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Bucket List–from Behind

Summer has quite the reputation doesn’t it? Relaxing balmy days with lemonades in hand, high adventure that appears out of nowhere in the school-free days brought on simply by…time. Does anyone else realize that is a paradox?

Somehow summer days often don’t feel relaxing enough and I’ve rarely had adventure call me out…although I’m holding out for Gandalf because I have a few more years before he could show up and take me off on a Middle Earth adventure.

A popular way to combat the summer time blues is a bucket list. Which is wonderful except I stink at lists. It is a character flaw. When I have made lists, I tend to overreach and end up not finishing the list, or trying to cram a bunch of activities into a free afternoon which turns fun into checking boxes. Which leads to disappointment.

Enter stage right….Bucket List from Behind! It is an opportunity to take stock of every single day and find the adventure when it threatens to hide.

The procedure is simple.
1. Get a simple take a poster board (or you could use a bulletin board, cork board or whatever) and write BUCKET LIST in big bold letters on it.

2. Place some fun post it notes near the board.

3. Invite my kids to write the fun things they do every single day on our bucket list poster. Things like, read a book in the hammock, stomp in the stream, observe the groundhog in the neighbor’s yard, eat popsicles, participate in epic water fights and easy walks around the neighborhood.

This serves the purpose of having all of us slow down. To become active observers in our day. To check in with our feelings and to create joy even in the ordinary.

There is a message in our culture that tells parents that we are going to miss out. There is insistent pressure that our kids are growing up too quickly which means that we only have today to fit in all the fun.

And because life is moving at such break neck speed that we need to buy things and lots of amazing experiences because that will mean our kids have the best childhoods. As if throwing money at the issue, somehow solves the problem.

But the truth is, every day is an opportunity to connect with our kids. Sometimes we do extravagant things. Sometimes we do simple ones. It isn’t about missing out, or slowing time. It is about intentional connection because our kids are great. And there is nothing more rewarding than those simple moments.

I want to stop the idea of FOMO in its tracks and resist adding more just for the sake of more. Because summer is inherently fun. We just need to stop….write a post it note…put it on the poster and take a moment to realize it.

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