When was the last time you really celebrated something? Was it a fancy dinner to toast a new job or a promotion? Was it a birthday party where you blew out candles surrounded by people you love and gave thanks for another year? Was it a wedding where you drank champagne and danced until your feet hurt? Was is a baby shower where you cooed over tiny, perfect socks and ate cake with too much frosting? Was it a big game, a graduation, a proposal? Those are the big moments, the headlines, the movie-worthy moments that come along only every so often.
But what about the billions of tiny, ordinary moments that make up our everyday lives? Aren’t those moments worthy of celebration, too?
I’ve been rereading Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist, and it’s making me pay closer attention to the beauty and the magic of the life that I’m living right here and now. I love this passage:
I choose to believe there is nothing more sacred and profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I’m about to become….
I believe if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage and parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look…
This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull off the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted. Your life right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live my life that way—with a keen awareness and deep gratitude for the little moments that are worthy of celebration. I want to celebrate the gifts, the snapshots, the minutes that add up and make a life. I want to pay closer attention to the warmth of the sun on my face, the smell of coffee brewing in the morning, and the comfort of my husband’s hand holding mine in the car.
Celebration, I think, isn’t something to save for the big moments. It’s a way of living that makes our everyday sweeter and richer. Celebration is also a choice. It’s deciding to give thanks, to be present, to savor what’s happening around you—good or bad, easy or hard.
What does it look like for you to live a life of celebration?