Readers tell us how they would give themselves a pat on the back.
Lounge chair on beach
Credit: Thayer Allyson Gowdy

I would go skydiving. I'd like to prove that the humdrum of the real world―worries over money, cars, insurance, and plump body parts―has not diminished that reckless spirit inside me. After successfully living my life in a practical way, I cannot think of a better way to reward myself than by rediscovering the other part of my personality.
Brooke L Parker
Carbondale, Colorado

I would book a weekend stay at a dude ranch and ride horses. I'd hope it would be far enough away from home that nobody could find me.
Sally Stephens
Fairfax, Virginia

The best reward would be to take a road trip in California. I'd pack some food, books, a comforter and pillow, music, and―just in case―my cell phone and a credit card. I'd drive, rest in parks, read on my blanket, stop at dinky museums, and sleep in a little roadside hotel.
Susan Weissberg
Aptos, California

Although I would miss my family, all I want is a weekend alone. I would drive to a nearby beach or city and rent a hotel room with a whirlpool tub. I'd bring some easy reading (nothing mind-bending) and I'd watch whatever I wanted on TV (nothing animated), sleep late, order room service, and drink my coffee while it's hot.
Pat O'Brien
Scranton, Pennsylvania

I would fly back home to Tennessee and spend the entire weekend with my girlfriends. We could party at our old hangouts, spend the day on the lake, or just veg out, watching classic 80s movies like Top Gun.
Crystal Rogers
Auburn Hills, Michigan

My family is spread across the country, so I would gather everybody for a family picnic like the ones we had when I was a child. This would make me feel young again and remind me how important family is.
Meridith Ferber
Brooklyn, New York

I would head to the mountains with my husband and spend time just getting to know him again. Since the birth of our son 2½ years ago, we've had no time for ourselves, let alone one another.
Janet Springs
Fort Mill, South Carolina

I'd go sailing with my boyfriend. I've never done it, and it sounds wonderfully romantic to steal away on a boat with your significant other for a whole weekend.
Sandra Caldwell
Mays Landing, New Jersey

I never seem to be able to read for any longer than a few minutes at a time, so I would stay home and read to my heart's content. No laundry, no nothing―just books.
Cathy Aquilina
Webster, New York

I'd want a mini boot-camp session with a personal trainer. I would like the time to take care of myself and kick my butt back into shape. And a relaxing massage at the end of two days of workouts would be even better.
Karyn Judd
Raleigh, North Carolina

My mother is struggling with cancer, so the best gift would be a weekend at a spa for the both of us. We would eat healthy food, practice yoga, hike, read, and talk. That experience would stay with me forever.
Susan Davis Milne
Sundance, Utah

I would sleep. That would be a perfect reward for a long week without it.
Marian Briscoe
Dallas, Texas

Everything would be spontaneous. I would not plan a single thing ahead of time. Not being tied to a schedule is the biggest reward.
Rose Messere
Lincroft, New Jersey

Once a year, I send my family away and spend an entire weekend writing. I don't cook, clean, or do laundry. I ignore all clocks, telephones, and doorbells. When my family returns, I've not only missed them but I've also had a well-deserved break and invested in myself.
Jean Francis
Lansdale, Pennsylvania

I find barn chores―soaping leather, mucking stalls―revitalizing. I love listening to the horses munching hay and oats in their stalls, and at the end of a hot day I take my horse to the lake for a swim.
Lyn Simeck
Southfield, Michigan