I’ve just returned from spending a couple of weeks with family. It was a really, really good time of being together, and of celebrations! There were two birthdays to celebrate, a new house construction beginning to take shape, and a wedding anniversary!
Celebrating the big wins seems to be a normal part of our culture, like when a huge promotion, a completed project, or a coveted form of recognition happens. We also do well at celebrating special events such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries. But taking time to celebrate little things is much harder, and can easily be overlooked or not thought of as important enough to make time for.
By “little things”, I don’t mean unimportant or trivial things. I mean things that we might take for granted, or that we might not take the time to recognize as accomplishments. So, for example, after having surgery for a brain tumor, my family and I celebrated the good news that it was non-cancerous – in a small way, of course, because I was recovering from the surgery. We remembered to celebrate the first year anniversary. But then it faded into the background, until this September when my daughter-in-law wished me a “happy decade brainiversary”. She remembered that it was 10 years ago when I made it through surgery and found I was going to recover to live a normal life. THAT was worth celebrating! I got to appreciate all over again how special life is, and how amazing health and wellness has become to me.
What about celebrating the small steps you’ve put in place to reach your “big goal”? That’s worth celebrating too! As an artist, I set goals for how many paintings I want to do each year. I don’t just celebrate at the end of the year, nor after each painting only, but I celebrate each time I begin a painting, each time I persevere through the “ugly” stage, every time I feel like quitting but don’t. Celebrating these small victories makes me stronger, makes me aware that I can and do achieve these small goals.
But what about when I don’t succeed at little or big things? Then it’s even more important to celebrate what I have learned from mistakes and failures! Many times those mistakes and failures have led me to a completely different place, and created the opportunity to become someone I could never have imagined. Without THOSE times, I would not be where I am this moment, writing to you. It is those moments which have taught me so much more than I could ever have learned in the fleeting moments of “success”!
Celebrations bring wellness. Through recognizing the ups and downs of life, reflecting on what we’ve done, who we’ve known, the importance of family and friends, we are filled with gratitude for the many blessings which are in our lives. And gratitude for life, even with its challenges, creates wellness.
Celebrate today! Write a note to yourself to say “well done!”, make an entry in a gratitude journal, call a friend and celebrate your friendship with a conversation, hug your partner to celebrate the love you share, pick a single flower from your garden and place it where you can celebrate its beauty, enjoy some popcorn as a treat… find special and creative ways to celebrate your life, to celebrate you, to celebrate family and friends. I guarantee you – it will be worth it, and celebrating will bring a sense of wellness every. single. time!