Tomorrow is my first day of school, and it’s nearly Labor Day weekend, which means summer is officially over. It was a good, but busy, summer. Between getting married, moving, quitting my job, and preparing for graduate school, I am a bit tired going into the next season.
To mark the end of the season, I wanted to look back at my Summer Bucket List and see what I did end up accomplishing.
- Cook and bake: We got an ice cream maker for our wedding, and we have put it to good use. I really wanted to learn to make spaghetti from scratch, but that hasn’t happened. The fall and winter are better for baking anyway.
- Go for a long bike ride and bike to work: I haven’t biked as much as I had hoped this summer. We moved further from the main biking routes in the city, and it became more of a pain. Still, I had a couple of longer rides – nothing to Indiana – but I am satisfied with how much I did ride.
- Blog more: I have been avoiding writing lately. I have lots of writing ideas, but then I get it in my head that I need to pitch these pieces. I get scared and just never write them. I debate putting all of those pieces on to the blog, but then I wonder if it’s worth it for the six people who read the blog. What I am saying is that I am struggling with what is the purpose of writing and the joy it brings me. I am stuck in this cycle that if my writing isn’t going somewhere big it’s not worth it, but that isn’t the kind of writer I want to be. I am thinking about doing a 30-day blog challenge to just make myself write more. Stay tuned.
- Day date with Ethan and Annie to Starved Rock: We did this, and it was wonderful. It was a hoooooottttt day, but Annie loved scaling up and down the trails and splashing in the waterfalls. We went early enough that we beat the crowds and were home for a snack and a nap.
- Go camping: Haven’t done this yet, but a friend invited me to tag along on a camping trip to Michigan in September so I am planning on that. And, another friend and I are planning a bigger trip in 2019.
- Read more: I may not have earned any Pizza Hut badges, but I did read a few books this summer. My favorites include Find A Way by Diana Nyad, Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, and Born a Crime by a Trevor Noah. (I really like memoirs, I guess).
- Try Bumble Friends: I went on one friend date and talked to a few others, but no lasting connections. I think I am just going to invest more in my current friendships.
- Take steps to start a podcast: Nope. Maybe someday.
- Make kombucha: Yes! I took a class and have now made three or four batches. I love it, although I am not necessarily experimenting with flavors. I just love ginger so much.
- Explore our new neighborhood: Rogers Park is taking some getting used to, but we are liking it so far. This weekend we had brunch at a divey diner that would be a great place for daily coffee and eggs, if I was the kind of person who had a breakfast at a diner ever morning.
- Take the water taxi to Chinatown and then get dim sum: One Saturday my friend Katie and I were actually going to do this – I even bought the tickets – but it did not happen. Instead, we drank beers on my friend’s rooftop, which was highly enjoyable. It’s still on the list for the fall.
- Swim: I have fallen back in love with swimming, and I actually did some swimming in Lake Michigan this summer. I am working on a piece about that that I hope to sell or share with you all one date.
Other fun things I got to do this summer that were not on the bucket list:
- A weekend at a lake house in Wisconsin that included a lot of cheese curds, boating and, of course, Spotted Cow. Annie fell in love with the lake, and now it’s my life goal to have a vacation home in Wisconsin.
- Lots of quiet nights with my husband. I made a conscious effort a few months ago to thin my schedule, and I’ve really enjoyed having lazy evenings in which we watch TV and eat homemade ice cream.
- A long road trip to South Dakota and Minnesota. I found myself with two free weeks between ending work and starting graduate school, so Annie and I decided to drive to South Dakota. We did the first leg – 13 hours – in one day. In Pierre, I hung out with my nephews, had a mini wedding celebration, enjoyed the quietness of the Rushmore State. I drove to the Twin Cities for a few days where I watched way too much trashy TV and was a live-in nannie for my niece. It was a great break and good family time.
This was a really good summer for me. I didn’t do everything I set out to do, but I am OK with that. Fall is my favorite season, and I will likely have a new bucket list, but I get to go into September with lots of good summer memories. How was your summer? What was your favorite thing about it?