As we checked into the Sonoma Mission Inn this past weekend, the coy concierge asked, “are you celebrating anything special?”. My sweetie and I looked at each other, smiled between us, and I simply answered, “Yes, being together.” The concierge laughed nervously, not sure what to do with that…I could sense she was thinking….is that really a celebration? It likely didn’t fall into her birthday-anniversary-wedding choice list for hotel-sanctioned pillow gifts. Hmmm… what to do with that?
The day of my friend’s first book launch was only a few days away, and I phoned her, asking about her plans to celebrate. She mentioned she hadn’t really planned anything, as she had been so busy, and would likely just have the usual dinner with her husband and kids. We had a short conversation about the true joy of this momentous moment, (that’s what friends are for) and with a sudden burst of creative energy and one email invite later, she found herself with a houseful of family and loving friends toasting her that night. She brought the moment into something extraordinary. Something to be remembered.
We forget to celebrate special moments in our lives. We’ve got the birthdays and anniversaries nailed, but I am talking about the special. The ordinary. The subtle. The magical. The unexpected. Some of us are so busy accomplishing, that with all our huffing and puffing, we forget to notice we have crossed the finish line. Some of us just need permission to give thanks for that thing that happened, to express our joy, letting it rise up like a bunch of colored balloons.
I remember that getting my first bra was a moment of shame and embarrassment for me. I was mortified that I was most definitely the only girl in 4th grade (yes, 4th grade) that was developing and I prayed to Jesus, Mary and God every night that it would stop. It didn’t until I reached a DD, and it took an eight grade modeling stint and years of compliments and self-acceptance to get to the self-celebration mode that I have today. So, you can imagine that when I bought a first bra for one of my daughters, I felt a change in perspective was in order. I left the aforementioned personal story in my secret archive, and instead, told her it was time for a small family (the three of us girls) celebration. Absolutely! Growing up is amazing! I declared that this was a special moment that shall be noticed! She was delighted! Know how we celebrated? We bought mini cupcakes! How appropriate—haha!
Celebrations can also fit into tough times, where you would least expect. The night that my former husband moved from our shared home into his new home, he and I and the girls decided to do the least obvious thing and throw him a house warming party for just us. Seriously. We bought a new palm tree to symbolize new life, gathered some take-out goodies from Whole Foods, and because he had no furniture yet, we had a picnic on his living room floor. It shed something positive on what was a a gut-wrenching time. The kids looked to us, our attitudes, and took our lead….there is something good about this! We are a family still, lucky enough to have two beautiful homes, and complete with two parents that are on their way to being happier. And so it is.
Now I have to admit here, that I have yet to formally celebrate—or to figure out how to properly celebrate- the fact that BOTH of my auto-immune diseases (RA and FSGS) are in “remission”. All the markers are in perfect alignment with health (yippee!), and my doctor declared the word “remission” at my last visit like it was a proclamation set in stone. I sent emails to my loved ones, expressing my joy. I called several of my biggest healing supporters. Somehow it doesn’t seem grand enough. How to celebrate one of my life’s greatest triumphs? I am waiting for the momentousness to sink in, for the right thing to appear. It will come to me, I am sure, perhaps an outstanding idea from an amazing celebrator like yourself.
What do YOU want to celebrate? What has moved you recently? What is calling for you to take notice, to open your heart, to release some colored balloons of joy?
What do we do when we celebrate? We flood our souls with gratitude, we saturate our spirits with awe for this life that is ours, for this moment. We notice and celebrate the good right in front of us, and because like energy attracts like energy, we bring ourselves more of such wondrous moments. What’s not to love?