A Summer Bucket List

A Summer Bucket List
Photograph by Jack Spicer Adams

I love summer. The blue skies, sunshine, loose schedules, and adventures. I enjoy being carefree and coat-less, getting sticky in the heat, eating ice cream, taking a dip in the sea, and enjoying the company of my friends while they catch a break from their work.

I'm aware that this summer is going to be like no other and writing a bucket list might seem like a pointless exercise in wishful thinking. However, I think it's important now more than ever to ensure that we make the best of those long summer days in whatever ways we can.

This is my summer bucket list. A reminder to myself to enjoy this time in whatever ways I can, whether that means enjoying traditional summer activities or inventing new ones.

Live In The Momet

I expect this summer is going to be very different to all those that preceded it. I don't really know what I can and can't do just yet but I'm envisioning my usual summer road trip to the family home along the south-east coast isn't something I can rely on happening this year. Whatever this summer brings, I hope I can be present in all its moments, both good and bad. That means setting boundaries, allowing myself downtime from work, and switching my phone off for longer periods.

Go Wild Swimming

Last year I went wild swimming for the first time and it was amazing. Following instructions we found online, myself, my partner, and a friend found a spot to take a dip in the river. The sun was hot, the water was cool, and the scenery was stunning. We let the current gently drift us down the river, watched by a herd of friendly cows, and, when we got tired, we sat on the bank and ate our picnic. It's an experience I want to have again and again and again.

Explore Outside

Last year was a year of no flying, and this year is shaping up to be another one for obvious reasons. Instead I've prioritised visiting UK locations like National Trust houses and heritage spots. It's a great way to explore the outdoors especially during the summer months. I'm hoping the National Trust sites open up again during the summer so we get to enjoy the gardens. I'd also like to explore more local spots closer to Birmingham that I can get to via public transport or even walking.

Picnic With Friends

One of my favourite things to do with friends is to enjoy good food together. Eating outdoors is one of life's little pleasures and a picnic by a lake or in a park is such a simple yet pleasurable way to spend a summer's day. We'd usually take a trip to a local spot of interest; a manor house or rose garden. But this year I think that might not be an option so I'll quite gladly settle for a quiet meal with good friends somewhere in nature.

Waste Less

Less time, less emotion, less stuff. I'm tired of feeling drained by things that do not need to affect me so much. We have control over much of what we do, who we allow into our lives, the way we spend our time, what possessions we own, and how we use our energy. I'm taking control over the aspects of my life I can change, and focusing on how to spend my time and energy in more powerful ways. That means learning about issues that are important, focusing my energy into helpful actions, and removing toxic influences that diminish my ability to be a better person.

Make Elderflower Cordial

This is one I can tick off my bucket list already! After hunting for good spots to pick elderflower, I found it right outside my doorstep in a local graveyard. All I had to do was wait a few days for it to bloom before reaping the rewards. Elderflower cordial is wonderful and very easy to make. I've shared the recipe in case you'd like to try it yourself, although you'll have to be quick to find the last of the elderflower blooms!

Read More

When lockdown came into force, I stopped reading. It felt like such a drain on my energy levels that I just couldn't bear the thought of even picking up a book. Reading is something I really enjoy, and I'm sad that daily habit fell to the wayside. Slowly and surely my old habits are returning as I get more comfortable with life events. I’m hoping my reading habit will return with full vigor and I can enjoy a few more books this summer.

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