Life is worth celebrating . I take any opportunity that I can find to celebrate. Part of playfulness is having an attitude of celebration. Several years ago when I was a principal in a primary school I started every staff meeting with celebrations--large, small and anywhere in between. At the beginning of this ritual, teachers didn’t respond. They sat there and I gave wait time. After no response, I had them talk at their tables about the celebrations they had with their students and in their lives and had the table share out to the larger group. The room got more animated and the mood changed as they talked to each other. By the time I left the district, teachers were expecting this ritual and stopped me if I forgot it. One of my greatest complements came from a teacher at this school. She said that as the school leader, I recognized the great in them and showed them how to celebrate their greatness.
We don’t always know how to celebrate the events in our lives. And celebrating these events raises the event and the individual in importance and esteem. Celebrating our lives is a way to get to know each other and connect. It is a way to recognize the ordinary and the extraordinary as important.
My friend, Holly, knows how to celebrate. She is the celebrator extraordinaire. In our 20’s we lived together in a large house that we shared with a total of eight people. I always remember how she created just the perfect celebration for each of us on our birthdays that year. We helped but she was the mastermind creator. My 21st birthday was the perfect birthday. Because it was tailored to me and let me see how I was known and special to a very special group of people. Throughout that year we celebrated in different and unique ways each person in that house. It was a grand year. Fast forward to my 50th birthday. I was living in New York, 500 miles from my Cincinnati friend. The doorbell rings and I go to answer it, ready with money in hand to pay the pizza delivery guy, and standing in the pizza suit was my friend. She brought with her pizza and a book filled with cards and pictures from friends far and near, helping me to celebrate. The book is one of my treasures. As is my friend, Holly. And this year, I turned 60. Again, Holly was a big part of the celebration—this time in my family town. Knowing how to celebrate is a gift and much that I have learned about celebrating comes from my friend, Holly.
Now I am in the throws of a life celebration. I am in the two-month countdown till my daughter’s wedding. It seems that every day is a mini-celebration preparing for that event. On Thursday was a poignant, celebratory moment, as she and I went to her first fitting of her bridal gown. She is a lovely woman, both inside and out—and the gown only enhances her beauty. Seeing her transformation as she moves toward this crossroad makes me so proud of who she has become as a young woman and person. Another reason to celebrate.
So, my friends, celebrate! Celebrate today. Celebrate your writing. Celebrate your student’s writing. Celebrate the big events and celebrate the small events. The monumental and the miniscule. Celebration adds playfulness. And playfulness brings joy. What can you celebrate today? Who can you celebrate today?
PLAY-TITUDE #8: Playing with celebration brings joy.
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for dedicating space and time for writers and teachers of writing to come together to share ideas, practice and life experience.