Turn an Ordinary Day into Something Special
Our world gets busier and larger by the second. Technology moves us at such a frantic pace, we can hardly catch our breaths. Often we’re advised to stop and smell the roses, but who has the time when there is so much to do? Most folks can’t factor in meditation, yoga, or a much-needed massage. And those get-togethers with friends are long talked about but often get pushed aside when other commitments pop up. Instead of churning out another excuse for not making something happen, why not turn an event, an everyday, common event already on your schedule, into something extraordinary?
A growing and global trend among those looking to celebrate the ordinary events in their lives, Everyday Extraordinary is a term gaining popularity. Essentially, the notion behind the trend is that we should celebrate the milestone events in our lives, big and little, by reveling in how special they are. And that doesn’t mean simply posting a photo of the meal you cooked on social media or wishing your aunt ‘Happy Birthday’ via a post or text message. It means taking the time to be with those we care about and share our happy news.
Life is short and it can pass by in the blink of an eye; however, if we simply slow down, we’ll be able to find that every day is simply not just another ordinary day, but something special and extraordinary.
Consider the breast cancer survivor who acknowledges her one year anniversary of remission, not with a quiet dinner at home, but with a festive party celebrating life. A retired couple returns from their dreamed-of world tour and throws a party sharing the food and customs of the cultures they visited. Or the parents who help their teen transition to college by hosting a college prep party inviting local alumni to give insights into campus life. ‘Conscious uncoupling’ is not just for celebrities either. A newly-divorced couple that is remaining on friendly terms may diffuse tensions among family and friends and host an event together where they wish each other well and celebrate the next phase of their lives.
Pregnant couples are finding new and exciting ways to share the gender of their baby. Instead of sending out an announcement postcard, throw a fabulous soiree involving a prize for those who guess ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ correctly. Or let the doctor tell a close friend who can share the information with the couple in front of family members. Other memorable baby reveals include baking a pink or blue cake iced in white frosting and letting the couple slice it open together, or filling a large box with helium balloons in the appropriate color which mom and dad un-lid on the lawn.
Events that we note to ourselves, extraordinary events we acknowledge with a nod and go on about our day, are exactly those precious moments we should slow down to rejoice and share with others. But they don’t all require a party and streamers. What makes an everyday extraordinary event so special can be the act of sharing it with another person.
Call your mom when that first grey hair appears so you can share secrets on how to hide it (or wear it with pride) and mark this next stage of your life as a grown-up. Invite your neighbor along for a walk when the first leaves sprout in the spring and enjoy the beauty of nature together. Ask a friend over to photograph some quiet family time together: mom finger-painting with the kids or dad reading a bedtime story. Bundle up the kids and sit out on the deck at night to watch for falling stars and passing satellites.
Sometimes, our celebrations are of a personal nature that others are reluctant to acknowledge on their own; however, if we express our happiness, others may join in. Milestone dates of sobriety are a major accomplishment worth acknowledging with those who understand the struggle. Perhaps a group, sunrise yoga session on the beach can be the right way to celebrate all those ‘one-days-at-a-time’ that have added up into something great. The anniversary of the loss of a loved one could be marked by doing something they loved, such as going fishing or skydiving, especially if it’s something you would not normally do. A couple who decides to adopt or foster a child might throw a get-to-know-you party with family, friends, and neighbors for the new member of their tribe.
Of course, a quick internet search for special days of the year will garner thousands of reasons to make a day worth celebrating. Make ‘National Find-a-Rainbow Day’ (April 3), a reason to spend time with your family around town exploring unknown-to-you sights. Visit a widowed neighbor or a grandparent at the retirement home on July 11 which is ‘Cheer Up the Lonely’ day. Take a break from hectic holiday preparation on December 17 to celebrate ‘Wright Brothers Day,’ which will also remind you how lucky we are to live here in this great coastal community. Now that’s definitely an everyday extraordinary worth cheering!
And, should we all find ourselves trapped inside again after Christmas, consider integrating the following January dates into your schedule to make a dreary winter month a little more exciting: On the 9th, let the kids chase each other around and wear themselves out on national ‘Static Electricity Day.’ Annoy people when the snow melts on national ‘Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friends Day,’ (11th) and pull out the jigsaws on the 29th for national ‘Puzzle Day.’ Of course, Mom and Dad, you should reward yourselves on the 17th which is national ‘Hot Buttered Rum Day.’
Don’t forget all the great events that you can invent for yourself simply by living on the Outer Banks. Any windy day can turn into your own kite festival (and February 8th is national ‘Fly A Kite’ day). Venture from your routine one day and drive north or south 20 miles; you’ll be amazed what can be found a few towns away from your own: new restaurants, museums, nature walks, diverse beaches and different views along the sound. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to our shores every year; let’s not forget why they come and make a point of exploring our backyard every once in a while.
We can’t leave out our furry family members; they deserve our attention as well. Throw a shower for friends getting a new pet; they’ll need lots of supplies like food, blankets, and toys. Don’t have a pet? Then look out your window and take a moment to appreciate and feed the creatures outside with whom we share this strip of land: the chatty squirrels, the wide variety of birds, and the elusive deer and fox.
Almost no one can avoid the mayhem of Thanksgiving, the December holidays, New Year’s, and then Valentine’s Day. These are earmarked and accepted events that occur every year, dotted with parties and special nights out. In this frenzied time of year, running to and fro with shopping bags, steaming casseroles, towers of gifts, and visiting in-laws, it may be time to draw our attention to other events in our lives that deserve as much love and thought. ■
Meaghan Beasley tries to find the extraordinary in everyday by walking her dog each morning, by eating something yummy each day, and always snuggling her husband at night.