Saturday, May 26, 2012

Create a Summer Adventure List & Start the Summer Off Right

Memorial Day weekend arrives, marking the unofficial beginning of summer.  It’s time to bring out the grill, and also time to break out the markers and a piece of paper on which to compose your Summer Adventure List. 

A great tool for keeping all your summer ideas, plans and projects front and center, a Summer Adventure List is a great way to start the season off right.  It ensures that the summer doesn’t fly by without making time for those “This summer I want to . . .” activities that can fall by the wayside once the summer is off and running.  A Summer Adventure List also means that you'll have on-hand ideas for a summer full of activities that embody good creative thinking habits: adventure, exploration and play.   

My extremely organized friend, fellow paper lover and list-maker, Danielle, gave me the idea to create a summer list several years ago when I was lamenting that the summer goes by too fast.  She mentioned that she made a list of summer time activities that she wanted to get in by the end of the season and paper-clipped it to her kitchen calendar.  Since then, I have seen the idea appear in a few places, including this month’s Better Homes and Gardens magazine where they call it a “Sand Pail List” (a clever seasonal twist on the traditional Bucket List.)

My Summer Adventure List is not exclusive to only big-deal adventures.  Rather it contains a wealth of activities and projects that I want to approach with the mentality of an adventurer—from research on a writing project to visiting local historic sites.  Adventuring, as I have written about for the Summer Challenges, is a key ingredient to creative thinking, and as a frame of mind, it allows us to remain open and curious as we observe the journey.  It can make a boring task or obligation feel fresh and new, or it can take something that feels overwhelming and foreign and make it feel approachable.

My Summer Adventure List is sometimes a traditional list and sometimes it is a mind map.  I use a list format to capture an overview of the activities I want to do, go to, or need to plan for.  I use a mind map when I also want to include summer reading and creative projects.  I often create both, keeping the list on the refrigerator as an everyday reminder and my mind map in my sketchbook, where I can cross reference it as I work.

I encourage you to take an half hour this weekend, alone or with your family, to create a Summer Adventure list.  From taking an evening walk to get ice cream to planning a day trip, any adventure, big or small, that you want to do this summer should go on the list.  Have fun creating it and make sure to leave room on your list and schedule for additional ideas for adventures that will come to you over the next several weeks of warm weather.  

Do you have a tradition of keeping a Summer Adventure List?  If so, what are some of your favorite activities to list?  For those creating their Summer Adventure List, what are some of your activities listed that you are looking forward to?

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered. – G. K. Chesterton       

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