Until Further Notice: Celebrate Everything
I read this line on the memorial plaque on a bench in a lakeside park, visiting my Dad last summer.
Good advice, really.
I’m all for celebrating everything. To me it’s just an extension of the gratitude practice. Lifting something up to a higher level of recognition, celebration, honor, importance.
Many rituals and ceremonies exist within organized religion, but for those of us who don’t participate in that, I think it is important to create opportunities to celebrate, to mark special occasions, milestones, and accomplishments – otherwise every day is the same.
As I thought about celebrating, I realized there is usually always some kind of aesthetic choice, some beauty involved. Whether one dresses up in fancier clothing, serves special food, sends a lovely card, sings a touching song, chooses meaningful words to write or communicate, sends gorgeous flowers or gifts….there is artfulness, and an elevation from the ordinary.
I went to a fundraising gala the other weekend and got to dress up in a ball gown (I love that!), and I had a birthday recently and organized a wonderful party with great music and food to mark the occasion. When my son was little we decorated the house at Easter, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day along with birthdays and other special days.
My sister and I have a special ritual to celebrate our birthdays (one in May, one in July) where we go to Bard on the Beach, here in Vancouver, and out for dinner together as a special outing.
Show up at those award nights, applaud the winners, celebrate their accomplishments. Call people on their birthdays. Sometimes it is a simple as lighting candles, or setting the table a little bit more elaborately. But as simple as that is, there is intention to elevate, to honor, to celebrate.
Yesterday I visited my Mom and gave her a Mother’s Day hug. She has advanced dementia and doesn’t really know one day from the next, nor exactly who I am… but, I can celebrate having one more Mother’s Day with her.
That’s something to celebrate.