For the last couple of years, it’s felt like summer has just passed us by. School ends, summer care begins, and boom, before you know it, it’s time for back to school shopping. It sucks!!! As a kid, I would wait impatiently for the last bell to ring and for sweet, sweet freedom. Freedom from homework, freedom from nagging teachers, and freedom from all things structure. Our family usually didn’t have any plans other than spending time with each other, but I still looked forward to it though. As a grownup, I notice that I still get that exciting feeling, but it usually amounts to nothing. Like I said, our summers have been summer care and back to school shopping. We’ve taken one or two road trips, but nothing spectacular. Last summer, I actually think we only went swimming once. Womp, womp. This year, I’m determined to plan an amazing summer for myself and for my family.
How to Plan an Amazing Summer
Step 1. Throw caution to the wind. This seems to go against the planning theme, but bear with me for a minute. Every year, I long for a day at the beach, a road trip, water parks, picnics, camping, etc., and every year another year goes by with my wishes unfilled. And it’s because I get caught up in the details. If we go camping, we’ll need this, this, and this and we don’t have any of it! Omaha doesn’t have beaches! We’ll have to fly somewhere, which will cost money and then we’ll have to take time off from work and on and on and on. Sadly, I can’t focus on the big picture because I’m too bogged down by the details. This year, I’m switching my focus from “how” to “why.” Why this trip to the beach is what we need to unwind from the week. Why we want to spend time as a family roasting marshmallows under the stars. It’s all about the why.
Step 2. Take some action. This should be the easiest step, but for us, it’s the hardest. I’m definitely the picky one of our bunch and if things aren’t right i.e. perfect, it’s not happening and the day/night/outing is ruined. Ugh, I’ve got to break that mindset, ya’ll. Nothing will ever be perfect. Most times, it won’t even get close to perfect and that’s got to be okay. Maybe we won’t make it to the beach this summer, but we can definitely make it to the lake that’s a half hour away. Some action is better than no action and some action gets you closer than sitting still.
Step 3. Choose to be present. An amazing summer is not complete without pictures, right? Well kinda. It’s totally okay to memorialize the first marshmallow roast or that cannonball that I’ll dare Hubz to do in film. But I can’t miss the moments that follow because I’m trying to get the perfect shot for Instagram or my blog. The shot is great, but the laughter and stories that follow are what matter.
Step 4. Create a summer bucket list. This is something that we’ve never done. We’ve never been intentional about how we spend our time or what we do as a family. In the past, I’ve made a list (without my family’s input) of things I think we should do, but the list stayed tucked away and was eventually forgotten. Not this year. This year, the list is leaving the blog. It’ll be posted in our home, for all of us to see. That way, on those weekends that we’re crying boredom i.e. being lazy, we can check our list and get moving.