Day #329: Summer Must List

I took a few days off for the holiday weekend to recharge my batteries.  This meant hanging around the pool with my family, eating far too much and lazily thumbing through magazines.  Isn’t that what the ‘lazy days of summer’ are all about?!  Speaking of summer, thank goodness for its unofficial start!  I can’t begin to tell you how ready I was to slow things down just a bit.  In fact, in one of those magazines I was reading, a couple of celebrities were talking about their summer “must” lists.  It made me start thinking of my own list.  I thought it would be a little bit more fun than that ‘bucket list’ that I wrote about once before, because it’s just full of fun things to look forward to over the next 12 weeks or so.  With money foremost on my mind these days, I thought I would also see how I could keep the costs down on these ‘musts’.  That will be a challenge for sure!

  1. Swim.  I’ve mentioned many times before that I absolutely love to swim.  I honestly think it’s because when I’m in the water, no one can talk to me or ask me to do anything.  It’s just me alone with my thoughts.  Not counting play time with the kids, I’m swimming about three times per week right now.  That kind of schedule demands (for me at least) a decent wardrobe of bathing suits and I am dying for a few new ones to add to the rotation.  Unfortunately, the training suits that I like cost about $75 each which is a little steep.  Fortunately, I found a great site ( that offers ‘grab bags’.  All you do is choose the brand and size and they will choose the pattern and design.  This is SO unlike me to let someone choose what I will wear, but I figured it’s time to live a little and at $19.95 for a Tyr two-piece training suit, just how bad could it be?
  2. Dance.  OK.  I’m the first to admit that I’m not a dancer by any stretch of the imagination, but there is something about summertime that just makes you want to get out and shake your backside a little bit.  In my hometown, summer was about backyard parties, street festivals and outdoor concerts.  I can’t remember when my summer included ANY of those things, but it doesn’t hurt to dream, right?  Unfortunately, I have been ‘Googling’ like crazy and can’t find a decent concert coming anywhere near me.  Oh well, I’m not giving up hope on this one just yet!  I might have to head to my hometown in July, so I’m sure that if I put the word out to my friends, we can arrange a party.  Plus, we can probably do it much cheaper than say, floor seats at Prince’s 21 Nights concert.  That’s what friends are for, right?
  3. Read.  I’m determined to use this summer to do some pleasure reading.  I never seem to get all the way through a book these days.  I recently read an article in Business Week about Tyler Cowen, an economics professor at George Mason University who ‘reads’ about 20+ books at a time.  Some he only skims and others he ‘liberates’ after just a few pages, but he has an incredible depth of knowledge that appears to have served him well.  I don’t think I’m up for that kind of challenge, but surely I can read at least one or two books this summer, can’t I?  I’m seriously thinking of finally tackling Pride and Prejudice this year.  If you want to challenge yourself as well, one place to start is  It’s a great site for book reviews that you can share with friends and family and get ideas about what books might fit your interests.  You and your friends can rate the books you’ve read and even form online book clubs.  I only have one GoodReads ‘friend’ right now, so if you sign up (it’s free), please be my friend!
  4. Meditate.  Sometimes it seems as if we get so caught up in the chaos of our daily lives that we forget to slow things down and appreciate the beauty and ‘awesomeness’ of all of the little things around us.  I know I am guilty of that quite often.  Sunday, I was on an early morning bike ride and that realization smacked me in the face.  We are so quick to complain when things aren’t quite right that we forget to be thankful for all of the things that we do have.  My girlfriend reminded me the other day that sometimes we just need to “be still” and enjoy the quiet.  That is exactly why it’s a little after 9 PM and I’m off to bed.  I’m not going to keep letting the sun catch me sleeping.  According to, the sun will rise at 5:39 AM tomorrow morning in my part of the world, so I’d better call it a night.  Besides, it’s pretty amazing to greet the sun from the tranquility of the swimming pool, so I’ll need to be on the road by 5 AM!

Enjoy your summer!  I’ll keep you posted on how I fare on my ‘must’ list!!

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