Brace yourselves, because this is about to be real talk. Real cheesy hokey uncool not-rockâ€™nâ€™roll blah blah blah. Really.
One set of hashtags I use regularly corresponds to one of my guiding aphorisms when I write: #WriteDark #LiveLight. â€œWrite darkâ€ is probably obvious if youâ€™ve read my books, poetry, or lyrics.
â€œLive light,â€ well, thatâ€™s what got us to this post. Because even when I was wearing only black and was so deep in undiagnosed depression that itâ€™s a wonder I didnâ€™t drown, I couldnâ€™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.
Iâ€™ve noticed the last few years, though, that life stopped feeling as magical as Iâ€™d like it to quite a while ago. Unfortunately, I think thatâ€™s a natural consequence of becoming an adult in this toxic pit of capitalism and patriarchy. And I donâ€™t have kids, so I donâ€™t have anyone forcing me to make space for holiday-orientated magic.
But. For the last few months, Iâ€™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, Iâ€™ve been at least pondering whether I am really letting myself down as regards celebrating things for almost a year now.) So, why didnâ€™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 Iâ€™m not fun-motivated? Sorry to ruin your image of me.)
Because I wasnâ€™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 itâ€™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 Iâ€™m allowed to help myself. But there are other kinds of magic, with sparkle enough to help me feel like Iâ€™m at least a bit farther from living dark instead of light.
And thatâ€™s why, every month, Iâ€™m going to celebrate something. (Iâ€™ve jotted down an initial list of things for each month.) Iâ€™m going to start simple and see how it evolvesâ€¦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, Iâ€™m celebrating Autumn and education. I think thatâ€™s going to call for a sweater, a book, and warm food (still brainstorming the menuâ€¦though dessert will involve apples and/or cinnamon probably). Simple. Cosy. Andâ€¦then Iâ€™ll just have to make sure Iâ€™m mindful enough that itâ€™s a celebration instead of being tasks ticked off my list.
This cool cat gets it…
If I can remember, just in case youâ€™re into it as well, Iâ€™ll mention what Iâ€™m celebrating in my newsletter every month and maybe even write a quick blog post. Weâ€™ll see.
(I know a couple of folks Iâ€™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, Iâ€™d do a whole blogâ€”not just a postâ€”of ideas, because I got excited brainstorming with them. So, you know, if this is speaking to you, go as wildâ€”or quietâ€”as you want!)
Feel free to use the comments to tell me:
- That you still think Iâ€™m coolâ€¦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.