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Let us face it; most of us are living an ordinary life.  We are born, we die, and in between, we live… a fairly ordinary life.

We grow up; go to school, work, and rest.  We have relationships, pay bills, travel, share meals, make money, handle hardships, play, travel, endure tragedy, learn, and grow old. Our journeys and circumstances are all somewhat different; some see more joy, more blessings, more happiness while others find more tragedy, fight harder battles, endure more heartache.  In a few short years, less than one hundred, it’s all over and we are gone from this lifetime.

One of the antidotes to living an ordinary life is in creating extraordinary moments, in ‘celebration’.  I believe it is essential, should happen often and be shared with many.  I am not talking about being joyful, or being present, or enjoying time spent alone, these are also important.  I am talking about sharing food, space, music, love, and memories – with others. And I don’t just mean the big stuff, we are all good at celebrating the big stuff; birth, graduation, birthdays, anniversaries, a new house, holidays, a new job, new baby, and a life well lived.  I am talking about all the things that happen on the other days, before and after the big stuff.  Celebrating takes you out of the mundane and the everyday and turns your focus and your attention to what is good, what is joyful and often, what is fleeting and important.

In Scotland, a ‘Ceilidh’ is a traditional Gaelic social gathering that includes Scottish folk music, singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling. It is a celebration and a source of joy and to this day, folks can be found near and far, ‘having a ceilidh’ whenever there is something to celebrate – we chose this same name for our daughter, to celebrate her birth and our love.  We spend much of our days doing what we must, in order to feed and care for others, to provide what is essential and often material, to our existence.  We are ‘busy’ being human doings, and checking off the boxes on ‘to do’ lists, and trying valiantly to ‘get it all done’.  Spend some time with those who are dying, and ask them what matters, how they would spend their time over again, and you will find out what I did; that what matters is the people; being with them, spending time together, and making memories.

So, how about adding this to your ‘to do’ list’, find something to celebrate!  There are so many things to celebrate – a new haircut, garden’s first harvest, the tide coming in, the sun rising, Spring, learning a new skill, a great recipe, a new song on the guitar, seeing an old friend, completing the renovation, helping someone out, meeting a new neighbour, finishing a course, catching a fish, building a fence , mastering a dance move, running a personal best, finally finishing the laundry, finding a new flavor of ice cream, cleaning out the garage, renewing your passport, completing your taxes, watching a child’s first steps, being cancer free, finding peace.

Start planning your next celebration…..if not now, WHEN?

Celebration - April 12th, 2015

Photography credit:  Andrew Chambers Photography (andrew.chambers@live.ca)