Celebration breeds excitement. We celebrate recurring events such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays as well as the milestones such as, graduations, promotions, weddings, adoptions and births. We throw large parties and invite loved ones to share in the excitement of a new beginning or the continuance of an old tradition. Through celebration, we can foster a sense of deep gratitude for both the big and small moments in our life.
It’s both tempting and easy to celebrate only the landmark moments in life and forget about the ordinary experiences that occur each day. There are days and weeks in our lives when nothing extraordinary happens. We move about our days without noticing the good things we have received or the community we are a part of because we subconsciously believe the ordinary moments in life aren’t worth celebrating.
But if we continue waiting for the big moments, we miss out on a chance to deepen our spirit of gratefulness.
Celebration, in a way, forces us to slow down from the chaotic day-to-day grind in which we immerse ourselves. When a friend or family member’s birthday comes around we often reflect on the relationship we have with the person and how grateful we are for their life. When we celebrate, we get to see our lives on a larger scale and see that while there are difficult moments and painful experiences, we have many good things that we forget to see.
When we start to celebrate beyond the extraordinary moments we naturally begin to practice the habit of gratitude. Instead of waiting for the next big moment in life to reflect on how much we have to be grateful for, we can see the gifts we have been given that are woven into our seemingly insignificant days and weeks. The practice of celebration isn’t to shrug off the difficult trials that we’ll inevitably face, but it helps turn our perspective outward—to see the things that are still blessings and worth being excited for. It’s acknowledging life’s bittersweetness and learning how to be thankful for all parts of life.
A practice of celebration of the ordinary stands in direct opposition to the “have more, do more, be more” comparison cycle that’s easy to get lost in. It slows us down and reminds of us all the things we have to be thankful for in our lives. In turn the gratefulness we feel for our life will bring us directly back to the act of celebration.