This is NOT a Bucket List

anti-bucket-300x258I don’t do bucket lists.  This is probably because I am a pessimist and I assume that if it needs to go on a “someday” list, it means it’s a “never will” list. If it’s not on a list and I get to do it?  Surprise and Yay!  But a whole list of things I wish to do seems like a set up for disappointment. Instead of looking at all the things I’ve checked off, I feel like I will always see those things that never got done.

This is really not a depressing post, I promise.

I really do love lists.

Just not “bucket” lists.

My To Do lists are everywhere: I have Wunderlist lists–both for myself and that I share with Cortney. I have lists to remember details about appointments or outings in our Cozi Calendar. I have post-it’s, a notebook, and a blog planner (mostly for all of my online tasks…not just blog stuff. I don’t have that busy of a blog life).  I have an “All Out Of” list which births a grocery list every week.  I have a literal “laundry” list on my dryer of what loads I do on what days. I have a lesson plan book and various class lists to keep track of various things.

Anyway, what I’m saying is that it’s not like I’m afraid of lists.

I just don’t like Bucket Lists.

I see them all over Pinterest and other people’s blogs…the creative, over-the-top AWESOME that people are going to do with their kids.  Or the childhood memories they want to create with their kids.

I’m not a crabby mom, I promise, I just can’t commit to things like “lay out under the stars” or “catch fireflies” or “take a road trip to another state” or “pack up the family for a picnic in a grassy area we’ve never been before”.

Call me a pessimist or a terrible mom or just a realist, but I cannot romantically put these things on a list To Do.  For one, if these things are on a list? They lose their charm…their excitement.  I’m pretty sure my parents never had “go for a Sunday drive” on any sort of Bucket List (and if I am being honest with my memory from my childhood, I wish NOT going on any Sunday Drives was actually on their list. I get carsick.  They never learned).

And secondly, I know my children. If some night I decide we are checking “lay out under the stars” off our bucket list, all hell will break lose and I will end up crying because NO ONE WILL JUST LIE DOWN AND GAZE IN AWE AT THE UNIVERSE.  There will be over-tired children because it doesn’t even get dark until over 2 hours after their bedtime.  There will be a stressed out OCD mother who is freaking her freak because everything isn’t like a children’s book in the backyard. And I am sure their will be mosquitoes and husbandly eye-rolls.

So instead of a Bucket List for the summer, I give you my Anti-Bucket List or Probably To Do’s:

  1. Leave the house property twice once a week. Not counting the day the boys are in daycare, I just want to get them away from our house once a week. It doesn’t have to be an ALL CAPS SUPER AWESOME OUTING (but it could be). I’ll take Target or the Farmer’s Market.
  2. Maybe try a craft with Eddie.  I won’t get all pinteresty up in here, since I count coloring in his Sponge Bob Coloring book and then letting him cut it up with his safety scissors as a craft, so take this one however you want.
  3. Treat ourselves to treats. We will make ice cream and eat it, and maybe that one time out of the house during the week will be to Starbucks.  Cake pops for everyone!
  4. Teach Eddie responsibility.  He’s going to clean up his own messes because he is almost four and REALLY.
  5. See some animals. Eddie and Charlie get to go to the Critter Barn with daycare in a couple weeks, but I hope to see some animals with them this summer too.  Last summer we did the Critter Barn and three different zoos.  One zoo I prefer not to remember.
  6. Read. By myself. With Eddie.  With Charlie.  Teaching Eddie some sight words.  Maybe even Cort will read something that is not in his Maximum PC Magazine.  Ha ha ha…yeah right.
  7. Sit. Self explanatory.
  8. Play. Oh there will be fun had.  What that fun will look like, I have no idea, but it will be had.
  9. Write stuff. I’ll keep writing here if nothing else…but probably something else.

I know you can’t tell from this post, but I don’t begrudge anyone else for having Bucket Lists.  Some people make ’em and check stuff off ’em like a boss.  Then they share the pictures of the fireflies and the crafts and I see the smiling faces of their kids and I am glad.  The world needs people like that.

I am not like that.  But I think the world needs me too.

Are you a Bucket List person?  You can tell me.  You can even tell me what’s on it.  I won’t think less of you.  In fact, I’ll probably be all kinds of impressed.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I kid you not when I say that I just posted ours today. I don’t think it has to be all magical and fairy tale. It just gives them something to look forward to or ideas when it feels like we need something to do. Some are even things on your ‘not list’ but totally is a list.

  2. I am not a bucket list type person. I’ve never ever written one for any reason/ objective and probably never will. My reasons are the same as yours. I even wrote a list of things I will NEVER EVER do, just to get THAT out of the way.

    I think your list is awesome and totally doable!

  3. This is totally my kind of list! Sounds like you have a successful summer “planned”.

  4. I am a list maker, but not a gotta do this before I die or life has been meaningless person. I think my list would be similar to yours: normal stuff that I hope to get to eventually. And, well, that’s it.

  5. I keep a folder/list of “fun ideas.” Because every once in a while when the stars align and there’s not a kids’ sporting event, etc. we’re all looking at each other wondering what to do on a given day. I just whip out my handy dandy folder and we pick something.

    I guess I kind of have a bucket list in my head of things I “MUST” do some day. But it’s tempered with realism. I would love to run the Great Wall of China marathon. Probably not going to happen.

    But I’m also very lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, so if I never end up doing any of my “big” things — I know I’ve taken full advantage of what the area has to offer.

    RE: your list: Definitely sounds “do-able” — and will make for a fun and relaxing summer (I hope!). I’ve never been a hang out at the house person. If I haven’t gotten out of the house by 10am, I get rather anxious. (Even if it’s just a walk/run, trip to the grocery store, etc.). So your first point on the list kind of gave me the heebie jeebies — that it wasn’t a daily “given.” (I know, I know clausetrophic much?!)

    Have a great one!

  6. Thank you for helping Moms take some pressure
    off ourselves.

  7. Nope, no bucket lists for me.

    I also think these kinds of things are for people with older kids. It’s hard to do that stuff with toddlers!

    Plus, we are just a more spontaneous family, like we just planned a trip to New Orleans for an overnight yesterday! Yeah…

    And I laughed at your line about laying down and gazing at the UNIVERSE! HA HA HA! (because I can relate)

  8. TheNextMartha says

    I don’t do bucket lists either. I like snippets of time to culminate into their own special event. Doesn’t need to be planned to be memorable.

  9. I love #9 and when you learn the secret to #4, please pass it on!! Have an awesome summer, yo.

  10. I’m the same way. I did go through our county parks list again and make a list of the ones I want to try since we have around 100 in our area. That helps because I want to try out a new one or go to one at least once a week and I can have easy access to it in my phone for when we may be out and about and need to run off some energy NOWWWWW. For our sanity we need to leave our house daily. I really wanted to go to the two children’s museums that we are in between and we did one already for a bday party and the other one I will do later this summer and I want to either go to Lansing to a zoo or to the Detroit Zoo. And camping more than our yearly weekly excursion to Higgins Lake. Hoping for a UP trip this year. But I can’t dare write that on a list or it won’t happen. ;P

  11. This is my kind of list. I am the same way with bucket lists. It is just a list of things I have failed to ever do. I am much more comfortable with a probably do list.

  12. Love your list. I’m a bit of a Bucket List person myself. I did one for the holidays and one for AZ before we moved. It helps me organize a little so I remember the things I want to do when I have some time but can’t quite remember what I wanted to do. 😉 That said, I don’t usually manage to cross everything off and I try to add a few spontaneous things in their pace. I’m a planner by nature but also don’t want life to feel *too* scheduled.


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