Summertime Bucket List

summertime bucket list

Ahhh — summer. It’s a time when some of us slow down, relax, watch the bees buzzing around our flower gardens, or catch up on our favorite Netflix series. But, it can also be a flurry of activity for those using their free days days to make some money with jobs or to broaden their resumes with camp or volunteer activities. Both types have one thing in common: September will begin, and we’ll all ask, “Where did the summer go?” We’ll all look sadly at our calendars and say, “I didn’t have time to ….”

So, seize the days this month to work on your Summer 2016 bucket list. What do you want to have time to accomplish this summer? What do you want to do simply because you love it, not because you have to or because it will look good on a college application?

These are the activities that help us understand our passions and help us surround ourselves with what really matters in our lives. There’s something to the idea that an added bonus in pursuing the things you love is that they may ultimately lead you to the career of your dreams. Imagine working your way into a career where you get paid to do what you love everyday! It’s possible, but finding a career like this doesn’t usually happen by accident. You have to cultivate an understanding of the types of activities you feel passionate about and then develop some skills in those areas.  

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Write

Writing a journal is one sure way to help you understand what’s going on inside your head. Lifehack author C.M. Smith explains how journaling can change your life by helping you understand how you really feel and helping you discover what you truly believe. “Taking the time to sit and write about something that is affecting you can lead to a deeper and more realistic view of what feelings you are actually feeling.” These feelings lead you to the activities you can do this summer that will truly make a difference in your life.   

2. Learn

You are probably feeling burned out of learning after this long school year, but think about the possibilities of learning about something you’ve always wondered about. Pursuing your curiosity has the power to make you a healthier, happier person. Use it to help you take action you’ve never taken before. Want to know how it feels to be a musician? Wipe the dust off that piano in your living room or dig that guitar out of your closet. Check out some online lessons or get acquainted with the music teachers at your local music store. Wonder why some chocolate chip cookies are chewy and some are crispy? Check out the websites of some famous chefs, and then do some research in your own kitchen.  

3. Connect

Get out of the house and connect with your community. Summer is the season for community festivals where you and your friends can have fun and meet new people. Take in an outdoor movie, or stroll through a flea market. Go to a farmer’s market and talk to the vendors. Find out more about where your food comes from. Visit a state or county fair. You’ll find people from your community doing amazing things.  

 

Now is the time to plan for some summer activities that will help you find and build on what is important in your life. Challenge yourself to do at least one activity per week to support what you love. So, when you turn your calendar and see September, you’ll say, “What a great summer! I actually had the time to….”

Dede Paquette is a life-long student and teacher. With a M.A. in professional writing and a M.A. in teaching, she teaches both at the high school and college levels, working with her students on creative and critical writing. She loves getting students to think about how the Internet is changing the way we communicate and about how they, as writers, can drive that change in a positive direction. She also loves to rattle around in used bookstores, especially the kind with miles of dusty, disorganized shelves. When the weather turns warm, she disappears into the wild woods of Northern Wisconsin to sit at the feet of Mother Nature, studying Her mindfulness and peace.

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