Monday, January 30, 2017

Celebrate Yourself!

Hello my Dear Readers,

How is January treating you? Are you keeping up with your resolutions if you made any? Are there new beginnings for some of you (after all, 2017 is year 1 according to numerology)? How are you feeling overall at the end of the first month of the new year?
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Well, while you are thinking about all of the above, I will bring us to today's subject - celebration of self. I am sure you have done this few times before and have some idea what this post might be about. But as you can imagine, I would like to offer you my interpretation of the meaning.

For many people celebration coincide with a special event: birthday, graduation, wedding, anniversary, birth of a child, promotion, etc. Really, all of the above could be considered special events in our lives. And they most certainly deserve to be celebrated. So when you look at the life events mentioned, they represent beginning or successful conclusion of something.

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For majority of the population in the developed nations, these are the standards of "normal life" and somewhat naturally occurring events. Most of us are expected to complete our education, get married, have children and thus celebrate all of the mentioned. But what happens to people who do not belong to "the norm"? What happens to people who choose different approach to life? And what happens to people who reside outside of the developed nations? Are their lives sad because there are no significant events like above? Are their life events not worth celebrating?

Absolutely not! These people have the same right to celebrate! And even they might not have the "normal life" (you know my view about this topic), there is plenty to celebrate. So let's have a detailed look at the options for "alternative to norm" celebrations.

We shall start with following, if you are "normal" (and by the way, there is nothing wrong with that) I would like you to put yourself in a shoes of a person who does not have life according to our societal standards. Imagine that you are a 15-year-old girl in central African country, whose parents passed away and now you have to look after two younger siblings. Do you get the picture? Do you think this girl has many celebration worthy events in her life? I will say no. She has a tough life ahead and probably in a complete survival mode. So celebrating anything will not be first thing on her mind.

But we do not necessarily have to travel that far or be so dramatic, have a look in your "backyard"(watch some news. read a paper or be present in the community). There are plenty of people that unable to attend college or choose not to get married; there are people who work hard to provide for their family just to be stricken with a severe illness and no longer able to support the family; there are happy couples who cannot wait to start a family just to realize that they are unable to have children; there are plenty of young hopefuls anxiously waiting to make it big in athletic world only to be sideline with debilitating injury; there are those that have all the financial freedom but deal with severe depression; and then there are some that no matter how hard they try to get a better life, it just does not seem to work. Do these examples paint few close to home pictures for you?
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So what about all of these people, what do they have to celebrate? Oh, there is plenty! And one of the first things to celebrate is being you! Yes, celebrating yourself! Does this make sense to you so far?

Even if it does, let me offer you my opinion (as you know I am happy to share!). And it will be based on my life's experiences since this is what I know best. I had many happy times in my life: graduations, marriage, birth of my son, great jobs, many life accomplishments and lots of fun times. But of course I was also faced with numerous challenges in my life and not necessarily just mine. There was a divorce, depression (my son's, my son's father and mine), failed friendships and relationships, collapsed business partnership that create a huge havoc for me as a single Mom. And then came untimely death (there were four in our family in one year): my mother-in-law, my Dad, my son's father and my grandmother. All of the events seem to follow one another, it felt like a "series of unfortunate events".

There were times that I felt like everyone turned away from me; there were times that I did not know how I will be able to feed my son; there were many times that I had to give another "no" to my son's request (God bless his heart) for some toy that everyone else had; there were times that I simply could not get out of bed. Yes, I was there, I lived that. And at times I simply did not know if I can go on, I did not know how. And at times I felt like an absolute failure which is not like me at all!

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But I have conquered all, I have found the way. I realized that all of the disappointments and upsets were there to teach me something, this was a school of life. I am a strong believer in expression: "Necessity is the Mother of invention". This expression came very handy many times in my life and helped me to become stronger, more resilient and of course more creative. It helped me to decipher who belonged in my life and who was simply dragging me down (family is more complex of course). It helped me to understand myself better and know what were important things in my life. And most importantly, I've learned that we do not have to wait for big life changing events to celebrate! We need to celebrate every accomplishment no matter how little it might be.

In the last few years I got deeper in to a path of self-discovery and learned more things about myself. And I believe these are two most important things - self-love and gratitude. Many people (including me in the younger years) mistaken self-love with selfishness. Although dictionary definition do not see the difference between the two, self-love does not mean complete disregard for others. If you ever flew on a plane, during the safety instructions it clearly states to make sure that you put your oxygen mask on first and then help your child. Why? If you are not okay, your child will not be either. That applies to real life as well and I've experienced that first hand. When I was not okay, neither was my son. I quickly learned that self-love was the way to go. Getting there is a whole other story!
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So back to little celebrations. Think about your life at this point, are there things to celebrate? Having trouble finding any? Let me help you. Did you wake up this morning and was able to see, walk and breathe on your own? If so, celebrate! Did you have food to make breakfast? If so, celebrate! Did you keep the word of something that you promised your child or loved one? If yes, celebrate! Do you get my drift?

Now, of course I do not mean to have a full blown balloons, orchestra and cake celebration for every little things you do, but be happy with little things. Be glad that you are able to accomplish even the smallest task. There are a lot of people that unable to do even those simple task that we take for granted.

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And for those of you that do struggle with simple every day tasks, celebrate the fact that you are here and figuring out how to live your life despite the challenges; celebrate that you are a great example for those that might have just got into your position and is devastated and scared; celebrate you tenacity and will to live and function in the most "normal" to you way possible.

I try to celebrate as much as I can and some of my friends love this fact. Some do not quite understand it and that's okay. There are two very important events in a year that require proper celebration in my world - New Year and my birthday. You might ask why. These are the events that signify a start of another year, either calendar or personal. These events give me an opportunity to reflect, make adjustments and create more to celebrate. And as an Aries, I love new beginnings! They are exciting and full of promise for optimistic outcome!
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In conclusion, I would like to offer you another thought. Celebration is a positive energy that will bring more positive energy your way. So, if you are looking for more optimism and smiles in your life, celebrate and be grateful. We are all energy and we are all children of the great Universe. Start your day with gratitude of being alive and the rest will follow!

So go out there and find your own celebrations! Really think about it and you'll be amazed how many things there are to celebrate in your life, even if you are down on your luck. And while you're looking...

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

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