Why Celebrating Is Important To Me

It’s not because I just like to party and have fun (although I do)!

One of my biggest passions is loving people well and making them feel known. I love recognizing milestones, savoring the uniqueness of each season. And I love remembering and appreciating the gift of every moment.

On the one hand, to some degree, I think I am wired this way. Believe it or not, even at the age of 7 I was already planning my own birthday parties and those of my sisters! My grandmother was also known for loving to document and commemorate things.

But there is also an admittedly bittersweet source of my desire to celebrate, and it has to do with a keen awareness of loss.

I was exposed to loss at a young age. Not in the traditional sense of losing a loved one. But in some ways, it felt similar, as the loss of time and relationships is in and of itself a death of sorts. You see, before I went to college, I had moved or changed communities a total of 12 times. Though we lived in some places longer than others, on average, that amounted to only ~1.5 years in one community.

I still vividly remember the first time at the age of 10 when I was rudely awakened to the notion that time does not freeze when you leave. We had left for one year and returned to the same community. I recall so eagerly anticipating seeing my friends again for so long – only to find upon my return that they had moved on. Unfortunately, this cycle repeated itself over and over again, even if friends mourned with me each time we left.

That pain in understanding the fleeting nature of time led to some challenging seasons in my adolescent years. But it also gave rise to a deeper appreciation for each moment of joy in the day to day, no matter how big or small.

The constant disruption also made it challenging to form deeper relationships. It wasn’t until high school that I formed some closer friendships that still remain a part of my life today. I am always struck by a slight tinge of jealousy when others talk about friends they have had since grade school or even preschool. I can only imagine what that must be like to have had someone to journey with for so many years! To be deeply known is something I had not experienced until a little later in life, and those times that I first felt known left an impression on me and have been some of the most meaningful and impactful moments for me.

Because of some of these experiences as well as my natural love languages of quality time and gifting, the greatest gift I feel I can give to someone I love is to make them feel truly known. For every celebration I plan, I try to think about what would be meaningful to that specific person; what would bring their heart delight; and what would make them feel seen, heard, and loved.

Don’t worry – I’m in a great place these days (after going through lots of therapy in my twenties!). But these experiences as well as others of actual loss later on in my life have profoundly shaped my worldview and living approach. I strive to be as mindful and present as much as I can – to fully experience and appreciate the shared moments with those I love, even when it includes exhaustion and struggle (#momlife)…for each moment and each person in our lives are truly a gift – and that’s worth celebrating.

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