My Summer Bucket List

Summer Solstice is here with the longest daylight hours of the year.   Here at our beach cottage, that means we are often at the beach till early evening, as the sun remains high in the sky!   Summer solstice also signals the midpoint of the year (how am I doing on yearly plans?) as well as the season change (spring bucket list review and summer bucket list creation).

This spring I explored balancing the choices in mind/cerebral, body/physical, and soul/spiritual for my seasonal bucket list. My Spring Bucket List areas were:

  • Out & About Mini-adventures with Friends to combining the physical + tourist in own town. While I didn’t hit everything on the list, a few highlights were a super fun local Food Tour, an Axe Throwing evening, a long walk at the Cincinnati Zoo for Zoo Blooms, and seeing the Burning Man exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
  • Explore a new “Big Project” for a balance of the cerebral/physical also had only about a 50% hit index. I did some work on my book promotion, took a real dance lesson (not going to continue), finally did some creative Wire Wrap crafts, and finally joined a book club. The last two items were on my to-do lists for over 2 years!  Nothing is feeling like the next big project; maybe it’s not time for a next big thing?

However, in continuing the Book Promotion: my Retirement Transition book is available on-line through Amazon (link). If you haven’t already, please check it out.

  • Continue to explore Personal Spirituality was probably the closest I came to a big project with time spent in exploration of meditation experiences (link) and books (link), as well as doing regular yoga and journaling. This is an area that will continue and I modified my life vision statement to support this component of my life.
  • Daily Living was busy with spring gardening, spring-cleaning, household repairs scheduled and done, cooking new recipes (including recipe file organization!), finishing taxes (every spring), and self-care including a number of physical therapy sessions (an achy knee which is actually a hip issue!).

My word this year is journey as in:

Create the Vision. Plan the Path. Live the Journey.

It reflects where I am in my retirement transition. I created the vision. I plan the paths (yearly action plans, seasonal bucket lists) and then I try and live every day. As a mid-year review, I think this is working for me!

Part of the Retirement Transition process I talk about in my book is the fifth phase: Refine. I created a life vision for my retirement lifestyle and have recently simplified and modified it to:   

Active. Connected. Creative. Contemplative.

So for my summer bucket list, I am going to follow that vision statement:

  • Active – Plan & execute Out & About Mini-adventures (track with new things list; plan Mammoth Cave!); Movement (almost) every day (track with FitBit, make strength training a habit!)
  • Connected – Time with Friends (plan BBQ, FCC game); Blogging
  • Creative – Take class in Grant Writing; continue Wire Crafting
  • Contemplative – Continue Spiritual Exploration (including explore new church); spend more Time Outdoors

This is a shorter seasonal bucket list than in the past with more broad areas and less details. My challenge will be in the creativity space.

Is your seasonal bucket list (if you do one) more specific or broader?


Picture Credit: Florida Sunset by me

41 thoughts on “My Summer Bucket List

  1. Hi Pat,
    I have a goal of getting out and tracking my activity with my fitbit, too, but pain in my left foot is slowing me down. Tried resting, taping, sturdy shoes, etc., and it gets better for a bit but always comes back.
    Sigh…might have to break down and see a dr….


  2. I have not yet put together quarterly bucket lists, though it may be worth doing so in order not to miss activities that do have the seasonal component to them. As you know, I keep very detailed project lists in Toodledo and I have several Someday/Maybe lists that I keep pruning over time, but I have not established anything more time-specific.

    One thing that keeps us from doing a LOT of things are our two dogs. They cannot be left for more than about 5-6 hours max, so we are tethered to the house for the most part. If we want to do something that might take a day or more, we have to plan ahead to kennel them, so spontaneous, day-of decisions are out. Even then, kenneling them is $50 per day or what I affectionately call the “dog tax”. The little Chihuahua mix is an unpredictable psycho who has bitten people, so we feel very uncomfortable trying to have a neighbor come over to take care of them while we are gone. I guess spontaneity is going to have to wait until they go to their eternal reward. Ha ha.

    Just curious, do you keep an organized, long-term record of how all of your bucket lists worked out so that you can look back over the last few years and see your history at a glance? (My suspicion is that you probably do, but I don’t recall an explicit mention.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bob, I understand the issue with the dogs. It does make a spontaneous weekend away merely a fantasy. I’ve been looking at some travel and wondering how we’ll manage with our dog…she’s never been in a kennel! I guess it is about life choices and I love my dog. As far as the long-term record… I hate to disappoint you, but nothing formal really. I know – you are shocked. I do look back at the various lists over time, have check-offs on my Personal Possibilities list, and in fact have a blog post drafted for my 5 year anniversary recap. I like the seasonal lists as they help me focus and re-focus if needed…not as detailed as your project lists, but enough for me right now.


    1. Jennifer, I know that my plans are not really “bucket list” but it helps me feel good about each week. I don’t know if I have any true bucket lists big-lifetime things anymore!


