When I was younger, my goals for the summer were pretty simple: have fun, spend time with friends, have adventures. And, for the most part, this is still what I want from my summer? But as a grown-person, I realized that I need to be more intentional about how I spend my time, because I don’t have enough of it. It is forever, forever fleeting.
If that sounds kind of morbid (and it is, sorry, this is who I am), think about how it will be already freaking July when this is published — not only is June gone, but the first half of the year is gone. The older I get, the more time flies, and the more I’m thinking about how I want to spend my time on this earth, who I want to spend my time with, and what I want to cultivate, in the world and in myself, while I’m still here.
So my summer bucket list is a little different this year than the last couple of years. I’m thinking about who I want to be and how I really want to spend my time, which is cultivating that person and that life that I know I have the power to cultivate, if I’m intentional.
Here are the 6 things on my bucket list this summer:
Related reading: 25 Unforgettable Summer Bucket List Ideas
Drink Less, Be Present More
Don’t get a girl wrong, I love my chilled rosé and margs and bourbon in the summer. It is, however, exhausting, expensive, and unhealthy to drink to get drunk every single time I go out with friends.
This summer, one of my biggest goals is to drink less. To drink less at home, drink less out, to enjoy the presence of the people I love and drinking in the moment (no pun intended) instead.
There’s more to life than getting drunk. While I’m probably never going to give up drinking full stop, I’d like to learn again how to have fun without getting smashed.
Write. A Lot.
I am a writer in my bones. I write for a living, I write as a side hustle (hi, y’all), and I write for fun. But when I was first starting out in my career, I hardly wrote anything for just myself. I told myself I was too tired, depressed, struggling. The muses weren’t blessing me.
A lot of those things were true, are true. But I’ve realized that I wasn’t writing because I hadn’t learned to show up for myself as a writer. I was still learning how to balance my job, my marriage, my social life, and my internal life; it was my internal life, my writer’s life, that often fell by the wayside. Often because I was too afraid to dive into the wreck, as it were; because I hadn’t learned how to prioritize caring for myself, all the parts of myself that demanded care.
I have been consistently, consistently showing up for myself and writing a little bit every day. Even when it’s hard, even when what I write is hot hot trash. This summer, I want to continue that. I want to show up for this part of myself that for so long didn’t have a voice, because I didn’t know how to feed it.
I was always an indoors child: a book-reading and drawing from imagination and video game-playing child. Now, I understand the importance of getting out in the sun and putting my feet in the dirt.
Being outside is not my natural habitat, but I’d like to make it so. Even if it’s just to get outside to pull the weeds outside, to go for a walk, to run my feet through the grass while I read. I’d like to learn how to nurture my relationship with the earth, and let it nurture me.
Spend Time with Family
I have a niece; she’s turning three this September. Every time I see her, she has more words, more thoughts, more feelings, she’s bigger and bolder and more beautiful. This, more than anything, has made me realize that the time we get with the people we love is always shorter than we want it to be.
This summer I want to spend more time with her and be present in her life. I also want to spend time with my parents, my grandma, my brother, my sister-in-law, my partner. Instead of frittering away my summer in front of Netflix, or drinking mindlessly, I want to be present in the lives of the people who mean the most to me. Yes, including my cats.
Get Ish Done
My partner and I own a house, which is lovely and rewarding and empowering. It is, however, a lot of work, a lot more work than either of us realized when we bought it. Yet, there is something so extremely rewarding about creating a space for yourself, making things and fixing things with your own hands that you know will last you a long time.
My partner and I have a long, ambitious list of honey-do projects we want to tackle together this summer. There will be plenty of time for laziness and recharging still, don’t worry. But we both want to make the tiny changes to our usual routine, to invest the time both in being and working together. We want to create the home and life we envision together with our actual hands.
Put Myself Out There
It’s easy as you get older to fall into routines, have your places, your haunts, your things that you do. I’ve lived and worked in the same city for five years, and there are still parts of it that I haven’t explored, haven’t run my fingers over and known. I think part of that is not always being mindful of the routines and habits I’ve created, but also being a little bit afraid of doing things alone, even now, at 27.
More than anything this summer, I want to be okay with doing things I want alone, or with new people. I want to explore on my own, to get good with my company, and to be bolder in general, with sharing my art and my work, and being less afraid to be vulnerable with people. This is kind of person I want to be – open, warm, creative, vulnerable, and not afraid to be herself.
What do you think?
What’s on your summer bucket list? How has your bucket list changed as you’ve gotten older? Let me know in the comments below!