Once upon a time, I was taking a self-improvement/group counseling/undefinable and yet amazing class with my amazing psych professor. And one day, he announced we all had homework (this was on top of some rather involved week-to-week standing homework assignments).
"You have to go do something special this week," he told us seriously. "For yourself. It doesn't have to be big, but it has to be unusual, special for you. You can involve other people, but it has to be your special thing."
We didn't really believe him. Except that next week he demanded we all tell him about the special things we'd done, and only one person had anything to say, and then they admitted they rushed through it, and he invalidated them, so we all had to go try again.
I decided to get it over with quickly (great attitude, right?), and so I spent a good hour in a bubble-bathed tub while I read a new book (one of my favorite retreats). Then I worried the next day that he wouldn't see this as "special enough," so I went to bed an hour early with my Fuze, relaxing and listening to music as I drifted off to sleep. The next day, I worried again that he wouldn't think it was "special" enough, so I thought up something else to do.
When I told him this story next week, he laughed, told me any of those would have satisfied his assignment, but pointed out (not just to me, but to the entire class) that our special things were almost all inexpensive and took little time, but had added, we all admitted, a great deal to our week. He encouraged us to keep going.
Well, I can't say I've been as faithful about doing the special little things as I'd like, but I was noticing lately how summer has a way of making everything - walking to your car in a light breeze, eating outdoors, putting on sunglasses - feel special. I decided to make a concerted effort to do something special every day this summer, which I choose to define as June 20th - the official first day of summer - through September first, which is NOT the official first day of fall, but has ALWAYS been my own personal official first day of fall. :) That's 70 some days, not all of which I have a plan for, but here's a list of my first 50 things, in no particular order, to get you started (plus, I figure sometimes you stumble in to special things without a plan... gotta leave room for those!):
1. Buy new lipgloss
2. Star or moon-gaze
3. Have a random dance session
4. Make a 15-minute craft with things you have on hand
5. Stop for ice cream sundaes with Abigail
6. Mix a new CD and listen to it with the car windows down
7. Buy new sunglasses
8. Go to bed 1/2 an hour early and listen to music as you fall asleep
9. Try a new hairstyle
10. Refashion a piece of clothing
11. Have a photo shoot
12. Make a summer scrapbook page
13. Get a new haircut
14. Send a care package
15. Buy a new swimsuit
16. Try a new recipe
17. Take a bubble bath
18. Go to the movies
19. Support a cause
20. Learn a new skill
21. Start a rainy-day coffee can fund
22. Text someone a joke
23. Paint something
24. Leave a message
25. Surprise someone
26. Have a "snow day"
27. Release balloons
28. Get a special mani
29. Wear red lipstick
30. Read a book
31. Write something
32. Try a new food
33. Do a random act of kindness
34. Do something festive to celebrate a holiday
35. Get a sticker tan tattoo
36. Go people watching
37. Go on a picnic
38. Nap in a hammock
39. Ride a roller coaster
40. Take a road trip
41. Go hear live music (preferably outdoors)
42. Write a letter to someone who has encouraged, shaped, or influenced you
43. Blow bubbles in a public place
44. Explore some place new
45. Lose a bad habit or start a new one
46. Make something
47. Tackle a dreaded chore and have a reward waiting
48. Choose something you've "always wanted" to do and take the first step to doing it
49. Learn a new word
50. Watch a black and white movie
51. Go swimming after dark.
I'd love to hear what special things you're doing this summer!!! I'll also be updating my list throughout the summer. :)