At our house, we have always celebrated both minor and major holidays and events in a big way, but this approach became even more important after the three of us got sick. There is nothing like a little celebration to lift the spirits, whether it's for a major holiday, a minor holiday, or even something totally made up! My essay, Celebrate Everything Big and Small, recently published on the Mamalode website, describes how we add celebrations to our lives as a way to add joy to every day. The essay focuses in on the holidays of this time of year - from New Year's through Easter - but if there are no holidays coming up and we need a pick-me-up, we sometimes have Mexican Fiesta Night or some other made-up event.
This older blog post, The Joy of Celebrations, focuses in even more on adding celebrations to a life of chronic illness. Even if you are severely limited and can't cook, you can still celebrate all occasions in your own way - order take-out, ask a family member or friend to put up some decorations, wear a special color for a holiday, listen to appropriate music (I got a CD of Mexican guitar music from the library for Mexican Fiesta Night!), or maybe watch a holiday-themed movie.
Adding celebration and joy to your life is more a matter of attitude than of doing certain activities, and it is even more important if you have kids who are sick.
Now that our sons are 17 and 20, I can see that growing up with this celebration attitude has paid off. Our 20-year old son lives in an apartment with friends on a local college campus, and he and his friends are always hosting parties with really creative themes: they had a James Bond party last year and a Dark Party this year where the only light came from flashlights. I recently asked our son why there was an old pair of red suspenders in the car (which came from the costume box they used when they were little), and he said nonchalantly, "Oh, I used those for our Old Man Party." That's my boy!
So, the next time you are feeling a bit down or have had a bad day or week or month, plan a mini celebration! It'll lift your spirits and take your mind off your illness for a bit. We could all use a little extra joy in our lives.
|My son and his two best friends at their James Bond party|