When our kids were little, each summer we would put together a “summer bucket list” filled with all the hopes and dreams of starry-eyed children and their parents as school let out in June. We’d write out the list and then tear it apart, and fold each piece and put it into a bright bucket from the dollar store. It was pretty fun letting the kids pick a slip of paper out when we needed something to do. Of course there were always a few that I would have to throw back, because you can’t go to a theme park with 5-minutes notice. By the time August rolled around, I would start taking some of the options out of the bucket when the kids went to bed, and destroy them forever. (Because running around outside having a watergun fight every night gets old fast) All in all it was a fun little tradition for our family.

Now there are no little children in my house, and when I brought up the bucket the other night there didn’t even seem to be much sentimentality about it. I felt a little more nostalgic emotion would have been appropriate, but welcome to my life. 

Truthfully, I miss that old bucket full of ideas scratched out on ragged-ripped pieces of construction paper. Written in coloured markers by sticky little hands.

So, I came up with a different idea. Even though the bucket is gone, there still seems to be pressure to live a magical summer life. I see those #bucketlist posts, and it’s totally fine and all but maybe I’ll start a new trend. 

The anti-bucket-list summer.

Fo me, and everyone lacking a bucket.

All the things I DON’T want to do this summer.

How’s that for goal setting?

Here it is, in all it’s cheerful glory:

  • I don’t want to wait until the last week of summer to have fun. There’s only so many beaches, patios and ice cream stores you can visit on August 31st. I’m gonna go and find some water, sit in it and eat ice cream.
  • I’m staying away from Canada’s Wonderland. Every ride there makes my head hurt. It’s like paying for a migraine.
  • I’m not going to put off spending time with people. Usually, “We have to get together sometime” means “See you in ten years.” I’m going to embrace simple entertaining, serve hot dogs and pizza and make sure we don’t turn into house hermits.
  • I’m will try not to be consumed with having a clean house. (Even though the summer shoe situation is out-of-control and makes me twitch)
  • I won’t be ashamed about my vegetable garden obsession and incredible zucchinis.
  • I’ll stop stressing over my summer wardrobe. I’ll wear a tank top. I can wear shorts. No one cares about my bathing suit.
  • I’m not going to listen to people who don’t want to eat dinner outside every night.
  • I don’t want to be so testy about all the chip crumbs on the kitchen floor. (But really people, stop eating them right from the cupboard. We have bowls)
  • I won’t be jealous of other people’s summer fun, great vacations, pools, stand-up paddle boards, yummy summer food truck treats and life overall. I have lots to be thankful for.
  • I’m not going to feel bad for feeding my creative soul. If I need to pull over and take a picture of a sunset behind a vineyard, pick wildflowers from the ditch, talk daily about all the fruit stands on the side of the road and post Instagram pics of my fresh taco bowls – then I will.

It’s actually pretty exciting.

6 weeks left of things that I’m not going to do this summer.

Maybe knowing what you don’t want, helps you accomplish the things you really love.

Or maybe you’re just sad because your kids don’t want a fun bucket anymore.

Either way, the pressure is off.

I’m ready to live the rest of this summer in all it’s anti-bucket-list glory.

Anything you don’t want to do this summer?