Small moments make a big life. I’ve been reflecting lately on how both doing something new and honoring long-standing traditions can each have a restorative and positive effect on our lives. Making a summer bucket list is one way to take action towards creating these positive memorable moments.
Trying new things, however small they might be, can be so powerful. It’s extremely easy to get into a daily rut, daily grind, wake up, go to work, come home exhausted, sleep, do it again. It’s the moments of brightness in that daily routine, the small things, that make a big life. I know it sounds kind of silly, but I’ve noticed that doing some very small things differently than usual gives me a new, more positive perspective, making me feel less ‘stuck’ in the daily grind. SIMPLE things. Like following new people on twitter and learning their perspectives. Like walking into work via a different path and different entrance. Seriously – you run into a set of different people, and even the office vibe feels different. Small. But big.
And long-standing traditions are typically special things that we don’t do every day, and thus they aren’t “new” per se, but they still have that restorative power. They tap us into special and positive memories from the past, again injecting that magic into our everyday.
As we head into summer, with school out (or almost out for some), I’m turning to thoughts about how to make it a ‘special’ summer. A remarkable and memorable one. With many moments of brightness that will contribute their magic to a great life. And so I’m thinking about what new things and what traditions we can have on our summer bucket list, to build those small moments into a remarkable summer.
Here are three of my summer bucket list ideas to get you started:
Summer Bucket List idea #1: Last day of school living-room camp-out movie night.
This one is credit to my niece, who has three kiddos. She makes the last day of school truly a magic moment to remember, by having it be a living-room camp-out movie night. This is an event they all look forward to, as an amazing kick-off to the summer. Blankets, pillows, picnic dinner in the living room, popcorn, and movies all night, including sleeping there. This can be as simple or sophisticated as you have the energy for — living room camp-out, or true backyard movie night and campout. Pop-up tent, or just blankets and pillows. Smores and popcorn or just order a pizza. And even without kids, a movie night with friends, or your significant other, would make for an entirely memorable start-of-summer moment. The important thing is to put away your phones, and experience the night together. And kick off the summer right!
Summer Bucket List Idea #2: Limburger, saltines, and orange soda. And Gin Rummy.
This one is credit to my hubby’s side of the family. Somehow, in their large-family get-togethers of the many hungarian sisters and brothers, they at one point put together limburger cheese and saltines, together with orange soda to wash it down, and it turned into a total hit. If you’re not familiar with Limburger cheese, it’s the stinky one. Which makes it absolutely a prime element for a “remarkable” moment because nobody can stop talking about it! Yes it’s smelly, but it does actually taste good, especially when coupled with a slightly salty saltine cracker, AND this is the key, washed down with a sip of orange soda. If you just can’t do Limburger (but you should TRY IT), pick a conversation-worthy other cheese.
Second part to this memorable moment is to have this remarkable treat while playing cards with the family. In my husband’s family this meant gin rummy card night, with all the hungarian sisters and brothers, and the kids/cousins. Sometimes even as a tournament, choosing teams and keeping score. Lots of laughs, conversation, and truly a memorable, remarkable event.
Summer Bucket List Idea #3: Wild Blackberry Pie Day.
My mother-in-law has wild blackberry bushes in her backyard. Blackberries ripen in August. Whenever we visit her around august, this is one of the main events, picking those wild berries and making them into a pie. And oh, what a pie — wild blackberry pie is now a family favorite, and come august, we look forward to making and having it, loaded with whipped cream, and the berry bounty from the garden. Berry Pie day is definitely an event, and a memorable one. If you don’t have wild blackberries around, choose a summer fruit or berry that is nearby in abundance, and make an event around it – picking it, and making/eating a pie or other treat from it – summer lusciousness!
So go for it – get a few memorable moment ideas on your summer bucket list, and get the summer started right. Please comment and share some of your ways to build a remarkable summer!