Saturday, October 15, 2011

31 days || fifteen: creating your own celebration.

Back when I was planning my 25th birthday extravaganza, I got teased a lot. I was an adult planning my own birthday party, so I realized a few jokes might come with the territory.

All that teasing was worth it, though, when I overheard my dad telling my mom how glad he was I was carrying on our family's legacy of celebration. 

That concept -- a legacy of celebration -- is something I want to blog about in more detail at a later time, but for now, I want you to know: It is okay to celebrate. 

I'm not advocating some blowout party in which you go into debt and rent out a humongous venue and expect your friends to buy you gifts from Tiffany's. (Though in some circles, sadly, people call those weddings.)  

But I am telling you it's okay to throw a party. Any kind of party. A birthday party. A book club get-together. A dinner gathering. An outdoor barbecue. A party where people share their favorite things. A party where people come and go. A party where people stay all night. A party celebrating life and love and friends and family. A potluck. A happy hour. A thanksgiving meal.

Life's too short to wait on someone else to start celebrating for you. 

Maybe it's dumb to throw yourself a birthday party. Maybe that's just not what "grown-ups" do. 

But here's the thing: Making it through this life relatively unscathed is worth celebrating. Another year of breath is worth celebrating. The older you become, the more, really, your life is worth celebrating. 

Tonight, I'm helping my cousin celebrate her 18th birthday. I've been buying drinks and fun colored straws. I've been setting up photobooths and plotting out games. I've developed a playlist and brainstormed food ideas. 

I am doing it, of course, because I love her. 

But I am also doing it because one day, when she's 25, or 43, or 58, I want her to remember that life is worth throwing a party for. 

A blog reader once asked what I thought about throwing yourself a party. She wondered, I think, whether it was something Emily Post would approve. 

I have to say that as much as I appreciate good manners, I really don't care one lick what Emily Post thinks about throwing a party for yourself. Whether it's busy-ness or intimidating Pinterest boards or hectic schedules or "I'm-too-mature-for-that" ideology, celebration kind of peters out as we get older, and it's a shame. I think it's maybe time to bring celebration back, by whatever means you deem appropriate. 

And you know what? I think Emily Post would probably say it's okay.


Sabrina said...

I agree 100%:) And in fact I think there are many more people who want to celebrate but feel stifled. I say shake off all of those feelings and take the time and energy to celebrate and celebrate often. You won't regret it!

Betsy said...

Such a great post! And I have to tell you, your posts have been inspiring me. I've been in a grad school schlump recently, and I've started making the extra effort this week to celebrate and enjoy life rather than be overwhelmed by stress. So far, that has taken the form of: reading outside under the trees, going to an arts festival, and eating dinner on a patio with friends...celebrating beautiful weather, good music and conversation.

So, thanks for the push!! And keep the posts coming, friend :)

Leslie said...

*loved* this post, friend! needed that extra encouragement to plan a party i've been thinking about for this fall, and to start planning a small party for my hubs' birthday. loving your 31 days!