Once you decide to celebrate, everything changes.
Within even those very real sad and challenging times that come to all of us, you can find blessings. It's not that any of us is immune from these depressing moments, it's just that we can learn that they are transitory and hold within themselves teachable moments.
I've sometimes been accused of seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses, or being unrealistic. Perhaps a bit of that criticism is accurate, but I think my joy in life comes from a far deeper spiritual place. And I think you can experience it as well.
Children know how to do this. They celebrate everything, like:
- riding a bike without training wheels
- losing a tooth
- picking out the first star each night
- getting a hair cut
- reading their first book
- zipping down the ski slope
- swimming across the pool
- being kissed
Perhaps you can remember these 'childhood firsts' and how they made you feel. I can.
Once you achieve a certain maturity, you know that life goes in cycles. Harry Chapin sang "All My Life's a Circle" and the lyrics still ring true for me. Life is full of change and shifting and loss, but also hope and freshness and meaning.
All my life's a circle, sunrise and sundown.
The moon rolls through the nighttime, 'til the daybreak comes around.
All my life's a circle, but I can't tell you why,
Seasons spinning round again, the years keep rollin' by.
Deciding how to mark celebrations is great fun. Jumping up and down, drinking a toast, loudly whooping, saying a prayer, writing a poem, taking a mental or actual picture, lighting a candle, calling a friend are all ways I've chosen to celebrate. It all begins with paying attention and living life with intention. Marking each celebration with some sort of ritual or symbolic act tends to plant its memory, so that it can be recalled and re-lived.
As adults, moments we can choose to celebrate things that might include:
- making it through the first holiday after the death of a spouse
- saving a nest egg when saving's been difficult
- holding a newly born grandchild
- marking the first fall day when the windows and doors can be open
- cooking a fabulous meal
- hearing from a long-lost friend
- physically achieving something new
- paying off a debt
- recovering from an illness
- saying good-bye to a parent
I wish you many celebrations