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Celebrating Change

Yesterday I wrote a marketing piece for something I offer during this gift-giving season.  My promotion addressed the fact that we, as a society, usually give gifts at a time of change.  The thought has become more curious to me overnight, so I’m filtering it out as I post here.

As a culture, we often give flowers, cards and gifts at Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  These holidays celebrate love more than change and tend to be more intimate.  Still, the majority of the events that constitute throwing a party, gathering crowds or however we make a big deal about the person/people involved, revolve around some form of life transition.

I’m addressing these moments with wonder.  With the exception of birthdays, most of these events clearly constitute some form of life-altering adjustments for the people involved.  Here are the examples I noted:

Birthday = changing ages

Wedding = changing lifestyle and adding family member

New baby = permanently altering lifestyle and adding family member

Anniversary = reflection, and in a perfect world, gratitude

Engagements = excitement and/or terror (depending on who you talk to at any given time)

High School Graduation (for parent/s) = changing lifestyle and possibly semi-removing family member

High School Graduation (for graduate) = changing lifestyle and figuring life out

College Graduation (for parent/s) = changing financial lifestyle and possibly semi-re-adding family member

Getting unmarried = changing lifestyle and deleting (at least) one family member

New House = celebrating chaos and new beginnings

New Job = same

No Job = ok, maybe you would or wouldn't consider this "giftable" depending on the scenario...yet, be a friend....this could be life-altering for your buddy

Retirement = (see HS Graduate above)

There will always be the range of how people celebrate or acknowledge a life shift.  Some follow the “let’s just fly under the radar about this” approach as opposed to others who get balloons and pop champagne because it’s Friday.

What is the impulse for us be joyous and join in commemorating a glorious occasion?

Is it tradition?  Many cultures have traditions and ceremonies built around “coming of age” or other rites of passage, as an example.

Is it love?  We simply can’t wait to share another’s joy and happiness.  Who doesn’t want to be around love energy?!

Is it expectation or obligation?  Oh, that’s just “what is done” when [that event] happens.

Is it support?  (aka: love category)  I’m going to give you the gift of my time to get you through this, my friend.

The times we celebrate life changes can often be anticipated by either a date on the calendar or a time that is an end result after some work and anticipation.  When we get to that celebration moment, we could experience gratitude, relief, completion, acceptance, anticipation or a myriad of other emotions.  The common factor is that we typically knew about the timing prior to the celebration, so we could “prepare”.

What about other types of transitions that we didn’t anticipate?  Some situations can toss our lives upside-down, not much differently than some of events listed above, yet we might say we weren’t “prepared” or we feel “it” happened unexpectedly.  Life continues to happen like that for all of us.  Those who like victimspeak will say it “happened to them”, as if they don’t have a part to play in their own life movies.

Why not celebrate that, too?  After the dust settles and you regroup, couldn’t you throw a party for the new YOU that was able to adjust, recover and grow?  How about celebrating that you can have multiple chapters in your book of life and each one becomes so rich that you can’t put the book down?  When you’re lovin’ life, those closest to you love your book, too, so why wait until the end?  If you’ve got a beating heart, you are living a life of change and transition all the time.  Make it a point to have at least a party per chapter – maybe after each time you learn something new, make a new friendship or gain another realization of your genius and brilliance.

To live a full life, we get to embrace all the twists, turns, inconveniences, blessings and growth along the way.  We have choice to make that a mundane, dum-dee-dum, one-step-in-front-of-the-other kind of plodding through our life or as, Dr. Suess would say, “…find the bright places wehre Boom Bands are playing.”  Celebrate change.  You and those your love are worth it – give them the gift of you.  Don’t wait.



By the way, is the book of your life on your own “Best Seller” list?  I’m sensing a party invitation coming soon…

Reader Comments (1)

I agree that parties should be held all the time - the not-so-obvious reasons make the BEST parties!

May 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke

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