Help me celebrate my accomplishments!
February 17, 2017 3:09 PM   Subscribe

This week, during my appointment with my therapist, I relieved a difficult task for homework! She ordered me to do something for myself to, basically, celebrate my accomplishments and... more broadly... survival to this point in my life before my next appointment. But I can't think of anything to do to celebrate myself!

I honestly cannot think of anything "special" to do to celebrate my accomplishments! There's no one around that I could take along to celebrate with, so it would have to be something I could do solo. It's difficult for me to think of any way to celebrate my accomplishments because they have constantly been minimized for my entire life, hence the assignment.

The only two things I can think of doing are taking myself out somewhere nice to eat or buy something nice for myself. II take myself out to eat often enough and I can't think of anything special to buy at the moment. I don't know what to do! There must be other things I could do!

How else can I celebrate my accomplishments? I just can't think of anything else.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Is there somewhere near you where you can go on a special walk? Like to see a sight or something? Climb a hill? Walk around a lake? You could use the time to reflect, or not.

I also occasionally enjoy going to see movies by myself, because it makes me feel strong and independent.
posted by Frowner at 3:13 PM on February 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

Get a pedicure?
Order a glass of fancy champagne at a fancy bar?
Book a massage?
posted by vunder at 3:21 PM on February 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

If taking yourself out for a very nice meal doesn't appeal, would you enjoy a spa experience? It's very nice to be pampered in that way, and if you choose a nice spa with good amenities you can enjoy like a sauna/steam room and a nice atrium where you can sit and relax with a magazine and herbal tea, it's a whole nice afternoon.
posted by gateau at 3:23 PM on February 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

So, this is a little tangential, but...

I am a fairly gloomy person in outlook. Some years ago when I was in school and terribly stressed, I had a roommate who, when I would get home, would say "what's the best thing that happened to you today?" And I would usually say "I have made it home." But, as time went on, I would come up with good things that had happened. They might not have been very exceptional good things -- "I stopped and petted a cat," "I had a nice interaction with a fellow student," etc, but there were good things to be remembered and recounted. And, as more time went on, I became better at seeing small good things and carrying them around in my heart, and, while I am still a gloomy person, I have that skill (which I have been trying to do more proactively in the last year, because, really).

So, would it be enough to stop for a second when you get home, maybe have a seat in a nice chair, and say, "I did XYZ today, and I am proud of that?" It would be a small thing, but recognizing that you are accomplishing something can be a celebration.

If you want something more ceremonial, you could light a candle or pour a glass of wine (or other favored beverage) and toast yourself and your accomplishment(s)? Make it more or a ritual?

If you're thinking more about a reward, maybe give yourself "permission" to do something nice that you've been putting off -- go to a nice restaurant and really focus on the food or go to a park or museum or movie you've been thinking of visiting and really let yourself experience it.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:23 PM on February 17, 2017 [18 favorites]

There's no one around that I could take along to celebrate with, so it would have to be something I could do solo.

Have sex with somebody you know loves you.
posted by Rob Rockets at 3:51 PM on February 17, 2017 [4 favorites]

I think a lot depends on your budget, your tastes, your lifestyle, and whether you want to have a few big celebrations now and then or regular small ones. Some ideas:

* Buy yourself flowers - a grocery store or bodega bouquet can be inexpensive but really fun to have in your home
* Buy a piece of jewelry you've been wanting
* Get yourself a membership to a local museum
* Get a pet, if you're the kind of person who really loves pets but has never had occasion to get one
* Plan and take a vacation
* Get some new tea if you're the kind of person who really likes fancy/unusual tea. Or cocoa or coffee.
* Sign up for an inexpensive subscription service
* Books! Music!
* Mani/pedi
* Fragrant lotions or perfumes, if you're into it
* Lipstick, if you like makeup
* New underwear
* Go to a concert
* Do you have an amazon wish list? Buy stuff from it now and then.
* Write a song or poem declaiming your awesomeness. Or a journal entry recounting what happened and how you felt then and how you feel now.
* Send yourself a postcard and then put it with all your postcards of accomplishments when it arrives. "Dear Beth, You did a great job on that work presentation and I am so proud. I know you worked really hard, and it showed. Good for you! Signed, A Friend." People have done weirder things.
* (On preview) Buy a toy or some erotica (NSFW)
posted by bunderful at 3:51 PM on February 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

to think of any way to celebrate my accomplishments because they have constantly been minimized for my entire life

Do something that will continually remind you of your accomplishment. Take a day and plant a group of perennial plants.
posted by mountainblue at 3:56 PM on February 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

If you go out to eat or get a massage or something similar, make sure to tell the server/massage person that you are a celebrating an accomplishment. They will likely tell you congratulations and might do something small to make it that much more celebratory. (And it will give you practice saying out loud that you've accomplished something good!)

