Summer recap

So, I never wound up building the dollhouse, which I put on my 2020 Summer Fun List. I had grand designs to build one with my daughter, and I bought a kit, and a card table to support the construction, and the appropriate glue but…that is it.

It’s not the only unfinished project as the calendar clicks over to September tomorrow. I started a 500-piece puzzle from Floret Farm a few months ago and it’s still sitting half-done on the dining room table.

I’m still tracking my time (as I have since April 2015) and so I have some ideas about why these projects didn’t happen.

For starters, my leisure time is fragmented. This is always the case with a baby, and so it’s easier just to pick up the phone and scroll instead of doing other things. I’m tired from the middle-of-the-night wake-ups, so “effortful” fun seems like, well, effort. And work has been busier than I thought it would be. While the disappearance of my conference-speaking business would theoretically open up time (no flight cancelations causing long delays at O’Hare!) I always manage to fill it, in this case with a new podcast and book that I’ve been promoting.

On the other hand, I did do some stuff on the summer fun list. We’ve gone on lots of family walks. I did another 8-mile run. I took the kids in the pool around 4 p.m. most days when we were home. I’ve gone outside after dinner many a night and taken my coffee outside in the morning. We spent several weeks at the beach, and ate lots of ice cream. I ate a lot of Rita’s gelati too. We went strawberry picking, and peach picking and blueberry picking. And the baby is eating lots of food! I have only been gone from him three times this summer that would require a feeding (recording my audio book, going boating/fishing for a day, and driving back early from the beach to get a root canal…) but hey.

I never did develop a signature cocktail. Maybe there is time tonight?

If you made a summer fun list, how did you do on it?

Photo: Taking my coffee outside, at the beach

8 thoughts on “Summer recap

  1. I was inspired by your lists so I had the kids make one. We did pretty well on it. There were some items requiring a lot of parental effort (like camping) but the kids loved that. The only thing we never did was go to a water park. We did spend plenty of money on regular amusement parks though. We had berry picking on the list but I ended up doing it alone when the kids preferred to sleep in. Oh well…

  2. I just have to let you know how presently surprised I was to see you give a short talk in a Thrively assignment that was used in my 7th grade study skills class. Since I have read all of your books and am a regular reader of your blog, it really enhanced the discussion with the students. I emphasized how you talked about planning for fun and not just homework. Usually the kids say sleep or nothing when I ask what they did over the weekend. Not today! They had gone hiking, made a cake for mom, fishing to the beach! I am glad to see you had an impact on them. Keep up the good work!

  3. All 4 of my boys played select baseball. The season got pushed back to the summer, so I feel like we didn’t get to do most of the fun things we usually do in the summer. We pretty much just went to baseball games. We did go to a floating playground on a lake and got Hawaiian ice a few times from the place in our neighborhood.

  4. I didn’t really make a “summer fun list”. I meant to, but then…I didn’t. 🙂 We did a good amount of fun summer stuff anyway. I always try to make sure we have a few bonfires, go on some bike rides, go on plenty of walks, etc. In terms of special stuff, we went up to Upper Michigan which was amazing, plus just got back from a week at the beach. We had an extended stay at my parent’s for the 4th of July. Overall, I feel pretty good about it all. I also spent many mornings on our deck and went on a walk almost every single morning (weekdays) with my husband. Maybe I’ll try for an official winter fun list, or Christmas season fun list. Happy to see you back blogging- missed your posts!

