single one of us knows what this is like. We are better at caring for others when we care for ourselves too (in small and effective doses).

Currently, I’m more on the ragged and tattered side of things. This is why the idea of a Summer Bucket List resonates with me. I’m claiming today as my first official day of summer and extending the season to September 5. Typically, I start to enter “autumn” when school starts. Not this year. I’m keeping summer in my heart for the next two months.

Following the inspiration from Franki…

The top three items on my Summer Bucket List* FOR ME are:

  1. {Move} Somehow with ball games and friends over and needing this and getting that, I’ve lost my regular and expected movement each day. I believe in movement being a lifestyle, not a regiment, and so with this item, it can be a run (and will be some days), but a walk with a friend or a bike ride or a family game of football in the yard all count. The point is I move every day. I stretch in the morning, I move during the day, and I crunch or lift or balance at night.
  2. {Write} My writing life has become a mess. This once disciplined 1000 words/day girl has become a tangled mess of a writer. It is time to reclaim the space with one hour/day in order to find my footing with an evolved process and an expanded territory of topic, audience, and purpose.
  3. {Preserve} When I consider what I will miss most if I don’t do it this summer, preservation came to mind. I want to preserve summer through photos, scrapbook pages, and canning. I wish I could say something like, each week I’ll spend three hours preserving photos, stories, or food, but I don’t work this way. Rather, by the end of the summer, I’ll have uploaded and printed photos for the first half of 2014, bought an album for Jay and have some scrapbook pages inside it, and replace the shelves of empty canning jars with full ones.
*Lotion and lipstick will remain indicators of gold star days!

Let's Be Email Pals!

Teaching writers doesn't have to drown us.

Enter your information to receive my free eBook, plus weekly tips and encouragement for teaching writers.

Don't worry, I won't send you spam, and you can unsubscribe any time. (I'd hate to see you go, though.) Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Sounds as if you've settle into summer at last, Ruth, and will have a wonderful July with the bucket list. June zoomed so fast and I hope the time in the next few weeks will be slower. Best wishes in move, write & preserve (with lotion & lipstick often).

  2. Wow, i could have written this bucket list, but maybe more reading than writing for me. Piles of pictures wait for me to do something with them. Good luck with your list.

  3. Life can pass when there is so much pulling on you. Goals ground you, just like OLW. So here's to your bucket list for the summer!

  4. Love the idea of a summer bucket list!! And I love this line: “I'm claiming today as my first official day of summer and extending the season to September 5.” Hooooray!!!! Claim your summer!!

  5. This is so inspiring. I think it is a great idea to make this small list of things to do this summer. You have inspired me to sit down to do this as well. Thank you.

  6. Your list sounds a lot like mine. It's important to make the time to do these things that make you happy. Enjoy completing your bucket list this summer. 🙂

  7. I like the simplicity of this list. You are showing determination, yet at the same time you are also flexible. This is summer!

  8. I had my students write Summer Manifestos (inspired by Ali Edwards) at the end of the school year. It is such a valuable exercise. We don't often talk with kids about setting goals for downtime. I love that your list is so simply stated (strong verbs), but holds so much depth.