A Vision List for Summer (if it ever appears)

Top Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn Ruth

Top Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn RuthA friend recently told me how she’d abandoned to-do lists in favour of vision lists. Instead of writing a huge list  -comprising of both those mundane ‘tasks’ which always need to be completed in an unrealistic time frame and all of the more creative and interesting wishes we have for our free time – and then getting bogged down because those tiny insignificant to-do’s become never-ending and ever-expanding, never allowing us to reach the fun, creative projects, she explained that she kept her vision list free from any ‘tasks’, ‘to-dos’ or ‘must remembers’ and instead embarked on a sort of mind mood board, with no set time frame. Every time a vision or idea came to her she’d just write it down, regardless of how vague or daft it may seem. Her list comprised of everything from ‘a home-cooked meal’ to ‘a sunny evening in the garden with friends’ and even ‘a for sale sign’ and whatever that may mean. She told me that by freeing herself from those everyday to-do’s, she’d given herself the illusion of more time for herself and her own ambitions, and in turn had found she’d actioned so many more of those wants, making them part of her everyday life.

Now I know from reading that paragraph back, it all sounds a tad up in the clouds. Overall I’m a very logical person, I’m not sure that I really believe in the powers of manifestation or the idea that you can invite good and positivity into your life by simply being positive. However, I’m also very much of the thinking that it can’t hurt to try right? And if nothing else, these kind of actions simply encourage us to be more positive and not get weighed down by the monotony of life’s daily struggles. I’m also a very visual person, and often some of my best ideas come to me in picture form. Things like colours or shapes or hazy scenes within my mind are what inspire me a lot of the time and so, the idea of documenting all of those visions really appealed to me.

Often I find that I wrestle between the creative, visual, somewhat carefree artist side of my brain, and the more organised, in control, logical side. A list of visions that I can tick off and keep track of therefore seemed a good way to marry those two opposing personality traits.

Top Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn RuthI know what you’re thinking though. Because it was my first question too. What about all of those mundane everyday tasks? I mean, they don’t just suddenly go away do they? No, But I think the key is in the seperation of everyday tasks which you need to ‘tick off’ and those non time sensitive creative visions you might have. I’ve been bullet journaling since the start of the year, and six months in, I’m finally starting to see how it’s helping me stay organised and on top of things, in a way I wasn’t when I simply had one gigantic every growing list that never seemed to move forward. I’m now pretty good at breaking things down into daily, weekly and monthly tasks and working out my time in order to complete things, which makes everything seem so much more manageable. Before I probably would have got myself into a total state of panic had two or three work projects come in at the same time, but now I just jot down everything that needs to be done and then divvy it up between the free time I have when Evie is at nursery. I can easily see if I need more time, in which case I’ll pencil in a weekend or a few evenings to work and rope in some help from grandparents etc.

Top Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn RuthWhere previously I might have had one list comprising of work, blog, family stuff, house, Evie, and everything in between, I try and now seperate things out. I’m a list writer, it’s in my nature. So if I want to remember something or organise myself, or even just get things straight in my head, I’ll always write a list. But it got to the point where sometimes I felt that my over zellous list writing was almost in itself becoming a task, which then took time away and added stress on to the actual tasks I needed to get through. For example did things like ‘have a shower and make a cuppa’ need to be on the list in order to get done, or were they a given? Now I tend to reserve my bullet journal for work and blog tasks, as well as any future career goals and ambitions I’m working towards so that I can slowly begin to take steps to benefit those goals. Meal plans and shopping lists live on a whiteboard on the fridge, we have a large wall planner in the kitchen with key dates and anything big that needs to be actioned or paid for, I generally always have one shopping list/wishlist on the go in my phone notes at any given time seperated into things for me, things for Evie and things for the house, usually trying to prioritise one thing that’s most needed each month when pay day comes along, and then if I feel I need it, day to day I’ll write a small list of tasks I might need to remember that day such as ‘take parcels to the post office’ or ‘pay Evie’s swimming lessons’ although usually just mentally noting it in my head is enough.

Top Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn RuthOne thing I’ve felt is missing however, is all of those little creative projects and fun adventures that keep your cup full and make you happy. THOSE aren’t being prioritised at all. Any free time I have for myself is generally always put towards work, or pushing forward with future career plans. I’ll occasionally take time out for a hair cut or to get my nails done, but what I really miss is just being creative for creative’s sake, and I want to do more of it. And the same when it comes to family time, so often the precious time we have together as a three is spent getting organised for the week ahead or actioning those everyday tasks, and because our family time is SO limited this summer (due to my Husband’s work schedule), I want to make sure we really put those weekends and free days to good use.

So I’m giving a vision list a go, if anything just to push me to do some of the things I dream of and envision but might never come to pass. If we’re stuck for something to do one weekend, I’ll consult it and hopefully it will lead to a summer full of adventures. And if I happen to ever have an afternoon to myself that isn’t needed for work, instead of scrolling Instagram and watching Riverdale, I’ll remind myself of all the creative hobbies I wanted to make time for.