  5. My list (abbreviated) and how I did:
    Summer fun list:
    1. Visit each of our local county parks for a walk/hike. Mostly successful. I have been to all but 2 of our local Burlington County parks. Really enjoyed them and visited several multiple times. Did not make it to Estell Manor Park in Atlantic County or the Forsythe Refuge. Too hot or too rainy- maybe in the fall…
    2. Go to the beach during the week. I’ve had an annual tradition of taking a by myself beach journey to Long Beach Island one weekday in June. Made it there again, and made it to Stone Harbor with my husband 3 times. I suddenly realized that before I semi-retired in March, we had about the same frequency of visits. With the pandemic this year, we were trying to avoid weekends, and work unfortunately intervened for me on some of the other nicer days.
    3. Plow through the piles of books on my bookshelf and groaning nightstand. Success! The nightstand is still groaning, but I have made a dent in the books I own, and my Paperback Swap wishlist is down to 375 from my original list of 300. Read “The New Corner Office” in an evening. Really enjoyed it.
    4. Visit my sister’s Outer Bank beach house over 4th of July weekend. Went very well, although it was really just another place to socially distance, albeit with a beach to visit a block away.
    5. Grab ice cream at our 2 favorite local places that are only open in the summer (Evergreen Dairy on Route 70 and Maple Shade Custard). I also hope to visit our much-beloved Springer’s in Stone Harbor, NJ if we can get there during the week and the customary lines are not out the door. Success! I think this says something about my priorities………
    6. Visit the outdoor Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ if they open. We had plans to head there with friends in April which we had to cancel due to the pandemic. Failure. Our friends have been having elder care issues, but I think the Grounds for Sculpture would be lovely in the fall.
    7. Continue trying out new recipes. Success! I used the bounty from our garden and our CSA membership. I even made homemade pickles.
    8. Continue daily exercise. Success! 10 pounds lighter with increased exercise and eating lots more fruit and veggies, with ice cream thrown in.
    9. Continue supporting our local restaurants with takeout, and maybe journey into Philadelphia once in a while to do the same. Success, although we stayed local and only ventured into Philadelphia twice for takeout. Only have done restaurant takeout so far, although we bravely tried 2 local craft beer places (Forbidden Boardwalk and Devil’s Creek) that did a great job with social distancing and cleaning. We are heading to Maine for 2 1/2 weeks, so we hope to try out outdoor dining while there. Hope the lobster pounds are still open.
    10. Mull over whether or not I want to start a blog. Failure. Work and inertia intervened. Maybe someday, but work has to slow down first.

  6. My list (abbreviated) and how I did:
    Summer fun list:
    1. Visit each of our local county parks for a walk/hike. Mostly successful. I have been to all but 2 of our local Burlington County parks. Really enjoyed them and visited several multiple times. Did not make it to Estell Manor Park in Atlantic County or the Forsythe Refuge. Too hot or too rainy- maybe in the fall…
    2. Go to the beach during the week. I’ve had an annual tradition of taking a by myself beach journey to Long Beach Island one weekday in June. Made it there again, and made it to Stone Harbor with my husband 3 times. I suddenly realized that before I semi-retired in March, we had about the same frequency of visits. With the pandemic this year, we were trying to avoid weekends, and work unfortunately intervened for me on some of the other nicer days.
    3. Plow through the piles of books on my bookshelf and groaning nightstand. Success! The nightstand is still groaning, but I have made a dent in the books I own, and my Paperback Swap wishlist is down to 375 from my original list of 300. Read “The New Corner Office” in an evening. Really enjoyed it.
    4. Visit my sister’s Outer Bank beach house over 4th of July weekend. Went very well, although it was really just another place to socially distance, albeit with a beach to visit a block away.
    5. Grab ice cream at our 2 favorite local places that are only open in the summer (Evergreen Dairy on Route 70 and Maple Shade Custard). I also hope to visit our much-beloved Springer’s in Stone Harbor, NJ if we can get there during the week and the customary lines are not out the door. Success! I think this says something about my priorities………
    6. Visit the outdoor Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ if they open. We had plans to head there with friends in April which we had to cancel due to the pandemic. Failure. Our friends have been having elder care issues, but I think the Grounds for Sculpture would be lovely in the fall.
    7. Continue trying out new recipes. Success! I used the bounty from our garden and our CSA membership. I even made homemade pickles.
    8. Continue daily exercise. Success! 10 pounds lighter with increased exercise and eating lots more fruit and veggies, with ice cream thrown in.
    9. Continue supporting our local restaurants with takeout, and maybe journey into Philadelphia once in a while to do the same. Success, although we stayed local and only ventured into Philadelphia twice for takeout. Only have done restaurant takeout so far, although we bravely tried 2 local craft beer places (Forbidden Boardwalk and Devil’s Creek) that did a great job with social distancing and cleaning. We are heading to Maine for 2 1/2 weeks, so we hope to try out outdoor dining while there. Hope the lobster pounds are still open.
    10. Mull over whether or not I want to start a blog. Failure. Work and inertia intervened. Maybe someday, but work has to slow down first.
    Looking forward to your Fall list! And glad I read the comments on the original post-now I am a Grateful Kate reader.

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