So What’s on Your Summer Punch List?

Oh, summer. Every year it comes and goes, and I once again fail to do the things I wanted to do. I’m not even talking about big, arduous chores either; I’m talking about fun things that I tell myself every winter I will definitely be doing once the weather warms up. Farmers markets! Beach trips! Museums and shows! The punch list is extensive, and following each item would surely result in the Best Summer Ever.

But every year, I fall way short of the mark, and every fall I end up trying to cram a few of my summery activities in while the weather’s still nice. (Insider’s note: September is actually the best month for the beach because it’s less crowded and the water’s still warm!) I think that may be why fall’s my favorite season: it’s just a little more forgiving than summer.

Part of the problem is, you know, “society” in general. (Isn’t it just always?) Despite the fact that the vast majority of human beings still have to go to work several times a week throughout the months of July and August, we’re constantly reminded that it’s summer! We all act like summer still means to us now what it did when we were kids. Well, it doesn’t. You can save up your vacation time for a big summer trip, and you can commute to the beach every dang weekend, but it’s still not the same, is it?

Still, I think the indefatigable nature of the human spirit means that summer punch lists will persist, and I hope they do. Despite my general failure to accomplish all of mine, I think it at least gives me something to shoot for. I love fall, and I love the first month of winter, but I hate the first three months of the year so much it makes me feel terrible about all the people I love who have birthdays then. (This past January, I actually stopped in the middle of the sidewalk on an unimaginably cold and windy night on the way to someone’s birthday and threw a little temper tantrum in which I cursed both the skies themselves and his parents for giving birth to him when they did.) If I didn’t have something to look forward to, I don’t think I could continue to live in the cruel weather patterns of the American Northeast.

Anyway, I won’t reveal my entire punch list here in order to shield myself from the inevitable shame when I fail to accomplish my fun goals, but I will share one thing because I’m probably going to write a post about it when I’m done. (Woo, accountability!) I am going to visit the oldest building in each of New York City’s five boros. I was born in New York and spent part of my childhood in the ‘burbs around here, but I just moved back here last year after a several-year absence. Part of my goal with this particular task is to get back in touch with the city I call home but could definitely stand to get to know a little better. Also, I really like history.

So, if you’ve got a summer punch list, good for you! I wish you the best of luck in accomplishing your goals, and feel free to share them here. We can do it, people! This can be our Best Summer Ever!

Photo: Getty

3 thoughts on “So What’s on Your Summer Punch List?”

  1. I always feel like Summer and Winter are never ending; once they get started it feels like you’ll never be cool/warm ever again. But, having the best holiday breaks helps actually make them my favorites! LawToddler was born at the end of July, and we’ve decided every year we’ll take “Birthday Week” off and celebrate. This and last year are/were just a bunch of day trips to the baseball game, the beach, the pool, the children’s museum, etc., but as he gets older we’ll do more fun, long trip stuff. Oooh, and this year we’ll be partying at Sesame Place (you know ya’ll are jealous).

    Also, being a grown-up and finally getting in to the dermatologist for the super fun skin check…so summer is about fun AND responsibility here.

  2. Since about my sophomore year of college the BFF and I have made a summer bucket list, of things to do before the summer kicks the bucket . Each year we start around April and actually write out a list . Over the years we’ve come up with a disappointment proof system come Fall. We add equal parts:
    1.) Fun stuff we normally wouldn’t do [take a tour of an old mansion]
    2.)“Lame” stuff we would be doing anyway [ drink sangria out on the porch]
    3.) Crazy things that would only happen if we are very lucky / when we win the lottery[ Spend a month in Hawaii has been on the list every year].
    That way we have an excuse for why everything wasn’t done and can check stuff off the list almost immediately.

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