May 27, 2013

My employer has requested “Summer Bucket Lists” from each of her children. These are to be 10 activities they would like to do before the summer dies, five just for fun, and five more accomplishment oriented. She requested that her nanny (me) submit a list also. Mercy, she’s a goalish person! I am also, but after years of making “household” goals and “personal” goals with the ones for the household winning out to the detriment of the personal, I’m having a difficult time with this. The house continually needs work and I’m tired of all of it. We get one thing fixed and something else falls apart, one mess picked up and another one sprouts in another corner, not to mention all the daily chores. And all of that has to be attended to after working all day for money. So needless to say, I could make an endless list of those types of items to take on this summer. As for fun, I have no idea what I would actually enjoy. Having fun when work is staring me in the face takes the joy out of any fun I try to have. I know that is sick, but surely someone out there has the same problem and can relate.

So here’s what I’m going to do. Right here and now I am going to make a list of ten activities I want to do this summer that have nothing to do with household chores or family members’ needs. These are just mine. Some of these will not be completed over the summer, but I want to at least make a start, so when I’m at home I can look at my list and choose one to work on for awhile, at least 30 minutes on work evenings and an hour on days off.

+ Publish a poetry book
+ Start a novel
+ Get back to learning piano
+ Work on getting my salamander picture book published
+ Write at least three decent poems for the state contest in June

+ Read great novels and other books as well
+ Learn to paint with that DVD guy with the wild hair
+ Go somewhere really dark and look at the stars
+ Go camping or on some other such cheap get-out-of-town escapade
+ Do something spontaneous with the family

I could make a couple more lists for my physical body and my spiritual life as well, but I can’t do everything at once, although I do hope to eat better, exercise more and continue daily devotions throughout the summer. I just hope these lists don’t stress me out. I have the tendency to obsess over goals to the point of misery. So won’t it be fun and an accomplishment all at the same time if I can keep that from happening? Yes!

More than half of my goals are solitary in nature, so I will have to burrow in and be my rabbit self in order to make any headway on them, but as Mark Salzman said in my writing devotional book, *A Year of Writing Dangerously* by Barbara Abercrombie:

>Writing is an ideal occupation if you’re a rabbit. It gives you an excuse to stay in your burrow all day, and it allows you to explore problems like anguish and insecurity without having to solve them. You don’t need to have peace of mind to be a writer; in fact, the more troubled you feel, the more you have to write about.

If anyone would like to join me on this summer adventure, feel free to make your own list and see how it goes. After all, as I was reminded today in a devotional by Erin Keeley Marshall, “Jesus’s gifts to us of passions and abilities are purposeful in our lives and in others’. . . . He wants to use the activities we love for His kingdom work, so be encouraged that yours are worth practicing.” That sounds like another way of stating Ephesians 2:10 to me, so I’m going for it!

Happy Summer!