Bucket Lists Do Not Need to be Huge

I think one reason I always kind of roll my eyes at the bucket lists made up on pretty paper everywhere for summer, fall, and every holiday in between is because they are so large and overwhelming to me.  And yes, I know rolling my eyes at your bucket list of fun is not very nice.  I never said I was very nice all of the time.   Sometimes I even turn into that green-eye rolling monster because I want to be able to make a fun, pretty bucket list full of stuff we’re going to go off and do as a family.  The truth is a lot of the stuff on those lists ends up being stuff I want to do that ultimately ends up in one of those, “we are GOING to have fun RIGHT NOW because I SAID SO” kind of outings.  Tell me your family has those experiences as well?

Still all those bucket lists can get to a mom especially when she’s writing a blogging series on Putting the Family First and talking about giving a few extra minutes to family together.  She thinks, “I know our family should all sit down together and create a fall bucket list!”  She thinks this but goes with another approach.  It goes like this:

Ask the 12-year-old what fun fall things he wants us to do this year.  He gives one of those bored, “I don’t really know” (or care) kind of answers.  Get frustrated.  Start talking about how he is NOT going to spend the fall playing X-box all the time and then, go into full tirade about how his grades need some improvement (Did I recently write a post about how well things were going in middle school?  Yeah, middle school stuff changes as often as an adolescent’s moods.)

Ask the 8-year-old same question.  Get some confusing reply about not understanding what I mean and is dinner ready yet.  Know when to put dinner ahead of asking questions.  Let it go.

So let me just confess that last night after writing that whole post on giving extra time, I may have been a bit selfish and insisted that I was going to watch Revolution, not sit at the dinner table while a certain 8-year-old did his homework.  He wanted company not help or so I thought.  Then, when I figured out he did need help, I made the 12-year-old help so I could keep watching the show.  And the bad mom award goes to….

Feeling a bit guilty later, I said we could draw pictures again.  I tried a new more casual approach by asking about fall fun while I was drawing leaves.  J said he wanted to do experiments this fall.  Okay.  I said I wanted to go to a corn maze.  I had J go ask his dad the same question, then clarified it was “family” fall fun when the answer was to go hunting.  We modified the answer to be go camping.  I tried again with G.  Twelve is tough.   I eventually answered family movie night and game night for him.

Our Fall Fun bucket list is not huge as it only contains 6 items (I added a couple of those we WILL HAVE FUN doing this items because I just couldn’t help myself.) so I feel as if it is quite manageable.  Want to see the front and back of the final list?  Please ignore my atrocious handwriting!

The front of my fall fun list.

The front of my fall fun list.

A nice short "bucket" list for fall over here.

A nice short “bucket” list for fall listed on the back.

The make pumpkin pie and go apple picking are my two extra additions.  I won’t exactly cry if we don’t get to do those but I think they would be fun.  Make pumpkin pie means from a real pumpkin that we maybe went to pick out at a pumpkin patch as opposed from the front of Hy-Vee like we usually end up doing.

The chess tournament started last night as the boys quickly saw a chance to delay bedtime and pounced on it!  It was so refreshing to see them doing something other than a computer game that I let them play one game (J won, I think) stating I would play the winner this morning.  Of course, late to bed did not mean early to rise so I’ll play the winner sometime today.

What is your stance on “bucket lists” like this?  Do you make them?  Decorate and display them?  Despise them?




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10 thoughts on “Bucket Lists Do Not Need to be Huge

  1. Andrea @ thedistractedhousewife

    I have a love hate relationship with bucket lists. I always get these grand aspirations and get so excited. Then the next thing I know the season is over and I’ve lost my opportunity. Then I’m mad at myself for wasting an entire season. Due to this repeated issue I had decided to skip the bucket list this year. However this post may have changed my mind. Maybe I can keep it simple this year.
    Andrea @ thedistractedhousewife recently posted..31 Days Of Cleaning with Young Children: ChoicesMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      I think that is exactly what happens to me with the whole bucket list thing. I’m hoping this shorter list will help keep it so we actually do the things and have fun.

  2. Hannah @Supermommy!...Or Not

    I made a summer bucket list, determined to fully enjoy this past summer with my kids because last summer I was pregnant and huge and miserable and the most boring mom ever because all I could do was lay on the couch in the air conditioned house. Except that right after I made our summer bucket list, I got pregnant again and had morning sickness all summer. Next summer, I’ll have a newborn. I’m calling it quits on bucket lists for a few years.
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    1. Jean Post author

      I’m pretty sure kids don’t care about a bucket list and manage to have lots of fun without one.

  3. Kristy

    I am for bucket lists when they help people have fun, but I’m afraid a lot of them turn into stress-increasers for moms. Stress over something that the rest of the family maybe doesn’t really know exists anyway. My grand big huge bucket list is always for the month of December. There are definitely Christmas actions I “can’t do without.” Our homeschool is almost entirely Christmas-oriented for that month. We get through quite a bit of it. Then, in terms of thinking about bucket lists, I am exhausted for the rest of the year. I just don’t have the same amount of energy for any other holiday. 😉
    Kristy recently posted..A Doctor’s Running AdviceMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      Maybe that’s the idea…just one bucket list for the entire year! I do think you have a point about them adding to the stress.

  4. Kristy

    Ooh, but I just remembered a short, unofficial, personal bucket list I have for fall. It is only kept in my head. 😉 1.) Run a race. (It’s a Halloween-themed one and my son is running the fun run, so that’ll be family-oriented.) 2.) Replace our warm-weather clothing with cold-weather clothing and store the warm-weather stuff. (Obviously, the most important part of this, getting out warm clothes to wear, will happen whether I put it on a list or not, but I actually really enjoy doing it. Won’t be cool enough until November, so I also have to wait a good long while to do it.) 3.) Knit some mittens for the kids and some assorted Christmasy things.
    Kristy recently posted..A Doctor’s Running AdviceMy Profile

    1. Jean Post author

      I bet a Halloween-themed race would be fun. They had some sort of zombie race around here not too long ago that I thought looked kind of fun. I like your short, unofficial list 🙂

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