Are you celebrating? It may be long overdue.
Life without celebration is like hiking across a snowfield during a whiteout when the sky and the snow merge together and you can barely see your next step. Chilly and dangerous. Everything becomes a blur.
Like the past twelve months.
With the pandemic, lots of celebrations have been delayed or canceled. I salute the brave couples who got married anyway, the kids who graduated, and the families who held memorials, all doing their best to keep their spirits up over Zoom. I was happy to be able to Zoom-celebrate my granddaughter’s high school graduation, but I’m still waiting for her hug!
We’ve all been doing what we could.
Still, life has sometimes felt a little grayed-out.
Time to celebrate…
This week I have a big reason to celebrate: I shipped off a draft of my book to a few first readers. Woo-hoo! This is huge for me. I’ve been working towards it for months.
Balloons! Lights! Flowers! Special dinner and/or…
But wait. The anti-celebratory forces appear to be fast approaching carrying their time-tested weapons for dampening my spirit:
1) Downplaying. As in, “No big deal. The book is far from done.”
2) Task-ism. They intone, “Great. You did it. Now jump into work and see what’s waiting on your to-do list.”
3) No ready rewards. Frankly, I give my dogs many more rewards than I give myself. Where’s my box of handy treats? My dog Royce constantly reminds me that “a life without treats is not worth living.” Why didn’t I think of this?
I need to re-introduce the word CELEBRATE to my vocabulary. My path needs some sparkle and the gift of a pause.
Finding reasons to celebrate is easy, even in the face of periodically dreadful news.
Reasons to celebrate:
- I got my second shot.
- The first daffodils are up.
- Most older people on our island have been vaccinated.
- My manuscript is out to readers.
- Peas are growing.
- My grandson graduates from college this week. (Big one!)
Focus on celebration and you’ll come up with reasons.
Like gratefulness, this requires a bit of attention. And sometimes suspending an atavistic desire to keep moving ahead with tasks.
How to celebrate
I’m hearing some (younger) people saying they are going to have a mega-bash to make up for all the parties they missed last year. I’m not sure this is a good idea. Doctors say you can’t make up for the sleep you didn’t get during the week by sleeping in on the weekends. A big party may be in order, but not one that blows out your circuits.
Besides, for me to give a big party feels like work. I’ll take my celebrations simple, heartfelt, and easy.
12 ideas for celebrating:
- Give yourself the gift of time. A guilt-free afternoon is at the top of my ideas! Yummy!
- Plan visits with friends. My choice is a gentle rollout of long-overdue cups of coffee together.
- Eat special food. We all have our list. Extra dark chocolate. An almond croissant (One gets to go high sugar/high gluten once in a while, right?)
- Ask your partner for a gift. If my husband were telepathic he’d know exactly what I’d like, but it doesn’t hurt to tell him. I’ve found explicit works best.
- Buy something cool. I’m not into big consumption, but adding a new tube of paint to my collection would be joyous!
- Donate or give something away. Do good in celebration of you.
- Clean. This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but cleaning feels great after a spate of intense computer work.
- Take a “create break.” A stretch of time dedicated to creating, whether it be painting, poetry or digging holes in the ground, could be luxurious.
- Join someone else’s celebration and share their joy.
- Perform a ceremony or ritual that has meaning to you.
- Take an extra-long walk.
- Sleep. More.
Or, make a list and extend the celebrations over time.
For my 60th birthday, I decided to list sixty mostly low-cost items or experiences that would make my heart sing. (I actually only hit 49. That was plenty!) On my list was coffee with a friend, a laughter yoga session, a walk in the park, an improv class, a phone call with an old buddy, a long trail ride, a new tube of lipstick, among others.
Just the act of creating the list was a celebration. I gave myself a year to fulfill on my list. It was so much fun that I’m considering repeating the process for an even bigger, fast-approaching, significant birthday.
Celebrating may only require adding a dash of intention or gratitude into what I might be doing anyway. Like taking time to weed.
Celebrating can be about transforming the ordinary with a moment of magic.
Because we all deserve that.
Now for a blast from a distant past…here’s a song from the kings of “Celebration.”
We made it. To here. That should be cause enough to celebrate while honoring the 500,000 plus in the US we’ve lost to COVID.