Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Curious about Celebration - Do You Celebrate Often Enough?

Tonight I am going out to dinner with a friend to celebrate the fact that I have completely finished setting up my new apartment the way I want it. She doesn’t know that this is a celebration for me, because I don’t want her to feel that she needs to bring a house warming gift - it is almost a personal celebration just for me.

I believe in celebrating accomplishments - no matter how small and mundane they may seem to others.

Yes, most people celebrate the obvious milestones - birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and retirements - and also the national holidays - here in the States we hold serious celebration gatherings for Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. These are fun and are usually include food feasts, parades and fireworks.

In this blog, I thought I would discuss celebration and celebrations from other points of view.

By now you know that I teach between ten and twelve fitness classes a week.
At the end of each class, we take a deep breath, raise our arms and give ourselves a hearty clap of the hands. We are celebrating that we made it through with flying colors. It brings us to closure on a high note and also recognizes that we have accomplished a worthwhile endeavor.

I submit to you that there are many other times during your days that you can and should celebrate:
  • You wake up on time and feeling great.
  • You love what you do - how you fill the hours. It may be a career, a hobby, a sport, another interest, and/or volunteer activity. You name it!
  • You finish a task that you have been avoiding.
  • Or complete a task that you have been working on for a long time.
  • You learn something new.
  • Your computer does what you want it do.
  • You repair something that is broken - it can be a piece of equipment, a treasured art piece, or a valued relationship.
  • You make a new friend.
  • You sell one of your products, or get a new client.
  • If you send out a newsletter, you get a new subscriber - or many new subscribers.
  • You survive and/or avoid an accident that could have been fatal.

I could continue with my list, but I am hoping this will spur you on to write your own list and to start celebrating.

Before I close, here are some interesting quotes that use the word “celebration” in different ways:

  • "Truly loving another means letting go of all expectations. It means full acceptance, even celebration of another's personhood." - Karen Casey
  • "The Olympic Games are the quadrennial celebration of the springtime of humanity." - Pierre de Coubertin
  • "Think of the magic of that foot, comparatively small, upon which your whole weight rests. It's a miracle, and the dance is a celebration of that miracle." - Martha Graham
  • "Tolerance and celebration of individual differences is the fire that fuels lasting love." - Tom Hannah

And, as a professional storyteller who is preparing to give a new performance at the upcoming National Storytelling Network’s Conference, I was drawn into the following quote by the nineteenth century actor, Sydney Smith, “The thing about performance, even if it's only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities.”

Let me hear from you about your celebrations - especially the daily ones!