I was recently talking with a friend who had a crappy year. I know, 2020 was not exactly a picnic for most of us, but her year was something else altogether.
Cathy lost both of her beloved grandmothers. Her son graduated from high school without a ceremony. And then moved five hours away to college. Her sister got breast cancer. Her work environment changed considerably. And yes, she had to process all of this while living and working during the stress of a pandemic.
Yet she told me she’s been celebrating and smiling through her tears.
In spite of the coronavirus and in spite of our circumstances, there are many many things to celebrate,” she said. “You just have to look for them.”
Cathy is a walking, breathing, living example of what #ChampagneMonday is all about. She’s been doing it all year long, finding tiny victories (or big ones) to celebrate.
Her mental practice of focusing on the good—and the lessons learned—in a situation has helped her stay positive and productive, even with some speed bumps in the road.
Let me be clear, she isn’t dismissing or minimizing the trauma of 2020. “Oh, it’s real. It’s still painful and the grief can pop up out of the blue.” She’s acknowledges it all, but chooses to focus on the positive.
“The more you look for small victories and appreciate them, the more joy they will bring to you, she explained. “One part of living the good life is stopping long enough to relish in the moment. For example, if you applied for a job and didn’t get it, celebrate the fact that you had the courage to apply. You put yourself out there and that is something to honor.”
Now before you roll your eyes and call Cathy or me “Pollyanna,” please understand it’s not about ignoring the bad things that happen. It’s about finding the slivers of good, in spite of—or alongside—the challenges and heartbreaks.
I randomly and not-so-scientifically polled some folks I know and asked what they are celebrating this spring, large or small. Here are some of their answers:
A cozy house
Running a 5K
A child graduating
Learning to paint
A virtual Bible study small group
Baking a loaf of bread
An opportunity to be creative
A good hair day
Finally getting to see a grandchild
The ability to learn from mistakes
A lifelong friendship
A new friendship
A life well-lived
What are you celebrating?
Please add your victories to the comment section below. And invite a few of your peeps to celebrate with you. We’ve chosen the fourth Monday of each month as the official day to honor the “good stuff” in life with #ChampagneMonday. No worries if you don’t do alcohol or can’t make it happen on a Monday—you get to choose how you celebrate, just like you get to choose what you celebrate.
However you celebrate, know I am celebrating with you in spirit!
Wishing you a healthy, positive and happy week,