2020 has been a year we’ll never forget. It’s amazing what got packed into one year. And we are really feeling it as 2020 ends. But as we enter the last three months of the year, I want to slow down a little and make a plan for what I want to do before it speeds past. Maybe you do too? Maybe you want to take back a little control over the year and set goals you can meet—goals that are less about what you will accomplish and more about what you will enjoy. Let’s do that together today as we create a bucket list for the rest of 2020!
This week, I’ll be in our Facebook group talking more about my bucket list and asking you to share what’s on yours! if you haven’t joined us, click here: Abiding Caregiver Facebook group.
- Episode 008, Establishing Habit Triggers
- The Peanut Butter Falcon
- Saints and Scoundrels in the Story of Jesus by Nancy Guthrie (affiliate link)
- Caramel Apple Cider Cookies
- Streaks app
- Sky Full of Stars by Meg Apperson (affiliate link)
- Abiding Caregiver Facebook group
Oct. 12th, Bucket List for the Rest of 2020, episode 44
Hi friends, this is Self-Care and Soul Care for the Caregiver, and I’m your host Sandra Peoples. To us, self-care isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. We need to take better care of ourselves so we can care for those God has entrusted to us, whether that’s a child with special needs, a spouse with declining health, or in our caregiving professions.
2020 has been a year we’ll never forget. When I stop to remember about all the reasons why, I keep thinking of more and more. It’s amazing what got packed into one year. And we are really feeling it as 2020 ends. But as we enter the last three months of the year, I want to slow down a little and make a plan for what I want to do before it speeds past. Maybe you do too? Maybe you want to take back a little control over the year and set goals you can meet—goals that are less about what you will accomplish and more about what you will enjoy. Let’s do that together today as we create a bucket list for the rest of 2020! I’ve come up with some categories to help us think about lots of different possibilities, and I’ll share what I’ve picked for each category!
In 2020, it feels like so many things happened outside of our plan! We couldn’t have planned for the time out of school for our kids, we couldn’t have planned for the time apart from family and friends, lots of events got canceled, our routines changed, and celebrations weren’t the same. But we can take a little control back in the coming months. We have learned to cope with different limitations, we have gotten into new routines, and we can be creative again as we look ahead to the holidays we celebrate in October, November, and December. So let’s set some bucket list goals for ourselves and our families. I’m not trying to add more to your to do list. I’m just adding a little more fun to mine and wanted to invite you to join me!
Here are the categories I’m working through that might be helpful for you too: traditions (old or new), movies to watch, books to read, recipes to make, person to connect with, house project to complete, habit to start, and problem to solve. Ok! Let’s jump in!
First, traditions (new or old). Because this year is so different, our holiday traditions will look different too. As you think about your bucket list, think about traditions you enjoy that you can keep up and the ones that may need to be adjusted. For example, we won’t get to travel to North Carolina to see my husband’s side of the family, but I can make sure he gets to eat his favorite foods by getting the recipes from my mother-in-law and making them myself. We won’t have our usual holiday open house when we invite our entire church over the weekend before Christmas. But maybe we can focus on outdoor decorations this year so everyone who drives by as they leave church will see them. (Sidenote: I actually had so many ideas about this, that as I was writing this outline, I kept telling Lee more and more of them. We now have big plans for a display that families can drive through after our Christmas Eve service. I’m already getting excited about it!) Even in 2020, it’s important to feel some ties to traditions you’ve done in the past or new ones you want to carry into the future. So what traditions do you want to put on your bucket list that you for sure don’t want to skip or that you can make adjustments for?
Next, let’s put these next two in the same category and call them entertainment. What movies do you want to watch or what books do you want to read before 2020 is over? Maybe there’s something your family wanted to watch but you never got around to it. Or maybe you think this is the year they are old enough to enjoy one of your favorites. I know not many new movies came out this year, but that gives us the chance to catch up on some we missed. You could even Google “best movies of all time” and see which ones you haven’t seen. Or pick a favorite actor or actress and watch all of his/her movies. This could be a family goal, a goal for you and your husband, or one you do by yourself. Now let’s talk about what books you want to read! Was there a bestseller you missed? One that a friend told you about that you just haven’t gotten around to yet? Is there a genre of books that you didn’t read much of this year that you want to hit? Think of titles, see what your library has, and put it on your bucket list. Here’s what I’m added to my entertainment bucket list: We keep talking about seeing The Peanut Butter Falcon. It’s not a kid movie, we’ve heard it has lots of language, but I do want to support a movie with an actor with Down syndrome! There are also a few books I’ve started that I want to finish in 2020. Saints and Scoundrels by Nancy Guthrie is one. And I usually like to read a productivity book in December to prepare for January, so I’ll look for a good one in that genre to add to my list.
