We have probably all heard of the concept “create a life you don’t need a vacation from” and while I appreciate the sentiment, it doesn’t really give you a call to action or direction regarding how to actually do that. Instead, I personally like to live in tune with the phrase “create a life worth celebrating.”
Let me explain: I mean literally celebrating something just for the sheer fun and joy of it. Happy that it’s Tuesday and you woke up to a fresh pot of coffee already made? Excited that you have a free hour to yourself in an otherwise hectic week? Super pumped that you were finally moved off of a project that you dreaded being a part of at work? All of these things are worth actually celebrating. And not just with a drink and appetizers at the local happy hour. I mean giving in to your inner child allowing yourself to be silly happy and silly excited about the little stuff. I’m going to give some examples below of just how exactly I have created a life worth celebrating, but first, let’s address a couple things:
- Who is typically involved in these things?: Joey. Poor, poor Joey. But on occasion my friends and family as well. You can choose to involve whomever you’d like: your partner, friends, family, kids, neighbors, coworkers, etc.
- How much do they cost?: Honestly, whatever is in your budget and/or part of your party supply stock already.
- How did you think of something like this?: Like everyone, I too have stressful, exhausting, negative days at work. The type of days where you want to cry and quit to become a lifestyle blogger (hehehe). Or, throwing it back to my college years, I had some stressers in my personal life that were out of my control and I needed a way to channel some positive energy and escape from the stress for a bit. A healthy way. I decided to speak to my inner child and have some silly fun.
Okay, now the actual ways I choose to celebrate:
Ambush Welcome Home Parties
This idea came to me last Fall when Joey was working a late shift and wasn’t getting home until 9:45 p.m. If I recall correctly it was a Thursday and we had both had rough weeks at work. I decided that I was going to decorate our apartment with random balloons and signs that say “Cheers” and “Hooray” that I bought years ago. I put on some Mardi Gras beads that I found in this same random party supply container and threw on a birthday hat. I luckily had a package of unopened noise makers and threw on the “Jock Jams” Pandora radio station which also elevated the impact of the ambush. Even though when Joey first saw what was going on he thought we had won the lottery, (the decision to throw this party was poorly timed with a PowerBall drawing), he quickly realized it was just because we were celebrating Thursday and joined in the fun. You can watch a highlight reel of a video on my Instagram account from October 4, 2018.
The second successful ambush welcome home party was inspired by a conversation with coworkers about how much fun we used to have making blanket forts as kids. Sure enough it was a Thursday night (again) and Joey was working a late shift. I decided — we’re going to have Fort Nite, literally. I gathered some sheets and throw blankets, masking tape, and our dining room chairs and got to work. Not shortly after I realized that our travel air mattress would fit perfectly under the fort in front of our TV. I then gathered all of the pillows in our apartment and threw them in the fort. All in all it took about 45 minutes to get perfect and man was THIS surprise a good one. I popped some pop corn and we laid in the fort to watch a movie before bed. You can also watch a video of the surprise on my Instagram from May 30, 2019. I have included a photo at the very top of this post, though, just to give you a taste of Fort Nite.
Celebrate Silly National Holidays
At work I have a white board on my office door that I frequently share the random day’s national holiday. I started this probably about two years ago and it serves as a nice positive highlight of each day. I decided though, instead of just writing them on the white board, why not look ahead and plan to celebrate one of them? My coworkers and I all have an affinity towards cereal and often discuss our favorites. I decided, perfect, we’re going to celebrate National Cereal Day (Thursday, March 7, 2019). I ran it past leadership, and with their approval, I sent out an office-wide note inviting everyone to bring in their favorite cereal and preferred milk/lactose-free/dairy-free option. A handful of other people brought in cereal but most of the staff stopped by the break room through out the day to indulge. It was a fun way to make an ordinary day, extraordinary.
Host A Themed Dinner Night
This gem of a picture was captured in summer 2015, a season of my life that feels like ages ago! This was during my second year of graduate school, right after I moved out of my dad’s house into my first apartment with my sister Beth. Joey was home from school for the summer and we decided to have a Grilled Pizza Night. I surprised him with stick-on mustaches and red, white, and green accessories. Frank Sinatra serenaded us as we sipped red wine, with our fake mustaches, and grilled up some delicious pizza. I picked up the silly items at our local dollar store, not spending more than $5 total. I am pretty sure I answered the door when he got to my apartment with the mustache already on. Again, just a silly way to infuse some fun in what would otherwise be an ordinary dinner. All it takes is minimal planning, a bit of imagination, some themed music and there you have it: you are taken out of the normal every day routine and have created a memory. Have an idea for a themed dinner night? Try it out. Ideas might include: Taco Tuesday Mexican Fiesta, New Orleans Jambalaya Night complete with some Zydeco tunes, Italian Villa Night with the sounds of Rosemary Clooney in the background, Backyard BBQ Night with a special 6-pack and childhood BBQ favorites, the list continues.
P. S. If you host an ambush welcome home party, celebrate a silly national holiday, or commit to a themed dinner night, I would love to see photos! Tag me in them on Instagram (@juliasgenuinelife).