For Real Summer Bucket List

10:42 AMHeather

In my dysfunctional codependent love/hate relationship with Pinterest, I keep seeing something.  It speaks to me.  Like everything on Pinterest.  It says, "What a great idea!  How inspiring!"  

Yet it also whispers, "As if... another idea you'll try to do but not attain, thus adding to your sense of falling short."

It's like Pinterest is the quintessential angel on one shoulder and devil on the other.  It actually has given me tons of great ideas.  Easy ideas.  Attainable ideas.  I just have to be super careful that I don't set the crazy, over-the-top ideas as my plumb line.  I have to be mindful of that whisper that tells me I'm failing.  

It's all about perspective.  In other words, Pinterest ideas in moderation are okay.  Too much of a good thing--or big ideas--can be too much.

The particular pinterest point of contention right now looks something like this:

They are super cute printable Summer Bucket Lists.  Love the idea of being intentional and having a plan.  

It's just that I'm tired.  And, I have two adolescent boys.  Who are no longer occupied with splash parks or museums.  XBox is their idea of fun.  Or sleeping until noon.

So, this taunts me in that frequently heard voice telling me that this is something I should do and check off.  Don't I love to check off things on my task list?  But at the same time, I simply can't seem to get myself to do this.  One reason is my printer has been out of ink for about 27 days.  And I've yet to find the time to figure out the cartridge for the newish printer and make the big trip to Staples approximately 0.7 miles from my house.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

Why would I think I'd be able to keep up with some cutesy bucket list?

Thus, my solution is a For Real Summer Bucket List.  And no.  This blog post will not include a cutesy printable.  Maybe someday.  But not this week.  

So, here you go.  May you, too, be inspired to reach for the attainable.  Settle for being real.  Like the Velveteen Rabbit.

1.  Survive this summer sane.  Finish it with love still in my heart for my kids and long days without a schedule.

2.  Embrace these long days as a gift.  As a break from the norm of the busy school schedule.  Even if I hear the phrase, "I'm bored" approximately 312 times in a day.

3.  Control the twitching in my right eye from the piles of clothes, games and home built fort.  These are the things that come with three children who are home all summer.

4.  Don't bite my tongue in half for all the times I want to battle over the little things.  In other words--repeat this mantra.  Pick your battles, mama.  Pick your battles.

5.  Feel good about the fruit smoothie my kids will drink a couple times a week.  Mac and cheese is a vegetable, right?  And plenty of poor college kids (myself included) survive on Ramen.  At least my boys are in a cheap food phase.

6.  Talk myself off the ledge when my son announces his summer goal is to complete all the seasons of his favorite television show on  Netflix.  Goal setting is good, right?

7.  Choose memory making over tasks.  As often as possible.

8.  Repeat after me:  My child only has [fill in the blank] summers left.  Make the most of it.  For me--my oldest has 5 more before he's off to college.

9.  Don't laugh at loud at the mama wrestling a screaming toddler, crying baby, and pouty preschooler.   Remember to smile big at her and say, "Bless your heart!"  Then gloat quietly about how you've left those days behind.

10.  Remember that the 4 dozen glasses you wash in a day means you have tons of people in and out of your house.  What a blessing.

11.  Don't forget the loads and loads of laundry means you have clothes. 

12.   Think back to your own teenage angst when your teenagers cop an attitude.  Silently thank God for your parents' endurance of you.

13.   Don't do for your children what they can do for themselves.  In other words, don't do for them what you are willing to nag them to death to do.

14.   Tell yourself that their eye rolling response means at least they were listening.

15.  When you reach the point of pulling your hair out, call your empty nester friend who is grieving the quiet house.  

16.  Turn your brain from "how am I going to navigate this long day?" to "Lord, order my day!"

17.  Text or call friends who got your back.  Use them.  Often.  To laugh at the crazy.  And commiserate.  Everyone needs a P.A.M. friend.  (Prison Avoidance Ministry friend--whom you call when you begin considering criminal acts)

18.   Keep the phone in your purse or plugged in.  As much as possible.  Connect with the kids in your home more than your FB friends.

19. Yes is the right answer when your child says, "Mom, do you have a minute?"

20.  Nothing is more important than the ministry of being a mom.  Remember you are a world changer!

21.  When you doubt your mothering abilities, don't forget who put those kids in your family.  His call is undeniable.

22.  Laugh.  And play games.  Don't set a goal on how often.  Just do it when you can.

23.  Look at their baby pictures anytime you think they aren't getting what you're selling.  Remember how far they've come.

24.   Think about writing down these milestones.  Maybe even actually write them down.  Although thinking about them is also intentional.

25.    Lastly--remember that He parted the sea, spoke the world into existence, brought the dead to life.  He can certainly see you through the hardest Mom day.

I had thought about creating a top 100.  But listen--this is all about keeping it real.  So you get 25 things for your For Real Summer Bucket List.

Press on, fellow Mama. Press on.  We've got this.  Well, as I've said before--HE'S got this.  One day at a time.  

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