At the beginning of May our family decided that it was time to start working on our "Bucket Lists!" Although this isn't what we initially called it, over the past few weeks, as the family has gotten more involved, our list of things to do together has grown substantially and we've taken to calling it "The Family Bucket List!". Fortunately, there has been an added benefit and that has been finding out just how much fun these outings are and how much better we feel the rest of the week because we have enjoyed being active and we are looking forward to the following weekend.
We decided to start this weekly undertaking, earmarking every Sunday as "No computer" day. By taking the opportunity to use our Sundays more effectively.we have been getting back to spending quality time together and by doing some things that we use to do regularly when the children were younger. As my husband noted, "we aren't really living any more." Instead, we were all segregated to our own little areas of the house and summer and winter would pass while we literally ignored the events, opportunities and fun that we could be involved with instead. We were also missing out on a more active lifestyle that is important to a healthy life.
Rather than allowing yet another season to pass while we all remained relatively oblivious to it, we began writing down on a message board on our Fridge, all the things each of us would like to do over the course of the summer. We found it not only amazing that each of us had so many things we wanted to take in, but also that once we completed an outing we looked forward to the following weekend when we could choose another as well.
What benefits come from making your own list of family events?
With obesity one of the biggest threats to our children today due to the lack of activity thanks to things like TV, computers, game consoles, etc., it's important for parents to instill within them the benefits that come with being active. Certainly one day a week isn't nearly enough, but the idea is to start with one day and eventually, our children will be engaging in more activities while their computers and games are where they should be again, namely available for those too rainy or too cold or too boring days - as time wasters or boredom busters not monopolizing magnets.
Thanks to this list of events we've added some ways to get and keep fit including hiking, bowling, walking, swimming and much more. We also expand our minds by taking in museums and educational centers that allow us to not only enjoy family time but give us a few facts about things such as the space age, the prehistoric age, etc. Even though we enjoyed time at most of the museums in our area when our children were younger, we've really enjoyed the time we've spent roaming around them again now that they are older. It gives us an opportunity to see just how well they listened in school too and so far, they've impressed us with their knowledge and we've beamed with pride more than a few times. It makes for a more extensive learning opportunity for us when our children add little tidbits of information that they gleaned in classes.
Other benefits of creating and experiencing your own list
We found that once we began our weekly excursions we looked forward to the following weekend with enthusiasm and curiosity about what our next outing would actually be. We usually wait until Friday to find out what the weekend event will be and the family takes turns choosing an event. We usually do this by closing our eyes, moving our hand in a circle in front of the list and then just letting our finger fall where it may.
Surprisingly, our mood throughout the week is much more solid and we know that we have something new to look forward to yet we don't know what that will be. It adds a bit of a twist to things not knowing where we'll be or what we'll be doing but we know that we'll enjoy it.
We are gaining exercise, a more positive outlook, an interesting way to see our city and surrounding areas and most importantly we are enjoying the time we spend with each other. Of course some of the activities do cost money but many others cost nothing more than our energy. I encourage families to create their own list of things to do and get out from behind the computer or off the couch and live a little! Nothing like creating great memories and having fun doing it!