Last month I published this post on Instagram, a simple graphic stating 6 things that I personally think should be celebrated. I didn’t go into too much detail in the caption but I think people seemed to understand what I was trying to say. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized I really wanted to elaborate on this topic.

We celebrate birthdays, weddings, engagements, birth – even death – in abundance. But what about those seemingly smaller milestones and moments in between? Those ones that almost always get overlooked yet are the building blocks to our one precious lives?

I personally don’t think those “in between” moments are small. In fact, they can sometimes be some of the most profound and transformative moments of our lives. Yet we don’t celebrate them. Okay, we might internally congratulate ourselves on it or perhaps write about it on Twitter and get a few “well done” comments from our followers.

But what about a real ritualistic celebration, like we do for so many other things?

I struggle a LOT with comparison in terms of where I am in my life. I don’t just compare myself to other people but I also compare myself to the adult woman that my younger self EXPECTED me to be at this age. I’m not married, have no kids, I’m not engaged and I don’t even own my own home yet.

I’m 29 years old and for all intents and purposes, I am massively behind where society expects me to me at this age. And I’m certainly behind where I hoped to be and where I want to be. Although I know that we all have our own timelines and life isn’t a race.

So my life at the moment is a LOT of those “in between” moments, whether I want it to be or not. There’s a lot I’m proud of, yet don’t celebrate. Because it’s not “the thing” to do. Because no one would want to purposely and actively do something to celebrate a moment in life that isn’t considered a “milestone”.

And that’s started to bother me a little bit.

I’ll buy my friends birthday presents. Attend family members weddings and celebrate their love and union. Congratulate a couple on their engagement by sending a card and a gift. Take someone out for a meal for getting an amazing promotion. Or buying someone a house warming gift.

But I’ve never had any of those things. So does that mean I (and other people who haven’t hit the “milestones”) don’t deserve to be celebrated, too? 

Anyway, milestones are BS. Anything can be a milestone and we all deserve to be celebrated. Life is SO vast and long and multi-layered. There are so many things to do and achieve that are worth celebrating along with the “normal” things. Redefining what we SHOULD celebrate helps to rewire how we think about success.

So here are 10 things I think are worth celebrating:

Overcoming a mental illness

This one hits VERY close to home for me. Very close. Too close to really go into it properly but no-one has ever celebrated or congratulated me for overcoming my anxiety disorder, the one that literally ruined my life. I don’t want sympathy or praise but I truly think ANYONE who’s suffered with a mental illness needs celebrating because that shit is life ruining.

Friendships

We celebrate when we meet our partners, when we get engaged, when we marry. But why don’t we save the same sort of celebration for friendships too? Friendships are SO DAMN IMPORTANT so why aren’t we giving them the same service? More friendaversary parties please!

Kindness, charity and compassion

Ugh, this one bothers me to a ridiculous degree. Probably because I’m one of the kindest people I know and I don’t mean that in a big headed way but I really do have too much compassion and empathy sometimes. We can celebrate someone for getting a promotion at work but not someone else who’s raised hundreds for charity? Hmm.

Starting a business

Starting a business takes a lot of guts and courage and is DEFINITELY something that needs celebrating more. Imagine how many more people – normal people – would succeed in their businesses if they had that support?

Taking a chance and stepping out of your comfort zone

Whether it’s leaving a relationship, deciding to travel (or even move to another country!), quitting your job, trying a new hobby – there’s tons of things that can cause us to step out of our comfort zone. It’s not easy. But not celebrated nearly enough.

Removing toxic things from our lives

I personally think we need to have more “I’ve Broken Up With My Toxic Boyfriend” parties, don’t you? Learning how to manage relationships which don’t align with you is difficult.

Following our own path

This. Needs. Celebrating. Some people would be deviating from what you were “supposed” to do or heck, what your parents wanted you to do to be a bad things but I think having the courage to know what you want and following your heart to get it deserves more celebration and reward than what we give it.

Creating art

Why don’t we celebrate art more? Why don’t we spend more time at museums and exhibitions, rather than on our phones? Why don’t we support other people’s artistic passions more than we do? Whether that’s music or painting or poetry – let’s start celebrating art because what would life be without it?

Traveling 

From someone who hasn’t done much traveling in their life but would very much like to do more, I think travel is definitely something worth celebrating. One of my favourite bloggers, Absolutely Lucy, I’ve been following since I started blogging in 2013 and I remember when she first went traveling, I was absolutely in AWE.

A physical achievement

No, I don’t strictly mean weight loss (although if this is something you’ve worked hard on for the right reasons, then YES you should celebrate it!) but I was actually thinking along the lines of running a marathon (or ANY distance, I am shocking at running), competing in a sports competition, winning a football match. All amazing things we rarely TRULY celebrate.

All these things NEED to be celebrated more in our society. I know they won’t be and this post is all just wishful thinking but I think that’s what I hate so much about the current society and culture we live in. We make no room for ritual and celebration of these little things. But in the meantime, we can always celebrate our own achievements.

What do you think needs to be celebrated more? Do you agree with any of these? Let me know!

