The middle of winter can be a little, well, blah (unless you’re one of those lucky military families who gets to live in a tropical paradise!).
Not a hint of green around anywhere.
And all of the really fun holidays are over.
Add a deployment, and winter can feel insurmountable and depressing.
I’m not gonna lie: I’m a huge fan of bucket lists as a way to manage deployment. (If you read Jo, My Gosh!, you know that already!) Creating goals (most of which do not have anything to do with the deployment) is a wonderful way to look forward to a time that can be difficult. It’s a lovely way to have your own adventures, set your sights on things that you want to do (hello, self-care), and give you something to talk about when you’re able to write to or speak with your deployed loved one.
Even though you may feel cooped-up indoors and be cursing the grey, grey weather, there’s also something inspiring and magical about the season. Use the things you love about it to create a list of goals that excite you and make you feel motivated to check them off. These ideas can help you get started:
- Make hot chocolate with whipped cream.
- Make your own marshmallows.
- Make hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows. (You can never have too many mugs of hot chocolate!)
- Build a snowman.
- Go sledding.
- Go ice-skating.
- Go skiing.
- Learn how to knit, cross stitch, crochet, or do another warm, snuggly craft.
- Read under a blanket without worrying about the time.
- Treat yourself to a pair of new slippers.
- Have a bonfire.
- Enjoy an evening in front of a fireplace. (It doesn’t have to be your own!)
- Make chili.
- Go on a winter hike.
- Make a winter-themed care package.
- Make a deployment scrapbook.
- Make and bake a cookie recipe you’ve never tried before.
- Make a snow angel.
- Start a gratitude journal.
- Especially if you’re living in a place with a culture that you’re not familiar with, take a cooking class.
- Go snow tubing.
- Treat yourself to a spa day and enjoy the sauna or a hot stone massage.
- Make mulled wine or apple cider.
- Drive a snowmobile.
- Clean out a closet.
- Sell five things you don’t need on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or a base/community yardsale page.
- Donate a trash bag or box of stuff to charity.
- Go bowling.
- Find one way to become more environmentally friendly.
- Celebrate the beginning of Lent with Kings Cake, a Fastnacht, pancakes, or another tradition. (If you don’t observe Lent, you can still enjoy the tasty treats!)
- Visit a museum.
- Visit a state park near you.
- Add a few Valentine’s Day Bucket List goals to your winter list.
- Send a friend a letter, just ’cause.
- Start (and finish) a puzzle.
- Try a new restaurant.
- Celebrate a local holiday.
- Go to a winter festival in your area.
- Spend one day in your pjs.
- Revise your resume.
- Have breakfast for dinner.
- Play a winter-themed game like Don’t Break the Ice.
- Bake a loaf of bread. (Or visit a local bakery and buy one.)
- Have an indoor picnic.
- Begin a “vision board” for a vacation you want to take.
- Go for a walk after it snows.
- Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers.
- Binge-watch a new show.
- Work out an hour every day for a week.
- Here’s Why Milspouses Need a Deployment Bucket List
- How to Write a Deployment Bucket List That Doesn’t Suck
- 128 Goals to Put on Your Deployment Bucket List