I’m no stranger to a summer bucket list, but I never thought I’d be writing a Summer Bucket List: Covid-19 Edition.
Our quiet summer is proof that 2020 is not at all what I anticipated it being.
I know I’m not alone in recognizing that 2020 has thrown us all for a loop. In fact, if ever there was an understatement, that would be it!
I fully expected us to be traveling outside of our state this summer. As it turns out, it is hard to leave our state now without having to self-quarantine when we return.
I fully expected us to be hosting visitors for at least a month out of the summer, since
we are super awesome to hang out with that’s what usually happens.
I fully expected the kids to be inviting friends over for pool parties and sleepovers.
I fully expected us to spend hot summer afternoons in cool, quiet museums or maybe cooling off in a different way at a waterpark.
None of that has happened.
None of that will probably happen for awhile and I’m embracing that shift (or trying to). Quite frankly, there are days when I nail that embrace and days when it’s a little touch and go.
I realize many parts of the country opened up during the Covid-19 pandemic much sooner than our state did. In fact, at the time I’m writing this post, our state is pulling back on its opening plan.
Handy Husband is still working from home and will continue doing so for the indefinite future. I was already working from home, but my writing and project schedule becomes a little wonky when the kids are on summer break.
I mention all of that just to drive home the point that life is not normal for us right now.
If that wasn’t clear enough, just keep in mind that statement was made by a self-proclaimed introvert who is pretty selective during normal times about how she spends her time.
Our life right now is extreme – even for me. Apparently, I DO crave social interaction from time to time. Go figure.
We are about two-thirds of the way through our quiet summer and I’d like to share my Summer Bucket List: Covid-19 Edition with you.
The top of the Summer Bucket List is “for goodness’ sake stay healthy.”
Right below that bucket list item is “Sharing is not caring in this case. Don’t get anyone else sick.”
My Summer Bucket List is done.
I sort of joke, but those two things really are our priorities this summer (and probably fall, winter, and spring too).
Before you think I’m all doom and gloom today, there are a few other items on my Summer Bucket List: Covid-19 Edition that are bringing a bit of balance and fun to our lives.
Summer Bucket List: Covid-19 Edition #1: Celebrate all sorts of small things.
Like every single vegetable that’s brought in from the garden. I’m not joking. Growing vegetables from seed makes us feel very accomplished.
After all, we’ve had to battle bugs, deer, rabbits, weeds, storms, and someone forgetting to water the plants and we’ve still managed to have veggies to eat.
Other things we’ve celebrated: lost teeth, random Thursdays, any day that’s below 90°F, and of course, when the Amazon guy shows up with an item one of us forgot we impulsively ordered.
I feel a lot of affection for that delivery man.
Summer Bucket List: Covid-19 Edition #2: Take time to have really deep, insightful conversations.
One of my favorite recent family conversations was whether or not we thought we could walk across the United States from New Jersey to Oregon.
Was it possible?
How would we go about it? What circumstances would even prompt us to make that decision? How long would it take? Where would we sleep? Would our shoes wear out? What would we pack in our backpacks? Or would we pull a wagon with some of our belongings?
There were no clear answers, but I think we did feel empathy for others past and present who have done something similar out of unfathomable desperation or the hope of a better life.
Summer Bucket List: Covid-19 Edition #3: Have as many good belly laughs as possible.
The best belly laughs are the ones that catch you by surprise.
Like when something funny happens at the dinner table and before you know it someone has milk coming out their nose, which makes you laugh even harder. Except you had food in your mouth when this all started and you can’t swallow or you’ll choke, so you’re just laughing with your mouth wide open and full of food. This makes everyone else gross out and laugh with increased fervor.
There’s nothing like an uncontrollable, make tears run down your face belly laugh to release some tension.
Just thinking about the last time that happened makes me happy.
Summer Bucket List: Covid-19 Edition #4: Find any excuse to deviate from the routine.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, it would take a lot to get any one of us excited. We’ve had some pretty amazing life experiences, after all.
A trip to Target to see if they’ve restocked toilet paper (they haven’t) after a seemingly endless number of days at home is exciting.
When I really want to shake things up, I’ll walk my normal walking route in reverse. Turn right out of the driveway instead of left? It’s crazy town, people. You should try it.
Summer Bucket List: Covid-19 Edition #5: Count our blessings every day.
In my family, I’m known as the person who is often heard saying, “It could be worse…”
So particularly on those days when I’m feeling a bit adrift, I like to count our blessings because things always could be worse.
It puts our situation back into perspective.
I’m grateful for our health. I’m grateful for FaceTime dates with friends. I’m grateful for work-from-home jobs. I’m grateful for really nice neighbors. I’m grateful for window AC units and backyard swimming pools. I’m grateful for the gorgeous bubbling stream near our house. I’m grateful for friends who play Minecraft online with my kids.
I’m also grateful that I can come to this little spot on the internet a few times a week and share my life and projects with you.
In case you haven’t heard it today, you are amazing and never fail to boost my spirits.
It strikes me that my Summer Bucket List: Covid-19 Edition is more about being instead of doing.
That’s probably a good development and something I should strive for in subsequent lists.
That said, I’ll be really, really happy if this is the last summer I write a bucket list with a pandemic theme. We’ve got to catch a break at some point, right?
Tell me, what’s on your Summer Bucket List?
I’d love to hear all about it, so I can add some items to our list.
Thanks again for being here today! It really does make my day and hopefully brightens yours as well. Here are some other posts you might enjoy.
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