The next category is recipes to make! This could be something you bake, a main dish, or anything that sounds good! I am not usually a baker, but I do make caramel apple cider cookies in the fall and my friend Teri Lynne’s recipes for snickerdoodles close to Christmas. I’m putting them both on my 2020 bucket list because I don’t want to forget this year! I’ve also seen a few soup recipes I want to try. Every time I pick up books from the library, I browse the cookbook section and pick up one or two of those. If I see a recipe I like, I take pics of it on my phone. So I have some fun options to work through in the coming months! Is there a favorite recipe you don’t want to forget to make or a new one you want to try? Put it on your 2020 bucket list!
Ok, now let’s talk about a person we want to connect with. 2020 has been a strain on lots of different types of relationships. You couldn’t get together with friends as often, you didn’t spend as much time with family as usual, and most of us were away from church (or may still be away from church). So there are lots of options for who you may want to connect with before 2020 is over. I set a goal for myself way back when all this started that I would connect with at least one friend a day. I’ve been tracking that in my Streaks app, and today is day 176 of texting or talking to someone outside my house who I know in real life. So my plan is to focus on connecting with family members in what’s left of this year. There are so many we would usually see but won’t get to this year, especially on my husband’s side of the family. I’m going to make a plan now for doing something special around Thanksgiving and again around Christmas so we feel more connected. Like I’ll probably mail my mother-in-law some of my snickerdoodle cookies because she loves them. I’ll be sure take pictures of things we do between now and then and send those pics to family members. Both my mom and Lee’s mom have digital picture frames that you can email pics to so they show up at their houses! They are so handy! Take some time this week to think about who you want to connect with before 2020 is over and make a plan!
Next category: projects around the house! I know this isn’t true for those living in other climates, but the next few months are perfect weather for those of us in Houston to get outside projects done, like cleaning out the garage. So that’s going on our list for sure. You may have some inside projects that need attention since the cold weather will keep you inside more. When we lived in Pennsylvania, we had steps we took to winterize the outside of the house and cozy-fy the inside. Maybe you need to make some big changes to one of the kids’ rooms. Or you need to clean out and organize the pantry. Whatever would help you feel calmer in your space is worth putting on your 2020 bucket list.
Two more to go! The next on is a habit to start. You don’t have to wait until January 1st to start a new habit. If you start now, by Jan. 1st, it could already be part of your rhythm and routine. I have a whole episode on creating new habits if you want to go back and listed to episode 8. The keys I’ve found to making them happen is to create helpful habit triggers (which I talked about in that episode) and to make the habit part of your identity. For example, you read the Bible every day because you are the type of person who believes that’s part of growing in godliness. Or you run three days a week because you are a runner, someone who believes exercise is an important part of releasing your stress or keeping healthy. I mentioned earlier I use the app Streaks to keep up with the habits I’ve set for myself so far in 2020, but there’s one I haven’t been great at meeting, so I’m focusing on it in the coming months. That’s getting at least 5,000 steps a day. It may not sound like much to those of you who get way more, but it’s more than I’m getting now, so it’s a good goal for me.
Alright, one category left! Let’s look around and see if there’s a problem to solve before 2020 is over. It could be a very small problem that just hasn’t gotten your attention so far or a big one you don’t want to carry with you into 2021. Last week I bought two new extension cords because we had a problem that could be solved with a quick Amazon click. Remember my rule: if it can be solved in 20 minutes or with $20, handle it ASAP. 20 minutes or $20 may be easy to remember as we finish out 2020! Other problems that need solving may be deeper. I’ve talked this year about getting a therapist for myself. Maybe a problem that needs solving is you taking steps to focus on your mental health. Or making other appointments like the dentist or getting a mammogram. (I’m preaching to myself on that last one because I should have had a mammogram last year when I turned 40 and still haven’t done it.) Solving a problem takes a little effort, but sure makes you feel good when it’s done. Look around for a problem you can solve in 2020.
So there are the categories for my 2020 bucket list: traditions (old or new), movies to watch, books to read, recipes to make, people to connect with, house projects to complete, habits to start, and problems to solve. That should keep me pretty busy as we end the year! But busy with lots of fun stuff, or things that will at least be satisfying when I get them done, which makes me happy.
Join with me in praying as we end our time together:
God, Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” As hard as 2020 has felt at times, we want to end the year by rejoicing and being glad. Sometimes we have to be proactive about doing things that make us glad, like writing out a bucket list. As we look at the months ahead, help us to seek joy for ourselves and create joy for our families. We are so thankful that even in hard times, we know You have a plan and a purpose for us. Help us to slow down and enjoy the gifts you give. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Thanks for joining me for this episode, friends! Next week I’m excited to share with you an interview I’ll be doing with Meg Apperson about her new book Sky Full of Stars. It’s going to be full of encouragement you don’t want to miss, so if you haven’t subscribed to the podcast yet, take a minute right now to do that!
I hope you have a great week ahead! I’ll be in our Facebook group talking more about my bucket list and asking you to share what’s on yours! if you haven’t joined our Abiding Caregiver Facebook group yet, there’s a link in the show notes! See you there!