“Until further notice…celebrate everything!” – A Person I Want To Hug
There are many things to celebrate in this life. The small things: I got a letter from my favorite travel bud. I was successful in self-diagnosing the reason for the bags under my eyes. THANKS GENETICS…and OK, lack of sleep. I didn’t fuck up my batch of cookies. I got my first nosebleed in boxing. I’m sitting down and writing right now.
The big things: my best friend got engaged!!! I get to be in her wedding and bake with her! My other best friend got her dream job and passed that one test you have to take to get into grad school. My Montana farm family welcomed a new little girl into the world. I moved into a sweet new apartment with tons of natural light and good company.
You get the idea.
I’m always thinking about the person I want to be. I want to be the person who makes room in their life to celebrate all these moments. I want to be the person that never forgets your birthday, writes you letters, and sends you care packages. I want to be the person you can count on to bake you a cake, cook you a homemade meal, and hang your shelves. Basically, I want to be the person that gets mistaken for Martha.
It’s important to me to let people I care about know that hey! I see you and am thinking about you and you are loved! I can show that in many ways. Gifts, time, food, thoughtfulness, labor, blood, kidneys???
Notice how I say, “I want to be”. Being a person that shows up for others requires YOU to be in a place where you can be that for other people. You gotta have your shit together…at least a little bit. You probably also need to have to have a plan, money, time, and energy too. And I dunno about you but sometimes I am impressively lacking ALL THE ABOVE.
How much is intention worth? My intentions are there, but I’m still recovering from failing at my work’s secret santa last year. My santa was so thoughtful. Like, pyrex dishes, candles that sound like fireplaces, baking tools, bath salts. Meanwhile, I (last minute) threw some “decorative nuts” into a mason jar. Whoooooops.
I guess I am wondering…how can I show up for others? How can I give and celebrate in ways that feel good? First, learn to show up for yourself, in whatever ways that looks like for you.
Second, make a plan! Write down all the days and holidays and people you want to celebrate. Ask people you care about what you can do for them to bring them joy or comfort. I made this survey and emailed it to my friends. If you ever need something to help you procrastinate, make a survey and fill it with GIFs. You will waste so much time finding the perfect GIF of a hamster eating birthday cake. It will be a great time.
You could also be a real adult and have a legit giving budget so you don’t feel stressed about giving gifts and donations (uh, me). I am nowhere near there yet. Trying! The New York Times has a great giving plan toolkit.
I’m excited for all the ways I’m gonna give and celebrate this year. Starting this week with a Spring brunch to end all brunches at my new digs for people I like. A birthday care package to Arizona. A letter back to a dear friend.
I hope you can also make room to celebrate someone in your life this week! I’ve never heard of doing nice things for other people making your day worse. What’s there to lose?