Summer: The Certain Cure for Mom Funk

As much as I hate to admit it, I have found myself in a funk. This Monday, I woke up and realized that it was summer. I had hardly realized it was spring. The sun has been out for what must be months now, and we haven’t had any picnics in the park after work. We are still eating dinners inside. I left cookie dough in the fridge and completely forgot it was there. This is bad.

I can’t let summer go by like this. I’ve tried to think of how it happened and why but can’t seem to come up with any good answers. I can’t even quite pinpoint what the symptoms are. So I forced myself to stop for a minute and think about it. I’ve had a particularly long string of bad luck with large-ticket items breaking, including the washing machine, garage door, lawn mower, and car radio system. My cat had a short and annoying stint in the local animal jail, and I had lost the main piece to my favorite necklace. But, I really can’t say that is even the trigger. When I look back at the last couple of months that I can’t seem to remember, the general feeling I have is an overwhelming sense that I just can’t catch up. In work, with chores, life tasks, parenting, and just life in general, I am behind. I’ve been saying it for weeks. Apparently months.

Then I realized, I have seen this type of funk before. Last year, my mom made the decision to retire and promptly lost all ability to organize her life. She had no work yet always complained of the lack of hours in the day. She had a million things she wanted to do, yet strangely suddenly had no time. It was fascinating. She assured me that she had friends who had experienced the same symptoms. Luckily she had a 60th birthday coming up and after a couple months of ambling around, she committed to creating a 60th birthday bucket list. A list of 60 new things that she had never done before to complete between her 59th and 60th years. She blogs about the experience at Out Of Work Editor. It has been a lot of fun experiencing with her and reading about the things that she has done this year, and although there are still some complaints about lack of time, the list has seemed to provide some direction to her retirement transition.

bucket-1005891_960_720So, I am borrowing the idea. If a bucket list can assist my mom through a life transition then it can certainly help me out of a silly, purposeless funk. While I don’t have an important birthday coming up, it is summer and that is a terrible thing to waste. Not to mention Lesley had just shared with me a list of 50 things to do with kids in our town. Perfect. A summer bucket list. While I really don’t expect to get through all 50, I do think that I can manage at least 20 things between now and the end of the summer. My list strays from my mom’s idea as it is mainly things that we do every summer. But, they are our important things. The things that if the summer went past and they didn’t happen we would regret it. I’ve included some new things, though, and some things that are just for me. After all, a mom is more than the sum of her offspring.

  1. Attend all the half-price days at our local children’s museum (every first Friday of the month).
  2. Teach Riley how to ride her bike.
  3. Go to every park in our town and have a picnic.
  4. Go to St. Louis (this one is cheating a little bit since it’s already planned).
  5. Spend every Saturday morning on the front porch.
  6. Attend all of the concerts put on in our local park.
  7. Go to the Little Africa Wildlife Viewing Area. 
  8. Spend a day at Brown County State Park.
  9. Go to the Indianapolis Zoo.
  10. Eat ice cream. Every Sunday.
  11. Go to the fair.
  12. Practice our tie-dying skills.
  13. Stay up for the 4th of July fireworks.
  14. Go to both of the local lake beaches at least once.
  15. Eat on the deck at least two times a week.
  16. Go to at least two farmer’s markets.
  17. Make homemade ice cream.
  18. Run a 5K.
  19. Take a daytrip to Nashville (a local artsy town).
  20. Learn a new picnic recipe.