Sponsor spotlight: There’s a reason to celebrate every day of the year

Adrienne Miller

Many people get together with their families for the holidays. Easter, Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas may all make that list. Seeing family and staying in touch is important for all of us, especially for the seniors in our lives.

My mother used to say, “Mother’s Day is not just one day, but every day.” Once I became a mother, I realized that she was absolutely right. An arbitrary, Hallmark holiday doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate Mom anytime we want. A given date on the calendar shouldn’t dictate how and when we find joy. Every day there is something wonderful happening around us, but how many of us find something to celebrate each day?

Life is brimming with magical holidays, special events, and occasions worth celebrating. But between those unique occasions, in the space in between, lies something even more precious: the joy of celebrating life every day.

It’s hard to grasp the concept of paying attention to every second of every day. Time is precious and when we have a lot thrown at us every day, job issues, family issues, health issues, etc., it can be truly overwhelming at times. It’s important to have moments to celebrate, not just stress-inducing holidays, but simple, perhaps silly, things that make us, and the seniors we love, smile.

How good does it feel when someone celebrates you? When it’s your birthday or anniversary, when you’ve done something great and are acknowledged at work, when someone you care about shares how great you are with others. Celebrating others can feel as good. Start to celebrate the little things.  It will make your heart happy. Do it and watch people’s reactions. There’s something about “just because” that makes people’s days.

So, what can we find to celebrate every day? Figuring that out might seem too stressful. Well, the National Day Calendar has you covered. According to their website, there are over 1,500 national days each year. As I’m writing this, I have the choice of celebrating National No One Eats Alone Day, National Caregivers Day, National Cabbage Day and National Random Acts of Kindness Day. How fun! I’m not sure about celebrating cabbage, but each of the others give me ideas. When my mother was alive, I would have embraced the opportunity to randomly show up with a meal, so she didn’t eat alone that night for dinner. And this really would have also counted for the random act of kindness, two in one!

There’s no right way to celebrate life. The means are as diverse as the celebrants and can continually evolve.  What’s most important is the attitude you bring to it. Celebrating every day means being thankful for what you have and optimistic about what is to come; it means respecting traditions, those big holidays that you’ve always celebrated with family and friends, and looking for novel opportunities to celebrate something new. It means bringing yourself fully into each day, ready to look at all that it offers to you. Here’s why:

  • Boundless Opportunities to Be Happy – Think back to a memory that brings you joy. Maybe it’s a family trip, a special birthday, a visit to somewhere new, or a cherished holiday.  Each of these was a celebration and one that you can celebrate again by reminiscing with the senior in your life that was there with you. Gratitude centers our attention on what is good in our lives.
  • Peaceful Appreciation – Expressing thankfulness for what you have by celebrating helps you wake up excited for each new day. Celebrating your blessings, including the blessing of still have a cherished senior in your life, makes those blessing burn all the brighter. When helping seniors lean into the good in life, it can shift attention away from heath issues that may have them down and can combat loneliness.
  • Inspiring Others to Feel Joy – Choosing optimism is inspirational to others. Making a habit of choosing a fun and enjoyable path through life has the power to change your life and the lives of others around you. Who wouldn’t smile if I told them I was celebrating National Cabbage Day?  It’s just quirky enough to bring a little joy at the thought. Happy people attract other happy people, who in turn can feed further smiles and laughter.

Some holidays seek to remind us of the importance of particular virtues. For example, Christmas leans heavily on the importance of generosity and kindness to others. Likewise, Thanksgiving is an entire occasion dedicated to the spirit of gratitude. But what if we didn’t limit these virtues and feelings to specific times of the year? Breaking down the barriers of when you can celebrate enables you to break down the limits on experiencing the positive emotions that come with celebration.

We learn one of life’s most precious ways to feel good very early, usually before we have even learned to speak or walk. That magical gift is silliness. Silliness is a superpower that enables one to turn the most mundane and ordinary moments into a fountain of delight.

Unfortunately, as we age, we adapt to various cultural norms and rules of etiquette, and we allow this fit of silliness to fade slowly. But we each still have that flame within us, waiting to be stoked back to life. Embrace the unconventional! Create the unexpected. Instead of waiting for a holiday to celebrate, create one for yourself and share it with the seniors in your life. They will love it!

So, how are you going to celebrate today?

— By Adrienne Miller, Chief Care Officer
Forever Care Services, LLC



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