Brace yourselves, because this is about to be real talk. Real cheesy hokey uncool not-rock’n’roll blah blah blah. Really.
One set of hashtags I use regularly corresponds to one of my guiding aphorisms when I write: #WriteDark #LiveLight. “Write dark” is probably obvious if you’ve read my books, poetry, or lyrics.
“Live light,” well, that’s what got us to this post. Because even when I was wearing only black and was so deep in undiagnosed depression that it’s a wonder I didn’t drown, I couldn’t help but believe in love and light. In the value of kindness and compassion. In the importance of spreading goodness and hope. My gallows humour has always lived side-by-side with my idealism and soft heart.
You can’t see it, but she is bristling with magic
One of the changes to that as I got the therapy I needed was that I understood that I deserved plenty of the good stuff in my own life. And I have spent years finding ways to make sure I never let myself get totally lost in the dark again.
I’ve noticed the last few years, though, that life stopped feeling as magical as I’d like it to quite a while ago. Unfortunately, I think that’s a natural consequence of becoming an adult in this toxic pit of capitalism and patriarchy. And I don’t have kids, so I don’t have anyone forcing me to make space for holiday-orientated magic.
But. For the last few months, I’ve been feeling this growing sense that I need to add monthly celebrations to my already over-full life. (Really, thanks to my writers group, I’ve been at least pondering whether I am really letting myself down as regards celebrating things for almost a year now.) So, why didn’t I go for it right away?
Because celebrations, even the most basic kind that appeal to me, take time and/or money and/or effort, none of which I can really manage.
Because celebrations like this feel frivolous and cheesy. (And did I ever confess that I’m not fun-motivated? Sorry to ruin your image of me.)
Because I wasn’t sure (until I sat down to have a good think) what celebrations would actually accomplish. Not in the toxic, capitalist sense, but more in the sense that I feel divinely driven to not waste time in my life.
Because I am not really clear about what really merits celebrations, by which I really mean merits the time, money, and/or effort.
Like I said, I sat with these reasons not to celebrate and I came up with a list of what I thought celebrations would accomplish.
I think they will encourage, and give me one more chance to show, gratitude. Those of you who follow me on social media know I think quite a lot of gratitude. I honestly think it’s magical.
I think they will help me refill my resilience bank account, or at least keep it from going into the red, by giving me a little recovery and relaxation time.
I think they will help me regain a little sense of some of the magic I feel has disappeared from my life. Maybe not the giddy, squealing joy of a wee kid at Christmas with a couple new books and a buffet of treats to which I’m allowed to help myself. But there are other kinds of magic, with sparkle enough to help me feel like I’m at least a bit farther from living dark instead of light.
And that’s why, every month, I’m going to celebrate something. (I’ve jotted down an initial list of things for each month.) I’m going to start simple and see how it evolves…have a meal, enjoy a dessert, do some kind of activity (e.g., consume a short book, movie, TV; make art; dance a little; relax). Just a couple of warm, soul-feeding hours.
For September, I’m celebrating Autumn and education. I think that’s going to call for a sweater, a book, and warm food (still brainstorming the menu…though dessert will involve apples and/or cinnamon probably). Simple. Cosy. And…then I’ll just have to make sure I’m mindful enough that it’s a celebration instead of being tasks ticked off my list.
This cool cat gets it…
If I can remember, just in case you’re into it as well, I’ll mention what I’m celebrating in my newsletter every month and maybe even write a quick blog post. We’ll see.
(I know a couple of folks I’ve talked to about this are going to come up with exciting themes for each month and make a whole thing of it, break up the monotony of daily life, include their kids in the fun. If I had time, I’d do a whole blog—not just a post—of ideas, because I got excited brainstorming with them. So, you know, if this is speaking to you, go as wild—or quiet—as you want!)
Feel free to use the comments to tell me:
- That you still think I’m cool…Heh!
- How and/or what you already love to celebrate.
- What celebratory things you might be inspired to do having read this completely hokey but sincere mass of words.