Top Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn RuthTop Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn RuthI know for a lot of people, the idea of no time frame is key as it takes the pressure off and removes that need to ‘complete’ tasks or achieve things by a certain date. The idea that your list could be full of things that might happen this week, or this year, or in ten years time is appealing but I know that for myself that wouldn’t work. The list would end up being ten pages long, I’d get bored and lazy and it would be rendered pointless. So instead I’ve decided to embark on seasonal lists – a whole range of sights and smells, and adventures that make a summer for me and I know will bring me happiness. And then by the same token, when the weather turns and I’m feeling down about the lack of sunshine or the end of a holiday, I can start listing all of the things that make Autumn wonderful to me.

If you’ve read all of the above and are still thinking ‘what are you waffling on about girl?’ then in simple terms, here’s a list of all the things I’m looking forward to this Summer (should it ever appear!)…

Top Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn RuthMy Summer Vision List

Barefoot in the garden

Clean washing blowing in the wind

The warmth of sunshine on my back

Filling Evie’s paddling pool and her running around with no clothes on

Two hydrangea plants blooming in their pots (currently one is doing well, the other not so much)

A garden full of potted plants

A hanging basket

A muddy kitchen with wild plants growing up the sides

Planting seeds with Evie and watching them grow (little herbs are sprouting as we speak)

A Wendy house

Evie on her first bike

Walks in new parks

Family bike days (too ambitious with a two year old?)

Picnics (real ones in the park, pretend ones in the garden, sandy ones at the beach)

Grass stained jeans and muddy trainers

A grubby toddler face stained with chocolate and ice cream

Building sandcastles at the beach (Evie talks about this daily – so wish we lived closer to the sea)

Splashing toes in the sea

Rock pools

Seaside fish and chips

Floaty dresses and sandals

Summer hats and giant sunglasses

Colourful hair scarves

An adult brunch with friends

Sunny park dates with Mum friends

Playdates in our garden

Baking cakes for new friends

Outdoor swimming

A running club

Gym sessions

Practicing brush lettering in a sunny kitchen

New artwork in the house

A freshly painted room

A re-arranged living room

Painting a wardrobe outdoors

Hanging pictures for a new gallery wall

Summer salads

BBQ evenings

Firing up the pizza oven

Dining alfresco

A summer pavlova

A glass of something outdoors on a warm evening

Summer nail art

A tan

Strawberry picking

Strawberry tarts, strawberries and cream, homemade strawberry jam

Baking with Evie

A walk in the woods

Family selfies

A family photo shoot

Making daisy chains with Evie

Garden picked posies in the house

Wild poppies

Fields of flowers

Walking through wheat fields

Sitting on a train on a journey to a new location

Visiting home

Nostalgic Scottish beaches

Running down windy sand dunes

Evie wrapped up warm in a sandy towel eating cheesy sandwiches

Ice cream cones (anywhere and everywhere)

Penny slot machines

An overdue catch up with old friends

Homemade summer cocktails

A group trip somewhere new

A girls night out

Dancing and laughing

A hotel stay as husband and wife

Dinner out as a couple

Wearing a dress that makes me feel a million dollars

A holiday abroad

Packed suitcases waiting to depart

Evie with her own pull along suitcase

Up in the air

A rural garden villa

Holiday breakfasts from the local shop (warm baguettes, cheese and fresh juice)

Our own pool

Pool days and teaching Evie to swim

Matching swimwear

A holiday wardrobe

Jelly sandals for me and for her

Little legs running to the sea

Yearly photos side by side with my girl (and a look back at how she’s grown)

Factor 50 slathered on

Shady spots with cool beers

Cooling off in beach cafes with sandy feet and icy drinks

Wandering down new streets and marvelling at new sights

Endless photos of cute mews and coloured doors

Feeling confident in swimwear

Summer hats and sunglasses and sandals in miniature form (that will no doubt be flung off in disgust)

Dressing up for dinner

Dinners on the balcony – fresh fish and barbecued veg

Dinners out as a three at cute little holiday hotspots

A date night dinner (wishful thinking?)

A boat trip with the summer breeze in our hair

A hidden beach and a shore to ourselves

A day exploring Lisbon and it’s streets

Eating Pastel de Nata

Colourful tiles and colourful walls

Portugese trams

Walking on cobbled streets and climbing up cobbled hills

A kiss on the beach

A sunrise and a sunset

A smile on each of our faces

Top Uk fashion and lifestyle blog, Jaclyn Ruth

So what would be on YOUR summer vision list?

(Photos by Rosie Butcher)

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  • Lewis says:

    I ended up moving my personal projects lists away from my day to day todo list as The interesting tasks were just getting lost, so can understand.

    Family bike days are totally doable with a two year old! We were having them since just after owen’s First birthday! If you’re hiring bikes a trailer works well, For your own bikes a from mounted seat is better than a rear one – I’ve got a Yepp Mini for when Henry is big enough, but the Wee Ride is meant to be even better. You should be able to pick either up for less than £30 second hand.

    • Jaclyn says:

      Thanks for this Lewis! I’ve been thinking about how to get Evie on a bike, not sure she would go in the little trailer but I might look into a bike seat and see if she’ll try that. Also want to get her a wee balance bike but not sure we’d get anywhere fast with that haha!

  • Lewis says:

    Balance bikes are great! It took Owen a while, but he is flying now. He started at about 20 months, we were waiting for his second birthday, but got too excited.