To celebrate: as in party my socks off in honor of an occasion, deed, accomplishment, or successful moment. This is my word of the year.
Too often I have left my own accomplishments, trials and deeds uncelebrated, holding to the belief that if I was successful in something I was actually just meeting the expectations or goals that I set for myself. And, in my mind, meeting expectations, no matter how successful they are, were unworthy of celebration.
Looking back, I realize how twisted and false this belief is. I remember a time when I was working on my PhD. I finished a very big exam called the comprehensive exam which requires a lot of statistical knowledge and other very boring stuff. It is tedious and takes a surmount of time to study for as it is an exam that assessed me on knowledge that I acquired throughout multiple courses. When I completed the exam a friend texted, “time to celebrate?” My response was “no, not until I complete the final comprehensive exam”. And this is an example of how things went moving forward. I didn’t even celebrate when I passed both exams. I told myself it wasn’t worth celebrating. It was a requirement for the three letters PhD, which really was the true celebration. Its twisted. I know. I didn’t celebrate a major accomplishment because it wasn’t the biggest accomplishment to come. I didn’t celebrate a major accomplishment because there was more work to be done.
I missed the point of accomplishments. Celebrating is the best part. It’s the part where you get to find relief and joy and happiness in the process. It’s the cake at the birthday party or the trophy at the end of season. It would be kind of weird to say, “well I am not going to eat a piece of my birthday cake because I have another birthday coming up in a year”.
So this year- I am going to celebrate everything, big or small. I am going to celebrate me. I am going to celebrate you. I am going to celebrate my students. I will be recognizing and celebrating even the smallest successes. Today I made a kid smile. Today I was there for a friend. Today I cooked a proper meal. This is my word of the year. CELEBRATE! And feel free to join me. I mean come on, life should be one big party!