I love surprises. I love to surprise people and to be surprised (even though that doesn’t happen a lot).
So, today I grabbed my dog, got in my car and went out of town to visit my parents and grandma. Drove for 3 hours and when I got home, my grandma’s reaction was priceless. =) As my parents were at work, I went to their office (they’re journalists and work together) and said a big “Hi” as I got inside. My dad took a few seconds to actually realize it was me and not just a regular customer. It was soooo cool! And my mom was in awe for some hours, saying from time to time that she couldn’t believe I fooled them like that =)
Dr. Maya Angelou said once that we should “try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud”. I really believe that’s a good way to take on life, and I try to do that, even when the cloud is not that big. I believe it’s really important to take the time to think of a way to make a moment more special to someone. The little things matter. And it can be anything, you just have to be alert and use your imagination!
Back in 2009, my sister graduated from college in Massachusetts. As our family is from Portugal and for now, I still live here, my sister wouldn’t have anyone from her side of the family in her commencement. My parents called me one day, about two months before the date and told me that if I wanted, they would pay my air fare. Obviously, I said yes! I talked to my boss at the time and asked for two days off (one on account of holidays and another divided in hours in the course of two weeks). So, everything was set. I would board a plane in Lisbon on a Thursday at 10am, arrive in Newark, change planes to Albany and they would pick me up there. The flight home was three days later, on Sunday at 2pm. So, this would be my first USA visit, the first time I would meet my brother in law and the first time I’d see my sister in almost two years! And I did all this for a 4-day trip! =) And let me tell you, it was so worth it! We only told my sister 8 or 9 days before and we only did that because I needed a ride to their home and we didn’t know how she’d react to a surprise of this magnitude.
This year my sister turned 30. A big, huge milestone in a woman’s life eheh. And, again, we wouldn’t be there. I couldn’t, because I would never be able to leave work, but I really wanted my parents and grandma to go. So, I spent a couple months saving, talked to my sister and brother in law, used a bit of my credit card magic, and one day, my sister and I skyped with them and told them that we had bought their tickets to go spend two weeks with my sister for her birthday. They cried. =) And now you’re thinking, omg, she’s happy because she made them cry! Yes, I am! That means they loved the surprise! Once, don’t remember where, probably on The Ellen Show, I even heard that if the person you’re surprising doesn’t cry, it means that it wasn’t as successful as it could be. And I take that seriously 😉
But these were a few of big surprises. You don’t have to go this far to make someone’s day special.
A really good surprise can be preparing a snack for someone who’s hungry but is working hard and can’t stop. It can be doing the dishes if you usually don’t. It can be leaving a note in the pocket of someone you care about.One other awesome way of doing this is what is now considered a cliché: surprise parties. I’ve helped with some and would love to help with more, even if I’ve never had one of my own. But that’s the point, you have to be able to give without having the need to have something in return.The bottom line is that you really just need to take the time to think. I assure you it’s worth it. We don’t really have that much time with our family and friends, and doing little things – or big things, from time to time – help you tell them you love them and that they matter to you.