54 Comments

  1. We truly do need to celebrate more good and important things. I celebrated my school acceptance last summer 🤩 And in small way every past course 🥳

  2. Some really interesting ideas here which I’d never really considered before, so thanks for bringing this idea to our attention. I think we often feel inadequate and as though we’re not ‘doing as well’ as other people, especially our peers, and it can be hard to say ‘I’m really proud of this’! But I agree, we should celebrate ourselves and others for our achievements, whatever they may be : )

  3. I can definitely relate to feeling as though you are behind in terms of society’s milestones and personal ideals of where you should be. I’ve struggled with those feelings throughout a lot of my adult life because it looks so different from what I had imagined as a kid. I really like your idea of creating personal milestones that are meaningful in their own way. I can especially relate to some that you have listed, especially overcoming a mental illness (I have OCD). Very lovely post – thank you for sharing.

    xoxo,
    Sydney

    http://www.thelotuslist.com

  4. Thank you for writing this! The word “should” is so dangerous. I think we all experience the pressure of that word in some way. Milestones in my opinion are for looking back on once they’ve been crossed, not for “pushing” us to be in a certain spot in life. You’re so right. We should celebrate the small things – they can be so incredible. xx

  5. What a great list of powerful personal moments that are worthy of celebration! I love seeing things like friendships and overcoming a challenge on here, as it is not just the typical events that hold meaning for many of us. 🙂

  6. Love this live. So many great things to celebrate. I am definitely to start celebrating the small thing in live. Thank you for sharing this list.

  7. I love this list – all of these are so worth celebrating. I’d also add just the simple notion of “I did my best today,” that’s something that we should all celebrate.

  8. Super excellent post! It is so important to celebrate life as we go along. Otherwise, we end up forever waiting for some special occasion. If we embrace all the moments of our lives full of dreams and potential, everything matters. All the little steps add up. All the little goals that are accomplished. And absolutely, we should celebrate the people we love! This is one of best posts that I have ever read since I started blogging. In order to create a meaningful life, we can’t just be waiting for the really ‘big’ things. Those things are important, and they are different for everyone. But real life is full of wonderful things that we never planned, epiphanies when we suddenly ‘get’ something we could not understand earlier, sunrises and sunsets, and an appreciation of all the hard work it takes to make a dream become reality. The stepping stones are part of the journey and they are stones to celebrate!

    1. Ah Linda thank you so much for a lovely comment! I totally agree, in regards to finding yourself waiting for the next “thing” if you’re only aiming for the big milestones! Life happens in between them, not for them.

  9. One of the things I find most helpful for celebrating the little wins is when I write in my gratitude journal. I may only do it once or twice a week but it really grounds me and reminds me of the important things (that aren’t the usual anniversaries etc) that I need to celebrate. Fab post, Jenny, I’m definitely on board with starting a business and friendaversaries xx

  10. I intensely dislike the expectations that society, those around us (or even ourselves) put on how like “should” be. We’re all individuals with our own journey to take and that in itself is pretty incredible as we can all bring unique experience to life. I love the idea of celebrating other things (like you’ve listed) as they are valuable and significant. Thanks for this reminder!

  11. This post was an absolutely fab read! I honestly couldn’t agree more, especially celebrating our friendships- what a lovely idea! We definitely should be celebrating all the things in our lives and with the people around us too! Also I am the same as you in terms of kindness and it frustrates me sometimes that I share that kindness and it is not always appreciated xx

  12. Thanks for sharing, some of these are so worth celebrating, for me having a good day with my diabetes is worth celebrating and also having a good day at work to so i can relax not feeling stressed 🙂

  13. This is so true! It is important to celebrate even small wins because they make such a difference to your life. I try and celebrate when I have physically be doing well because of my fibromyalgia. It helps to motivate me. Thank you for sharing Jenny!

    Lauren x

  14. I agree, celebrate anything you want because it’s special to you. I think we all probably celebrate the little things – for us it’s usually around our son, but I think celebrations can be anything they don’t need to be elaborate if that’s not what you’re about. It should be about the recognition that you’ve achieved something, however big or small.

  15. I’m loving this post Jenny! I 100% agree with you, we should celebrate the ‘smaller’ things too! It’s something I’m actually working on myself and I’ve found it to really give me a positivity boost. So many things in life should be celebrated. Thank you so much for sharing this with us lovely Xo

    Elle – ellegracedeveson.com

  16. This topic has been on my mind for a while! Great points to celebrate. Those “big events” that are deemed worth celebrating also pass so quickly. You anticipate and next thing you know that moment is gone and you are looking for another big moment to celebrate. That’s why I tend to make a point of celebrating my small wins, or the moments that might not seem significant to others. Especially when we follow our own path, we strive away from the norm of celebrated events. Which is more important for us to be aware of those moments to celebrate. I went and bought myself a cake for opening my business the other day, and felt celebrated!

  17. I definitely think we should celebrate the smaller things in life too, and your list is very good. Some of them might be hard to celebrate for others (unless you tell them it’s happening) but things like starting your own business, friendship, and kindness, is definitely things that easily could be celebrated. And while it might be hard to get society to jump on board, we can decide to do it, and surround us with people who want to do it with us 🙂

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