The summer solstice officially begins two days from now (Friday, June 21) at 1:04 am. So…you still have a few days to draft your [sand and] bucket list.
My ambivalent relationship with summer partially inspired my own list.
Part of me welcomes the longer days and lighter loads. Bare feet, snow cones and everything in between are appealing. Things are a little “softer” and “slower” around the edges of the beltway and everywhere else. That being said, my job and daily grind doesn’t magically or totally disappear. In fact, the relaxation of time and pace has the adverse impact of requiring more discipline and control to get things done. I find myself caught between the regular rhythm of my work and the seduction of a new sand and surf (Think! Beach Boys) tune.
Managing the season’s tension can be difficult. Still, we only have ourselves to blame if Labor (how ironic) Day arrives and we feel no different than we did three months earlier. Shame on us alone if we don’t take sufficient advantage of the season!
I’ve decided that the answer lies in creating a type of “bucket list” — June, July, and August’s response to the year long “to do” list. A bucket list by purest definition conveys one’s life-ending wishes to leap or fly. It would be inappropriate to suggest that the exact same stakes are at play over the next few months. Still, as is the case every year, the ten-week cycle that begins on Friday will pass us by unless we grab hold of it and indulge it, a little less tethered by weather, homework, traffic, and schedules. Moreover, as seasonally permanent as summer is, our unique moments in it change annually. Your bucket list for this year represents your own, likely fleeting, expression of leaping and flying 2013-style. Next year’s list will be as different as you are in one year’s time.
Here are a few other things to consider:
- A summer bucket list is a list that aligns with what the season uniquely offers. It channels experiences that are less likely any other time. Think! Chlorine, fresh berries, humidity, flip flops, fireflies.
- The experiences on the list lack that tactical, “check the box” quality. They’re the content of poetic postcards – answering the question “what happened to me this summer?” not “what did I do this summer?” Think! Glow, bronze, chill.
- The list’s experiences benefit from some “edge.” I’m talking about “lemonade is both sweet and sour” edge not necessarily “jumping out of an airplane” edge. The summer playground does not have to be dangerous or scary but it can still offer some atypical stimulation of taste buds (Think! lime and/or salt rimmed glasses), heart beats (Think! blistering sunset color), brain waves (Think! trashy mystery novels), goose bumps (Think! roller coaster rides). Think! Outside YOUR winter-proof box.
It makes perfect sense but I never knew that the term “bucket list” originated from the phrase “kick the bucket,” conveying, as most of us know, one’s priority experiences as the end of his/her life draws near. As I “take [Wedensday Words] leave” until September to indulge my list, I’m encouraging you to “kick the bucket” of sand, let its contents spill, let the sand shift under you feet and in your hands and see what happens. Think! Castles and dunes.