P.S. Congratulations for working hard to survive to this point in your life and for the work you've done in therapy! Both things very much worthy of celebration!
posted by mcduff at 5:03 PM on February 17, 2017

Buy yourself a trophy and hold a ceremony including music and a speech (by you!). Then write it up like a newspaper article and print it out, including quotes from your great speech. Pin the article to the wall.

Photoshop yourself into a photo with people you admire but don't actually know.

Print out a certificate of achievement. Templates abound online.

List your accomplishments on nice paper by hand.

Can you get somebody to announce your achievements, like a karaoke host or radio DJ or coworker?

Bring treats for your office or friends. Or something else generous. You don't have to tell people what it's for.

Give yourself 2 hours during which you do only exactly what you want to do, with no shame or self judgment.

Take a symbolic day of rest after all this surviving and accomplishing.

Write a ballad in honor of you and perform it to an open mic.

(And congrats!)
posted by ramenopres at 5:19 PM on February 17, 2017

Schedule a session to get your photo taken. Depending on where you are s place like Target might offer photography. Or search on Facebook for someone independent. Order a print of the best shot.
posted by MadMadam at 5:23 PM on February 17, 2017

I find experiences and especially those related to travel often feel indulgent and expanding. Even a weekend trip somewhere new. Find a nice B&B to stay in. Bring books. See local art. Or find comparable things that you have always wanted to try. Congrats!
posted by anya32 at 7:16 PM on February 17, 2017

Get an extra fancy haircut, maybe add some fun highlights that you wouldn't normally do. Bonus : you'll feel great every time you look in the mirror.
posted by hydra77 at 7:42 PM on February 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

I know that you said you can't think of anything special you'd want to buy yourself, but when I want to feel amazing I buy myself new bed linens. High thread count, in a lovely color. I launder them, put them on my bed, shower, change into freshly-washed nightclothes, light a candle and satisfied-sigh myself to sleep.

(Actually, I used to do this, since I become a mom it's a lot harder to do, but that's irrelevant here.)
posted by Everydayville at 8:10 PM on February 17, 2017 [2 favorites]

I would write a letter of appreciation to myself. I'd say stuff like hey you faced these challenges and you handled them - good job, good work!

Or do a joyful, happy dance and shout you did it! You did it! Good job, goodsearch, you did it!
posted by goodsearch at 11:13 PM on February 17, 2017

There are so many good ones here, I'm going to save this thread!

My thoughts, a few duplicates in the mix:

New bed linens, yes!!! I did this and it feels so nice to go to sleep in comfort.

Go on a hike that has some sort of neat end point, like a waterfall or a cave. Take a picture of yourself at the end point. I really believe in the power of a selfie to be able to look deeply at myself and see the strength inside me.

My therapist showed me the intake paperwork I'd filled out at our last session, and then we talked about it. It was incredible to be able to look back and be able to say out loud, "I feel sad for that woman, but I'm not her anymore."

Be well.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 12:14 AM on February 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

I once had a similar "assignment". I was quitting a very hard (but fulfilling) job. Not because I was fed up, but because I was moving away. My girlfriend said I should celebrate after the end of my last day. It honestly took my a whole day to figure out that what I wanted to do was go to a bookstore with a café with her, have a cappuccino, and then spend a good while browsing and selecting a few books to buy. It was quiet, nice and celebratory.

Oh, and because I walked out with four books, I'm regularly reminded of this day whenever I'm looking at my bookcase for something to read, and it gives me a nice feeling.

I'm not saying that browsing a bookstore and having a cappuccino is the greatest of all celebrations, but it made me realize that sometimes a quiet, contemplative occasion can be the best way to ceremoniously mark a life change.
posted by Kattullus at 1:05 AM on February 18, 2017 [8 favorites]

Congratulations! May I take you to lunch?

I love some of the suggestions above, hopefully one appeals to you and mine are moot.

What's your budget?

How about a balloon ride? Indoor skydiving? Rent a fun car for a day and go for a drive?

Is there a local attraction you've never been to? I'm amazed at how many New Yorkers have never been to the Statue of Liberty or the Met, or even Manhattan!

One of those Escape shows? Or participatory murder mystery shows?

Get up early and hit the estate sales and find a painting?

Rent a paddleboard? A bike?

Treat yourself to a guitar lesson?

Take a class: karate, painting, quilting, scuba, Chinese?
posted by at at 4:49 AM on February 18, 2017

If you are the crafty type, you could make an accomplishment board (riffing off the vision board). Each accomplishment gets an image and a line of text, and you can add to it as you continue to accomplish things.

You could also keep a journal strictly for accomplishments.
posted by bunderful at 9:38 AM on February 18, 2017

Volunteer at a pet shelter and play with all the doggies and kitties. The critters will all congratulate you on being an awesome human!
posted by mightshould at 12:08 PM on February 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

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