Filling Up Your Summer Bucket List

KBB_along_the_shoreAaah, summer! How I love thee. Yet, you and I (like so many other people and things that I love) have a complicated relationship. You arrive very late here in Canada. You’re not always that warm. And somehow every year I get so caught up in your splendor, so overwhelmed by the sun and sand and all of the people along the shore, that by the time I pause to take it all in it’s over, and all of the hopes and dreams that I harbored over the winter months have been dashed before I’ve even had a chance to remember what I wanted to do in the first place.

I’m not a big goal-maker, but what I do love is making lists: this year, I’m making a summer bucket list with only the super-fun awesome things that I want to get up this summer. No nasty to-dos allowed! If you want to follow along, your only homework is to enjoy yourself. Take time to relax. Do something that you’ve been putting off, or something that scares you. You don’t even have to take time off or travel to a new place or spend any money or anything. The only rule about filling your bucket list is just that- they have to be things that fill you up with joy, or are fulfilling to your soul.

Here are some of mine so far:

  1. Read, read, read. But that’s a given.
  2. Make the perfect ice cream sandwich. I figure that I’ve already made an ice cream cake; putting ice cream between two cookies can’t be that hard.
  3. Spend one day doing nothing. Seriously. I am a slave to my lists and my type-A habits; it’s hard to remember the last time I didn’t have my day super-scheduled, or the last time I did something truly spontaneous. Or not. I could just spend the day in my pajamas (which for me is practically unheard of!)
  4. Go for a picnic with my sister. There’s one particular spot that I’d love to take her too, and I experienced some health issues last summer that unfortunately caused me to spend a great deal of time indoors. I crave fresh air and sunshine, and I love spending time with my sister.
  5. Wear shorts. This is a weird one, because I have an irrational fear of shorts. Maybe it’s because every year without fail someone comments on my translucent legs. Also, how do you know when your shorts are too short? Where is the line (or in this case, the hem) drawn?

Even if you don’t complete everything you’d like to do on your summer bucket list, it’s a great exercise for the over-worked and the over-stressed to plan ahead for relaxation time. Working through big projects, figuring out tough situations, and pulling long hours all seem easier and worthwhile when we set aside actual quality time for ourselves (no chores or errands please!), and the act of writing down the ways in which you would like to spend your spare time is like a stepping stone to building a life for yourself that’s happier and more fulfilled.

Yes, I’m trying to get you to make another list. You know you want to.

KBwB-BFlower-50I’ve shared mine- now you share yours! Email me at keepingbusyb@gmail.com, tweet me, send me a picture on Instagram or comment below and tell me what your plans are for the summer. If all else fails, I’m afraid we’ll have to resort to using a carrier pigeon. Or an owl.

Bookstore Buddies

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Fact: I am the worst person in the world to go into a bookstore with. This is not an embellishment. People who know me know better than to ask if I want to go inside a bookstore if we pass one while out and about. I got into some kind of book-induced coma and literally cannot form a coherent sentence until physically removed from the store. The sight of me emerging all slack-jawed and blinking isn’t unusual. Or worse, some unfortunate bookstore employee will choose the wrong moment to engage me in conversation and will find themselves locked into an hour-long debate about whether or not it’s better to read the book before watching the movie or after. (Before. Always before.)

That’s ok, though. I actually became good friends with some of those bookstore employees; I count one of them among my closest friends because we have known each other for almost nine years. It kind of makes up for all of those friends I ended up losing after dragging them into a bookstore. (I’m kidding. Kind of.)

It’s why I was a little reluctant to tag along when my sister suggested checking out the opening of a new used bookstore just a few blocks down the street from where I live. I had visions of myself slumped over the books drooling and glassy-eyed but I figured she’s my sister, and she has to love me no matter what. Right?

It turns out, there really is such a thing as choosing a great bookstore buddy. I think I’ve finally found one in my sister. She’s the type of person who enjoys reading enough that she’s happy to spend time browsing alone while I wander zombie-like among the shelves. Being a well-read person also helps, as she was able to coax me out of my stupor once in awhile to ask a question about the book I was studying, or to show me another title she thought I would be interested in.

Best of all, my sister makes the perfect bookstore buddy because we trade virtually almost every book we read back and forth, which means that we went in on our purchases together knowing that some of our choices would compliment each other’s collections perfectly. Plus, my sister is cool enough to want to try some of the weirder, more eclectic titles that I’ve been meaning to read. In fact, she’s got a few of them of those on her wish list as well.

Even though most people shy away from a bookstore outing with me, I’m grateful my sister was brave enough to drag me out because it turned out to be a pretty great bonding experience. Trapped between shelves during a crowded bookstore opening actually got us talking- and I mean really talking- about the different books we loved, the books we wanted to love, and how much all of these different titles meant to us.

It took me years to find my perfect bookstore buddy, but I finally think I’ve found mine. She was right under my nose this whole time. But I’m sure my sister will forgive me for not noticing sooner- said nose was probably buried deep inside a book.

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Are you able to enter a bookstore like a normal person, or am I the only one with this problem? Have you found a bookstore buddy to accompany you to ensure your safety as well? Give them a shout-out by commenting below or share your most embarrassing bookstore experience by writing me at keepingbusyb@gmail.com

Want to see some of the things that I’ve been reading for the past little while? Visit what’s been on my bookshelves here, some of the non-fiction I like to review here, and if that’s not nearly enough reading for you I have a to-read list that’s like 10,000 miles long on my Goodreads profile found here.