You know all that stuff you’ve been saving for a special occasion? Well, today is the day to use it! After all, as Mary Engelbreit says, just being alive is the special occasion.
Just Being Alive is a Special Occasion
Your wedding china. A fancy perfume. That sweet dress you bought on sale last season. That bottle of fine wine your great-uncle Joe gave you. All sitting in the back of a closet, waiting for a special occasion.
Like we’ve discussed in the past, though, tomorrow is never promised. That special occasion may never arrive. If we’ve learned nothing else this year, it’s that even the best-laid plans can get derailed. Weddings, graduations, anniversaries, family vacations, and milestone birthday parties…in other words, all those special occasions…canceled. Just like that, thanks to one itty bitty microscopic germ.
Even in “normal” times, though, we have no guarantee that those special occasions we’re waiting for will actually come to pass. That’s part of life, part of living. It’s also what makes being alive the special occasion all on its own.
It often takes a tragedy to remind us that life is absolutely miraculous, that there’s no occasion more special than simply waking up every morning. When we realize just how many people don’t get to experience that, how many aren’t waking up today, we learn to appreciate it a bit more.
We only have so many big occasions
A couple of weeks ago, we talked about how life is made up of so many small moments that make it worth living. Remember, we only have so many big “milestones” in our lives. So many weddings, births, graduations, and birthdays. Think about all the stuff you’re saving for a special occasion. Could you possibly ever get to fully enjoy them, knowing that you only have maybe a dozen chances to use them?
Seriously, think about it. If you save your beautiful wedding china just for special occasions, you’ll end up using it for less time than you spent picking out the pattern. How about that fancy perfume? You’ll never use even half of it if you only use it for fancy parties. The rest just goes to waste.
Then there’s the fact that we never can decide if an occasion is special enough, after all. Maybe our 10th anniversary isn’t special enough for that bottle of wine. Perhaps we should save it for our 15th, our 25th, our 50th. Before we know it, a lifetime has passed, and we never got around to drinking it. Well, maybe our grandkids will find a special enough occasion for it, right? Then again, if they’re anything like us, maybe not.
Treat just being alive like a special occasion
I say it’s high time that we stop leaving things hidden in the back of our closets for a milestone day and start treating every moment like the special occasion that it is. With that in mind, here are some ways to use all of those things you’ve been saving for the perfect moment:
- Serve dinner on your fine china tonight. Yep, even if it’s just reheated leftovers!
- Break out that wine you’ve been saving and raise a glass to your local farmers who helped food on your table. While you’re at it, toast yourself for all the hard work you put into making healthy meals.
- Throw on that cute dress in the back of your closet, dab on that pricey perfume, and grab your partner for a date night under the stars in your backyard. After all, there’s no occasion more special than time spent with someone we love.
- Indulge in that box of Belgian chocolate your sister sent you that you’ve shoved in the back of your freezer because it’s “too fancy” for just any old day.
- Fill that fancy gold frame you got for your wedding shower with candid snapshots of your kids being silly.
- Spend that gift certificate your mom gave you for your birthday on something totally fun and frivolous.
- Use the pricey handbag that you splurged on as your “everyday purse.”
- Invite your friends over on a random weekend instead of just on holidays and birthdays.
- Burn the decorative candle!
- Use the decorative soap that smells oh-so-good!
- Use your fancy fountain pen to write everyday to-do lists.
10 Ways to Turn an Ordinary Day into a Special Occasion
What if you don’t actually have anything that you’re saving for a special occasion, though? Maybe your fine china was destroyed during a move. Perhaps you never could afford that cute dress, designer handbag, or expensive perfume. Maybe you got rid of the decorative soaps and candles when you were Marie Kondo-ing your entire house.
Well, you can still treat every single day that you wake up like the momentous and miraculous occasion that it is! Here are some ideas on how to do just that.
Start each day as though it were a BIG day
Think about all of those really BIG special days. You wake up filled with excitement and anticipation. You can’t believe the day has finally arrived! It’s going to be EPIC! Well, what if you started EVERY day like that? After all, you really never know when an ordinary day will become special. When you wake up tomorrow, do it with enthusiasm. Tell yourself that today will be extraordinary because YOU are extraordinary. Believe it with every fiber of your being. After all, it’s true!
Change your viewpoint “filter”
Think back to the best day of your life. The sun shone brighter, the colors were more vivid, and everything around you was just pure fairytale magic. Beauty positively surrounded you, and joy oozed out of every pore. In reality, though, the sun shone exactly as bright as it usually does and the colors were exactly as vivid as they were the day before. What changed was YOU and YOUR viewpoint. Choose to look at a normal Monday through that same filter and you’ll see that vibrant sunshine and those beautiful colors reappear all around you.
Do at least one thing for yourself…
Make doing something good for yourself a priority every single day. Yep, even on the busiest days when you barely have time to finish all of the mundane tasks on your to-do list. It doesn’t have to be anything huge. I’m not saying you should get an hour-long massage every single day (although that would be divine). Even just spending five minutes all to yourself while enjoying a cup of coffee in your backyard can help make any day feel more special.
…and one thing for someone else
According to a 2018 University of Sussex study, “We feel the benefit of kind acts regardless of whether they are altruistic or strategically motivated. So, just the act of doing something good for someone else can help turn an ordinary day into a special one. Again, you don’t have to “go big or go home.” There are countless tiny good deeds that anyone can do, and they really do add up. If everyone focused on doing one good thing a day, the world would be a much brighter place. And really, is there anything more special than changing the world?
Make it memorable (literally)
Twenty years from now, you’ll probably still remember the biggest occasions in your life. Your wedding, birth of your children, your milestone birthday celebrations- these things are all cemented firmly in our long-term memory banks. But as I’ve said so many times before, life is about more than just counting milestones; it’s about all of the little moments in between.
Since our brains don’t really store every ordinary moment, it’s up to us to make sure that we never forget them. Journals are great for that! If you’re not really into writing long entries, they make tons of cute “one line a day” journals (I like the one below). If you don’t want to write at all, you can also make little videos each day using your smartphone, or record your memories in voice memos. Anything goes!
Treat every single day, every single moment, like it’s the most important of your life. After all, this moment is truly the only thing we’re guaranteed. So, live in it, love it, and remember- just being alive IS the special occasion.
Last update on 2022-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API