On Celebration

It’s been years since I celebrated most of the things the average person considers worth their time and effort. Oh, I wish folks a happy birthday, and congratulate them on new jobs, the birth of babies and things of that sort. On the other hand, I don’t do things like, really celebrate Hallowe’en, Christmas or Easter—at the very least, not in the way others do (and to be fair, if at all, on the days themselves, not generally at all).

There was a time when I was rather “radical” in my approach to such things. That time is long gone. These days, the fact is, when you look at what most folks are doing to “celebrate” such things (along with gems like Cinco de Mayo and Valentine’s Day), you may come to an understanding as to exactly why I don’t tend to celebrate those events.

The reality is, where I don’t always succeed, I try to celebrate every day above ground. But you see, that does not mean partying, getting drunk or dancing the night away for me.

The most basic element of that celebration, is just being happy to be alive to see another day. That’s not the only thing I do to celebrate though. I like to do things like, spend time with my family and friends, involve myself in activities I and others around me enjoy that I consider non-destructive and just generally be happy to be with those I love and choose to spend my time with.

Obviously, it can be somewhat harder if not impossible to celebrate some aspects of life. Seeing people get ill, watching or hearing as folks die, these are things about which it can be awfully hard to have any good feelings. You never want to see anybody robbed or assaulted. It’s never a good or exciting thing to see somebody’s house or business get burglarized.

Even so though, each day is cause for celebration. Thing is, even if I believed or liked celebrating by “tying one on” or dancing the night away (and to be honest, I really don’t), it’s obvious that doing that too much of the time is anything but a good thing.

Personally though, my preference is to sit and talk, maybe have a beer (not a bunch of them, just one or two) every once in a while. I like to eat a meal with folks about whom I care, that’s a good way to celebrate life in my view.

Maybe I am getting old and stodgy, or maybe I always have been. This I say because frankly, I can scarcely look back on a time in my life when I really liked what most folks refer to as “celebration.”

Mostly, when I was doing what many folks consider celebratory activity, I was actually unhappy with everyday life, and was trying to find ways to mitigate that fact. Can I tell you a little secret? It never worked. In fact, it almost always made things worse.

See, the funny thing about life tends to be, the more you put into a given situation, scenario or relationship, the more you get out of it. That’s not always the case, there are “black holes” out there—people and things that take, but rarely give. At times you must “feed” those situations, scenarios and relationships, even though you have no desire so to do. Generally when you do that the hope is that the situation will “turn around”—that things will become happy or productive. Sometimes you wait a long time to see that happen, sometimes it never does.

The reality though, is that if you expect life to “get better” without your putting in the effort to make it so, you are badly confused about how life works. And I don’t say this to shame or insult folks, I say it with the intent of helping folks. Further, I’m by no means saying that this is an easy truth to internalize, nor am I saying that, once accepted, it is easy to live. On the contrary, the worse a given situation, scenario or relationship is or has become, the harder it is or becomes to deal with it.

The temptation is always there to discard or step away from such things, and I’m not going to tell you that’s not understandable and in some cases, warranted. How you react to such a thing, depends on how much you value that thing.

Put another way, when you consider a given thing to have no worth, your reaction to it tends to not be good. There are times when that’s not only okay, it’s the right thing to do and way to be.

Too much of the time though, people vastly undervalue things and people in their lives with the result that, in important ways, they lose those things or people.

Likewise, it’s not uncommon for people to place value on people and things that ultimately are not so important. The sad reality is, as a rule, those things and those people don’t stick around. And even when they do, often they add little or no real value to the person placing value upon them.

I guess the ultimate point is, we have choices to make on a daily basis, and to put that into the focus of the theme of this article, the choices involve who and what we choose to celebrate. Just remember, if you choose to celebrate that which has little or no meaning, you’re not likely to get “good returns.” Conversely, if you make it you business to celebrate things of worth on an ongoing basis, you’re likely to see ever increasing returns as a result. That’s not always true, and I guess we shouldn’t always expect it to be.

Let’s face it, sometimes others need you far more than you need them. The funny thing about that is, life has a way of rewarding you when you do for others when the cannot or even will not do for you. Sometimes though, you just have to accept that doing or being good is its own reward (and nothing else is coming your way in that regard).

As usual, I could talk about this for quite a bit longer, and not repeat myself in the process, but I’m “up against” both time and my word limit.

As such, permit me to thank you for reading and wish you the best of days.

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