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June 25, 2013

Guest Blogger: Michelle Pino

Hey everyone.  I was recently contacted by someone interested in sharing some ideas about creating your very own bucket list with everyone here.  I figured what they hey it would give everyone something new and interesting to look at other than my babble.  And it was written by someone who is shares a few of my favorite hobbies--check her byline at the end of this piece to figure out which ones.  So without further adieu here's our very first guest piece. 

Bucket Lists: This Summer and Beyond

Remember when you were younger and the carefree summers seemed to last forever?  As we get older, it's far too easy to get bogged down by the responsibilities of everyday life-- our jobs, our kids, and our car payments. Now the summers seem to fly by; we forget to relax, take time for ourselves, and slow down to enjoy life.  But just because you're a grownup now with grownup responsibilities doesn't mean this can't be a memorable summer you'll always cherish.  Sit down, brainstorm some of those things you've always wanted to do, select the few that are actually feasible, and do them! Once you have a list created you can mark each one down as you do it. Here are a few of the things on my list and hopefully they can get you started on your own!  

Get Hooked On A New Hobby

When all your mental energy goes to the things you have to do, it can be hard to unwind in your free time. Keep in touch with yourself and your own needs by picking up an old hobby or finding a new one. Join a runner's club to get back in shape and make some new friends. If you enjoy the outdoors, find local hiking trails or start gardening. MIT offers free access to materials for many of its courses on its website now; you might try learning the basics of a new field.  Find something that you like and jump into it! Having a hobby is a great way to spend some free time and also a great outlet for energy and creativity.

Focus On Your Fitness

Maybe you were on the varsity sports team in high school. Maybe you used your bike to get around everywhere in college. Maybe you used to go on distance runs in your city's greenbelt. Remember how good it felt to go on a run back when you were in shape? If you've gotten out of the routine, it can be hard to get started again, but now's the time to get back in shape. You'll be glad you did. Keep your eyes on the reward: that exhilarating feeling of meeting a new workout goal, the rush of endorphins, and, of course, having a better body and feeling healthy.  To stay motivated, recruit a friend or family member to exercise with you-- working out can be a great way to strengthen your bond as well! Use this summer to get your fitness train rolling and by fall you won’t be able to go 3 days without exercising. Think about how far you have come since the beginning of the summer, then think about how far you can go before next summer starts. It’s all about setting goals for yourself and that starts now!

Plan A Weekend Getaway With Your Significant Other

With all of life's responsibilities, it can be easy to fill your calendar without setting aside time for yourself. Look at your day planner, find one weekend in the near future you have no commitment, and boldly write in "romantic weekend getaway" before another activity finds its way there. Research nearby resorts and reserve a room. Most modern resorts offer packages for couples that cater to both of their interests. You can lounge by the pool drinking margaritas and pamper yourself in the spa while your husband plays golf and hits the poker tables. At night you can rekindle the spark and meet up in the bar for a round of drinks and dancing. Getting away for a weekend can do wonders for your stress level and general peace of mind. With summer here now is the time to get away, YOU DESERVE IT!

Rekindle an old friendship

We form ties with hundreds of important people in a lifetime. It can be hard to set aside time for the important ones. Is there someone you used to talk to every day but nowadays only send a Christmas card to once a year?  Call them up, get coffee, and catch up. There’s a saying that old friends are the best kind of friends. I believe this to be true, you might be surprised at just how easy it is to fall into your old routine when you reconnect with someone you haven’t seen in a long time. Staying in touch with people you love is one of the best ways you can invest your time. I know for me “remember whens” are some of my favorite conversations.

The older we get the faster time seems to go, and no one is getting younger. I have my list on my mirror so it is one of the first things I see when I wake up in the morning. This way I am reminded of all the things I said I would do and cannot make excuses for not doing them. Take advantage of everything you can this summer. There is no reason you can’t look back on this summer the same way you do on those summer’s from what seems so long ago.

More information on Michelle and how to contact her if you're interested:

Michelle Pino has contributed this piece based on the knowledge she has learned while working as spa manager at Skana, one of New York’s finest spas. When Michelle isn’t working you will find her baking, crafting, reading a magazine or catching up on her favorite TV shows. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact Michelle via email at michellepino@turningstone.com

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