Today was once a very important day to me. It carried so much meaning and emotion at a time. So much love and affection. I’ve been waiting for this day for a while now if I’m being truthful. Attempting to mentally prepare myself for how I would feel. Getting myself ready for the way this day’s meaning has shifted or changed.
I’ve always been the sort of person who puts a lot of pressure on days like these. Maybe its because I would one day love to plan events as a career. I can remember forcing guests at my christmas party to sign a diy guest book after I received a Mary Kate and Ashley party planning book. I tried having a hollywood themed birthday party when I was younger, where guests were expected to come dressed as a movie character. It was not well received. I appeared as Sandra Bullock in the ever wonderful Miss Congeniality (I still like to relive my days as a pageant queen… see Miss Simpatia) I come from a family that loves special days. That still gathers to celebrate birthdays and family day and graduations. We would go out for dinner after getting our report cards and we still celebrate watching the Bachelorette every week with family and friends. My mom got me flowers to celebrate my attempt at Valedictorian in grade 12 even though I didn’t get it, and we toasted to the day my biopsy came back saying it wasn’t lymphoma. She recently discovered the e-vite phenomenon and just cannot get enough. I like days like this one. Days to celebrate and give. I want more days like what today was. I want a life filled with days for celebrating specific things or people or experiences, for each of which I can plan a different party with a killer theme and a signature cocktail.
I woke up today feeling no different. Not feeling bad, but not feeling any different than I usually do. I wasn’t moved in any monumental way by the day itself. I gave no gifts. I received no flowers or cards that sing when you open them. I didn’t go out to dinner, or hold hands, or reluctantly kiss goodnight twenty times. I didn’t beam at a text before bed. I didn’t vulnerably express how much love I had for someone. I didn’t celebrate today the way I did last year. I didn’t celebrate the way I thought days like today should have been celebrated, because for so long I believed that there was nothing left to celebrate. That any meaning attached to this day had been shattered, and it has in a way. But this day is so much more that any milestone I had previously associated with it, and so is everyday. And it hasn’t been easy for me to embrace this idea… that special days don’t always come in the form of cake and candles and surprises and speeches, but rather that they are everyday, or at least they can be if we choose to live like that.
Today wasn’t the sad day I thought it would be. The day took on new meaning and new purpose. It became a time to reflect on how far I have come and how I have grown this past year, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to express the gratitude I have for that growth and that change. It was an important and empowering day.
I wrote in my last post about those feelings of being a failure or of not living a meaningful or purposeful life and my current struggle with them. And today, although no longer carrying any specific meaning, was celebrated and cherished, and I hope to be mindful of this and to continue to celebrate going forward. I spent time with family, treating ourselves to yummy food, delicious wine and thoughtful chats. I read. I napped. ( an aside about napping: which I used to associate with laziness and unproductive behaviour, but I now realize is about recharging and listening to your body, being kind to it. Please embrace the nap people.) I got to catch up with two strong, beautiful and inspiring friends over the phone, which I am so grateful for. I challenged my body physically and then rewarded it with a peaceful bath while catching up on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday… I can’t get enough. I practiced love for others, but most moving of all I felt unbelievably loved, accepted and supported. And thats without the singing card and the cheap flowers too! You can’t tell me that today wasn’t meaningful. I feel it was.
I speak a lot in this blog about practicing gratitude, but more and more I realize how hard that is to do when we set expectations of ourself, of our lives, of our careers, of our days that define our worth as human beings. I love goals. I am a huge believer in goal setting and I think that goals can drive us to be our best selves, to overcome our fears and to accomplish our dreams. But its when we attach our worthiness or definition of self to the accomplishment of these goals that we get into trouble. The same happens when I define a day’s worth based on its capacity for celebration.
Going forward I hope to find more reasons to celebrate and to practice love that go outside of the usual requirements. I no longer want my life to be a calendar filled with the ups and downs, the highs and lows of days that get a meaning inscribed on the daily square in red ink and others that are blank. I want to find a reason to live intentionally and meaningfully each day. To celebrate and practice gratitude even on days that I used to associate with having no special meaning or who’s meaning has been seemingly lost. Because I have so much to celebrate and to be grateful for. I really do. And I hope that if you step back and really take in your days, that you will feel as though you do too.
Today I am grateful for coconut body butter, for aunts who take you to lunch and encourage you to “have another glass,” for friends who just get it, and for the ability to rebuild and start over. I don’t know what it will be tomorrow, but I can’t wait to find out.
Goodnight everyone. God Bless.