At the end of May, Jacob surprised me one night by saying, “Go get dressed for dinner. Wear a dress.” I smiled and ran upstairs to put on a dress and fix my hair, the whole time thinking, “I am the luckiest.”
When we pulled into Market, a restaurant in Del Mar that we love, where our friend happens to be the maitre d’, I was shocked. “What are we doing?” I asked, thinking that even in my dress I was underdressed for this fancy of a dinner. He explained, “Don’t worry. We are sitting in the bar.” That did make me feel better. When we walked in, we saw our friend, Sarah. She was surprised to see us, “What?? Why are you guys here?” Jacob seemed pleased with himself, “We wanted to say hi to you and we are going to have a drink in the bar area.” She smiled and seated us at the corner booth, the best seat in the house.
He pulled out my yellow journal. I gave him a confused look. Has he been reading my journal? It’s not that I really would care. I don’t even write in it often. It’s more like a sketch pad where I write down ideas, design marketing materials, and doodle Bible verses I love. But why does he have it?
Before I had a chance to ask, Sarah had brought two drinks to our table, “Something sweet and something spicy,” she said as she set down a champagne cocktail and a mojito looking drink with jalapeños floating on the top. Jacob grabbed the sweet one. (He thinks everything bagels are “too spicy”.) I sipped on my jalapeño concoction and waited for an explanation. “WE,” he started, “are making a summer bucket list!” I smiled, “Oh yay!” I grabbed the journal and pen and doodled the words, “Summer Bucket List”.
We spent the next hour chatting, ordering appetizers, and adding things to our list. We ended up with this.
You know how in the moment, you romanticize how it’s going to happen? You think, “It’s summertime! We will just frolic through fields of wildflowers, holding hands and humming sweet summer songs every single day. I’ll wear flowers in my hair and we will lay on the grass until the fireflies start glowing around us. At dusk, we will sit on our wrap-around porch and swing until the moon comes out.” In the moment, you forget that you live in California, not South Carolina, that you don’t own a house, much less have a wrap-around porch, and that you’re a wedding photographer, and summer is your busiest time.
Next thing you know, it’s August, and you’ve only crossed off a few things on your list, and disappointment sets in. You feel like you’ve wasted the sunshine and you haven’t played have as much as you thought you would.
You see, summer makes me want to play. It has a way of making me feel young. (Yes, I realize I’m in my early 20’s and I am, technically, “young”.) But by young, I mean like 7 years old young. I mean no job, no plans, I will just play and mom will take care of everything young. I got sad when I saw this pathetic little bucket list sitting there, only a few lines through a few words, feeling regret.
And then it occurred to me… Summer isn’t over. I instantly Googled, “Firsr day of fakk”. Of course Mr. Google knew that I meant, “First day of fall”.
You want to know when it is? September 22nd. You want to know how many days that is? 51.
I have 51 days to wear flowers in my hair, go camping, paddle la Jolla Cove, eat Hula Pie, take Bella to a puppet show, boogie board, and go dancing under the stars. In fact, we are seeing a live concert tomorrow evening and I will dance if I have to. The point is, there’s a reason you make a bucket list. The bucket list reminds you of that romanticized dream of summer (or life). It takes you back to the moment when you imagined yourself frolicking, dancing, enjoying your life. Not all of the things on the list will turn out the way you thought. It might be freezing on the scooter ride day and the bed and breakfast might be more of a bugs and breakfast; but, on the night of live music and dancing, your husband might look at you, and see the young, free-spirited girl he fell in love with, and he might just smile and think, “I am the luckiest.”
I’d love to hear one or two things you want to do in the last 51 days of summer. Leave a comment so I can hold you to it.
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