I find myself at odds with the majority when it comes to holidays, including the arrival of a new year. I used to get involved in the big build-up, the effort and expense, the obligations, and many times, the over-indulgence that accompanies those appointed days. They were always followed by a somewhat “blue” period of let-down and recovery. Somehow–and not consciously at first–I eased away from the extremes and started asking for balance and meaning in all things. Over the last few years, I have been very intentionally studying how to find that meaning and balance.
On my calendar, I don’t have much need for marking certain days as special. Birthdays might be an exception. I like to acknowledge my happiness that certain people ended up on the planet in the same vicinity and time I occupy. (Not that I don’t do that on other days, too.) Birthdays are not imposed upon us the way that contrived holidays are, like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day, even Thanksgiving.
I have come to see every day as filled with the same opportunities to celebrate, give gifts, laugh, eat good food, gather with the best of company and share love, all that might be expected on holidays. Each day also offers the opportunity to grieve, express sorrow for our losses, and honor those who have come and gone, leaving their mark on us. And, my days present the chance to be creative in many ways, including how I make my living.
I do distinguish between holiday celebrations and rituals. I think rituals are valuable, perhaps essential, but they need to be married to a personal intention and meaning behind actions. We can be driven by popular convention or by blindly doing what we’ve always done, or we can look at each approaching day–regardless of what the calendar says–and give it our own particular meaning.
My intentions? To give thanks, to say “you are loved” as much as possible, to help someone in need, to show that I care, to try to make the world a more peaceful and beautiful place…and to do this EVERY day.
Can you spin the everyday commonplace into something extraordinary?