I started during Spring Break. I got out my trusty notebook and colorful pens and made my summer to-do list. I know some people might argue that making a summer to-do list two months in advance is wishing my life away. Maybe so.
Or maybe … I’m getting a jump start on everything I need to get done and want to get done so I can prioritize and maximize my time in the best way possible.
Who am I kidding? It’s so I won’t forget what all I want and need to get done.
The first on my list is my reading list. Oh sure, Goodreads is a great place to keep track of my quintessential To Be Read list. And I do use Goodreads quite a bit for that very reason. But, when I make my summer reading list, I pull the titles that will be fun and light and deep and meaningful and guiltless and mandated and … well, I just pull the titles I really want to read so I can talk about them the rest of the school year when I don’t have time to read anything but classroom newsletters.
Next, I create my Home List. This is the summer the linen closet will get cleaned plum out, friends. Those of you who have followed my summer to-do list know that every year, cleaning out the linen closet gets its own special line, written in green for a fresh, clean space, in all caps because it’s just that important. And every year, the linen closet is neglected and my green-inked line never does get a check mark beside it or a black Sharpie line drawn through it. It’s a tough one, but I feel confident that this is the year it’ll happen. Or maybe it won’t. Shrug. I don’t know.
Also added to my Home List is to mop the kitchen floor. It stays swept. Mostly. Mopping is a different beast during the school year. If I am home long enough to actually mop it, then that means others will be home and without any time passing at all, the floor will actually have footprints on it from people I live with (read: my family) who will take three steps onto the wet floor then stop and asking, “Did you mop?” before continuing to walk on the floor. So, one day this summer is devoted to mopping. Just one day. I’m not Martha Stewart, for goodness sakes. Any more days of mopping and I’d just come across as snooty.
I make a shopping list because in the summer I plan on going to farmers markets every time the local farmers pick a radish (for salads), a cucumber (for sun pickles) or harvest honey (for my sweet tooth). I’m also going to hit up the thrift stores for cheap sheets that I can turn into summer picnic blankets and possibly a picnic basket so we will have something to do on those summer picnic blankets I’m going to make. (Yeah, I know, when it’s not picnic season I’ll be tossing those suckers in the linen closet … but this is the year I’ll actually clean it out, remember?)
Finally, I create my Have Loads of Fun list. Since last August, right after we bought school supplies, I started my Have Loads of Fun Next Summer Pinterest board. I’ve pinned three different ways to make homemade bubbles. One of them hails from the UK. We’re going to get fancy this summer and make bubbles from British dish soap instead of Dawn. I’m sure those bubbles will be so much fancier than the three bottles of bubbles I could buy for a dollar at the dollar place. I’ve also excitedly pinned a method for making a Crockpot meal outside in the fire pit. Ahhhh … doesn’t it seem lovely to stand out in the 100-degree weather whilst cooking a foil-covered meal instead of standing in an air conditioned kitchen making a PB & J? Wait. Don’t answer that.
So, as we stand at the dawn of summer, June’s freshness beckoning us to jump full- heartedly into the season, I hold my notebook in my excited and eager little hands, ready to be productive and take advantage of all that the most precious time of the year has to offer us. I flip through the five, six, 10, 12, 20, wait …29 (29?!) pages of my book and realized that in order for me to complete my summer lists, I’m going to need more than three months.
Do you think we could get a reprieve on school starting until at least next March?
Heather Davis is an Oklahoma momma, writer and lover of all things summer. She is the author of "Life with Extra Cheese" and her new book "Mondays with My Daughter" is available through Amazon. You can contact her through her website, www.Heather-Davis.net.