When school let out for the summer, my kids had lots of plans for what they wanted to do (or not do). Their dreams were pretty simple…. swim every day! stay up past midnight and then sleep late! hang out with my friends all day!
My summer lists were more about the “to-do” things… cleaning out the garage. Cleaning out the closets. Getting rid of clothes the kids have outgrown. Prepping and packing for vacation (although – celebration! – last year the kids packed for themselves for the first time, which cut about A HUNDRED HOURS from my trip prep).
As I listened to my kids plan their summers, and saw my friends’ kids graduating and now starting college and nervously dreaming about their futures, I thought – we all need some dreams in our lives. Our “to-do” lists can quickly crowd out our “wish” lists, and it’s important to keep a good balance.
Last year my niece (age 6) made a list of things she wants to do before she “turns 100” (and, kudos to her teacher for not fully explaining “bucket list”):
(For those of you who don’t decipher 6-year-old language, that’s Get a Dog, Go Ice Skating, Swim with a Dolphin, Buy a Car, See a Lion, Be a Nurse, Go to the Beach and Get a Job.)
My 13-year-old was inspired to a similar list, and some of her wishes surprised me (mainly because they didn’t include “spend more time on Instagram than any other living human ever”):
- Visit every continent.
- Live in NYC.
- Go skydiving.
- Learn to surf.
- Meet all my favorite celebrities.
- Speak fluent French.
- Go on mission trips around the world.
- Be in a movie or TV show.
- Fly first class.
- Fall in love.
And guess what? She got to try #4… surfing… this summer! Who knew?
So where is my wish list? Buried somewhere I guess, under car pool schedules and sports physical forms and volunteer commitments and school calendars. (Does… I wish I had more time to make a wish list count as a wish?)
So I made myself sit down and actually write out a few fun wishes for summer and fall, and then I made actual time on my actual calendar for them (see Shannon’s post on Planning in Blue & White).
I have only recently realized how important this is… Making the time. You hear a lot about “me” time for women or moms and that always sounds vaguely selfish and indulgent to me. But trying new things and keeping a dream list and carving out time for something new (yoga class) or something fulfilling (30 quiet minutes with coffee and a journal) does immeasurable good.
So Catie got to surf and I’m going to buy my niece a dog (just kidding – I’m seeing if her parents are actually reading this). And me? I’m visiting two places that I’ve always wanted to see before the end of the year, with some of my favorite people. I wrote them on the calendar and booked the time away, so it has to happen. Goal for fall… A wish list that doesn’t get completely lost in a stack of to-do lists. 🙂