  3. I appreciate your great action words/verbs – create, contemplate, be active, connect and the flexibility that not filling in every minute detail allows you with your list. Hope you continue the success and enjoyment you have had from wire crafting. I need to check that out. But need worse to finish my half-completed mosaic and cross stitch and painting, first. Ugh. I never finish anythi…

    Shared your book with a friend, Cindi at Diary of a Mad Retiree. Hope she will follow you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A nice summer bucket list, Pat. Look forward to your updates. I set fun goals for the year and do monthly reviews. I also keep track of my activities on a simple spreadsheet.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Once again you’ve done things so intentionally Pat. I’m still just burbling along from day to day and not following any plan or list. I do have a few things in the back of my head that I want to tackle, but haven’t put a timeframe around them at this point.
    I loved seeing all that you’re achieving and how you break it down into bite sized pieces – very inspirational for the rest of us!
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leanne, In the five years I’ve been retired, I’ve learned that this works for me. I am a structure girl for sure! And I love lists. I get a lot of satisfaction of looking back over the week and seeing the activities I’ve done that link to my lifestyle vision, which is based on my values.


    1. Apparently Axe Throwing is the newest thing; we got a Groupon! They even have leagues now and its on ESPN. Pickle-ball and Duckpin bowling are others, but I haven’t tried them yet. Crazy fads…. do you recall Wally-ball?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dee, I used to do quarterly action plans (work based). Seasonal bucket lists sound so much nicer! And it helps me remember the seasonal things, like planning to go to the farmers market for fresh corn and tomatoes.


  6. I have lists too but I wouldn’t call them structured. Makes me wonder if I need to apply some. I know I’m pretty high on the creativity scale but I question if I’m doing enough other things. I know it’s all based on our own goals and that’s where I’m lacking, at least in terms of making them conscious. Been meaning to get your book. I think now is the time!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had to laugh on your comment about the book. I’m not very into promotion, but it’s nice to know my insert here worked!

      I love structure so this works for me. It is based on my personal retirement lifestyle vision which I spent time considering, developing, and refining (via the worksheets in my book). For me, it helps with stopping the “compare & despair” which I am prone to. I look at what other folks are doing and think it’s expected of me as well…. then I relook at my own vision and say, no – this is what you want!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A good well-rounded list indeed. I don’t do a seasonal list, but have my 101 things to do list in the backgrund. Speaking of which, that is overdue for an update.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo, 101 things to do? I’ve got a 101 New &/or FunThings tracker this year (at 77) and a Personal Possibilities List (un-numbered), but not a list like that. How do you decide what to tackle next?


    1. Janis, I’m planning a Fifth of July BBQ party and praying for no rain. Apparently since April, we have had about 3 days of no rain here. At least everything is nice and green.

      Lists are definitely for people like me who love structure. I like seasonal lists because it reminds me to enjoy the season … farmers markets, summer picnic, outdoor concert, grill out. It’s that time of year!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I like the categories you use to create your list. I also would like to explore more churches in the area where we live. Currently we do not have a “home” church.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gale and welcome! My categories flow from my retirement lifestyle vision work, so they make sense for me. We moved 18 months ago and I have not started looking for a “new church”! I’ve got one on the calendar to visit this summer – it’s the closest one to us of our denomination (both hubby & I were raised Catholic), so that’s where I am starting at least.


  9. Mine is very specific with respect to travel, and pretty much “on a whim” for everything else. I’m curious about your dance class experience. We occasionally pass a ball room dance studio on our way out to eat and wonder…..I’d love to see what kind of things one makes in a wire wraps class!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tracey – I took a class at Arthur Murray; it was just me – Tim wants nothing to do with it. It was a one-on-one, free trial class (a friend of mine takes classes there and got it for me)…. they try and entice you to sign up… but it’s not cheap and wasn’t really “worth it” for me, especially without Tim wanting to join in. I have friends taking a class at one of the community centers locally (very low cost!); they are having fun with it.

      My Wire wrapping so far has been via YouTube. Maybe I’ll try and take a picture of what I made…. but that assumes I have picture-taking-ability!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Fran, I had to laugh at the “structure” comment. I am a structure-girl! It’s not for everyone, but it certainly works for me. I surround myself with plans and lists and am very happy with it. Oh, and I do execute a lot of the plans – not 100%, but a lot.


      1. I struggled with that word “structure”! It sounded too much like work. I used to be a structured person too. However, this year during my second year of real retirement, I have more or less let go of the structure even though it felt uncomfortable. I am slowly getting used to that way of living although I still set goals for the day. The problem with that though is that my tasks tend to be focussed on work in the house or garden. What I like about your plan is the balance that you have worked in. That’s something for me to think about and actually do.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I recognize that structure is not for everyone! My hubby hates it in fact. But I need it. And I’m very much working on the balance between active (doing) and contemplation (being)! For me the structure and planning allows me (hopefully) to achieve the balance.

        Since you set goals for each day, perhaps think about what the balance of those daily goals should be? I’ve heard folks talk about everyday doing 3 things – one for my mind, one for my body, and one for my spirit.

        Liked by 1 person

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