It’s Okay NOT to Have a Summer To-do or Bucket List

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Some summers call for structure. Others call for something different. Life as MOM Contributor Prerna shows us a different way to plan the summer.

It's Okay NOT to Have a Summer Bucket List - Some summers call for structure. Others call for something different. Consider this different way to plan the summer.

Summer. Ahh, the sweetness. There’s something about the warmth of the sun, the flowers blooming out in the gardens and on the trees, the sounds of kids laughing as they play and ride their cycles that just fills our hearts with… the desire to relax and kick back [insert jarring buzzer sound] do more!

I’m a massive list maker and planner. I thrive when I have a list of items to tackle but one of the things I really wanted to do this year was to nourish our life at home with more spontaneity, more fluidity, more slowness.

So, one of the ways we’ll be doing that is by NOT having a bucket list for summer.

No list of things to do this summer. Serious. Does that mean that we’ll while away our time watching reruns on television? Does it mean that Manini, my daughter, would be hooked onto the iPad all through the season? Does it mean that we wouldn’t travel since we haven’t planned it, down to the last detail?

Actually no.

Not having a summer bucket list is freeing us up to do so much more without being tied down to a list of “I have to do___________.” There is no “have to” in our summer this year. There is a LOT of “Let’s do__________” or “I want to do___________________.”

It's Okay NOT to Have a Summer Bucket List - Some summers call for structure. Others call for something different. Consider this different way to plan the summer.

Manini wanted to attend summer camp this year, so she did. We wanted to take a break last weekend, so we did. We want to read more books, so we joined the library and I bought some amazing eBook bundles and we’re all reading more than ever.

Being fluid is taking the pressure off me, as a mom, and us, as a family to create a summer that’s filled with activities to keep everyone engaged. Instead, we’re actually kicking back, sleeping in, slowing down, savoring the
simple things that aren’t planned but fill us with joy, like taking a walk every evening or going out for ice cream, after dinner, or playing board games, like Monopoly {the Disney princess version, in case you’re interested!}

So, if you don’t have a summer bucket list this year, it’s OKAY.

It's Okay NOT to Have a Summer Bucket List - Some summers call for structure. Others call for something different. Consider this different way to plan the summer.

Go with the flow. Enjoy the season. Do the things you and your family truly enjoy and look forward to. It’s perfectly fine if it’s not on a list, so long as it’s in your heart. Feel how freeing it can be to not have a list to tick things off and STILL enjoy the gorgeous weather, the outdoor fun and the togetherness that comes from having the kids at home.

You can still get inspired by resources, like Jessica’s Summer Survival Guide or my list of 30 things that are free and fun to do any time of the year, but don’t let them bind you down.

You don’t have to do stuff to make summer sweeter. It already is.

How will you be savoring this year’s summer?

Share with me!

Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in parenting with love, being postively productive, and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Check out her free eBooks on organizing and productivity to get literally, hundreds of ideas on how to get organized on a shoestring budget, right now.

Read Prerna’s posts here.

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  1. Thank you for sharing this! One thing I love about the blogging community and the online world is all of the wonderful encouragement and suggestions, but we can often feel as though we need to do what everyone else is doing. Thank you for the reminder that sometimes it’s okay to relax and let go just a little. I am a list maker and a planner by nature, but sometimes letting all of that go just feels really good. Enjoy your relaxing summer!

    1. Hi Heather!! I agree.. As a planner and list maker, myself, the most difficult thing was letting go and flowing but once I started, it just felt SO liberating to not “have” to do something.. but do what we all want and love.. Glad you enjoyed this post!!

  2. I’ve had a page in my notebook with “2014 Summer Bucketlist” written at the top for a number of days now…and it remains blank. For some reason, it feels like so much pressure to make a list of things that we “have to do,” and to know that if things remain undone when September rolls around, I’ll feel like I failed. Now I think I’m just going to rip out that page, throw it in the trash and simply go with the flow this summer… Thanks!

  3. I tend to operate this way TOO much because I’m not really a planner, so I probably need more of a list of goals for the summer since I have more time to accomplish them. I’m not at all a fan of the “bucket list” idea, to be truthful. It feels depressing to me to think I’m checking this off my list before I die, or like I have one shot at doing this before I die and I had better get it done. I’d much rather have a more fluid list of things I’d like to do. There’s something about framing it as a bucket list that doesn’t appeal to me. Anyway, thanks for the post. I’ll probably be doing a bit of both–slowing and working.

    1. Ahh.. I don’t go to the “before I die” thing, it’s more like “things to do before the summer ends” thing.. and even that was putting too much pressure on me.. but I see what you mean.. Slowing down and knocking goals off sounds like the perfect thing to me!! Have a lovely summer!!

  4. Honestly I’ve always had plans and lists – and finally, now that my kids are teens, I’m learning to let it go and roll with the flow – take opportunities as they come and be open to whatever comes our way 🙂