Happy New Year! I hope your Christmas was lovely and that 2017 is off to a good start.
I’m not normally one to splurge but I bought myself a new laptop to celebrate the New Year! I’m using it now for the first time and this means I’ll probably stop talking about my five-year-old laptop with the broken screen—how such a gentle fall damaged the screen like it did is still beyond me. My new toy is gorgeous, with a 17″ touchscreen and the specs…well, let me not make you drool. The only “downside” is that it’s not an Apple laptop—if you had asked me a year ago, there was no way that my next laptop would not be a MacBook Pro but Apple made some significant changes to the latest model that have not been well-received so I decided to pass for now. (#waymorethanfirstworldproblems)
Because I’m thrifty, it was difficult to decide to get a new laptop because aside from the broken screen (a problem “fixed” with an external monitor), the laptop was still okay—thanks to the extended return policy I can continue to wrestle with the decision! But, as my dad pointed out, it was no longer a laptop but a desktop. And apparently, people don’t always wait for their devices to become non-functional before upgrading. The fact that I call this a splurge is probably telling too.
Celebrating can be buying yourself a laptop, but it’s less about the material thing and more about your state of mind. I looked back on the last year and I realized that I could have been happier than I was and I think I know why I felt that way. So I want you to look at your life and ask yourself: Am I as happy as I could be? Do I need to celebrate more?
When I asked myself those questions my answers were Yes, I could be happier and I definitely need to celebrate more. Sure, I share milestones like going natural or paying off my car and other things I’m thankful for but being thankful isn’t exactly the same as celebrating. To me, saying “Yay, I have no car payments” isn’t the same as marking the day by reflecting on the journey, having a celebratory cupcake, or snapping a picture to commemorate making that last payment. Instead I’m always moving on to the next thing that I want to do. By not celebrating I don’t cement these events in my head—I realized this when I was reading my 2016 review and remembered some things that I had completely forgotten to mention. I’ve even resented others for celebrating, like, “Gosh, why do they have to make so much noise over X?” But when I ask myself why it bothered me, usually it was because I had had a similar thing happen in my life but hadn’t taken the time to celebrate it and I regretted it.
It’s not only milestones that need celebrating: waking up every morning is cause for celebration. I learned this week that the policewoman and seamstress who has sewn clothing for me on my last four visits to Nigeria, including my last visit six months ago, had passed away. Imagine! She wasn’t old, she was actually in the early stages of pregnancy. I don’t know the details of her passing but sadly, she’s gone. When I think of what it means to be gone my heart just breaks for her. Just like that, that’s it—it’s all over, on earth at least. Please: if opening your eyes tomorrow isn’t normally cause to celebrate, can you celebrate tomorrow for Arinola?
My work bestie is a professional celebrator of life. She makes her weekends count by squeezing in something fun, whether it’s visiting the next town over or exploring our city, and she documents it with pictures. She always seems to look forward to the weekend with more enthusiasm than I do (and I really like the weekend!) and I know it’s because of her plans to intentionally do something fun. I truly enjoy my Shut-in Saturdays (where my primary goal is to not leave the house) but I could make it more fun and memorable by making sure that I do some of my favourite things while I’m at home. Celebrating is about treating each day like it’s going to be the best day and doing what you can to make that the case.
So, I want to celebrate the ordinary and I encourage you to do so too (if you don’t already). We live in a world that encourages us to go, go, go, nose to the grindstone. Social media shows people ten years younger than we are making ten times our salary. You lose 25lbs only to read about someone who has lost 100lbs, married a hottie, and started a business teaching others how to have the success she has. It’s easy to feel like you can’t celebrate until you reach a certain level but I plan to start celebrating every day, along the way.
In faaaaaact, if you’ve been feeling like I have and you want to celebrate more often, join me on Twitter and on Instagram where I’ll be either sharing a tweet or a picture with the hashtag #celebratedaily17 to remind myself to find something to celebrate every day. I hope you’ll join me!
How good are you at celebrating, both small and big things in your life?