I first learned what it really means to celebrate life every day from a little program called SpongeBob SquarePants. I’ve always loved the show. If you find it odd that I, a grown-ass adult, am so infatuated with cartoons, you probably haven’t watched enough SpongeBob yet. It’s okay, it’s not your fault. But it is your responsibility to do something about it.
I like this show because it is funny, but it’s also much more than that. If you listen beyond the jokes, it can also be a full-service guide to living a happier life. It’s something of a cure to the burdens and struggles of everyday life.
Such is the case in one particular episode that opens with SpongeBob himself in full viking attire (complete with beard), shouting in indiscernible but vaguely nordic-sounding utterances, and gleefully informing his friends and neighbors that today is Leif Erikson Day.
I was delighted the first time I saw this episode. It had never occurred to me that any day could be cause to get all dressed up and celebrate life. Soon after, I went out and bought one of those tear-away desk calendars. Each page had a new holiday on it; one for every day of the year.
As I ripped off each page of my calendar, it hit me: you don’t need to wait for a landmark holiday. Every day of your life, on its own, offers plentiful reason to celebrate if you know where to look.
Today Is a Good Day to Celebrate Life
Unfortunately, not every day can be Leif Erikson Day. Though, it so happens that if you’re reading this page on the day I’m publishing it (or the anniversary of it), then it actually is Leif Erikson Day right the hell now! So get out there and go discover a new continent across the roaring sea, you beautiful, beautiful beast!
Life is brimming with special holidays, events, and occasions worth celebrating. I bought that calendar as a child because it highlighted such an occasion every day. To fill in the gaps, as it were. I believe I had the right spirit in looking for a holiday to celebrate every day. But I was also missing one fundamental point: you don’t need a reason at all to celebrate life every day.
If you have a reason, awesome. Don’t let go of it easily. But if you don’t have one at the ready, you still deserve to celebrate with the rest of us anyway.
Every day, good things happen to you and new roads open up to more good things on later days. And if nothing else, each day is a day that you continue to survive all that ails and assails you, and you continue to have new chances to laugh, learn, and love. And that is reason enough to celebrate. So take a moment, put the bad stuff up on a shelf, and just enjoy your wonderful and abundant existence.
Let’s Celebrate Together
An idea that sparked in me with a cartoon, and continued with a calendar, is now a major part of how I live my life. There is full and justifiable cause, each and every day, to celebrate being present, alive, and awesome.
What does this kind of celebration look like? Well basically, whatever you want! Whatever you love that fills you with enthusiasm for everything in your life that is great. For me, it often involves colorful lights, fun music, and moderately priced Irish whiskey. But it certainly doesn’t have to, for me or anyone else.
It can mean throwing yourself a little party, enjoying special food, making time for games and other fun with people, or even just basking in the adventures of the great indoors (another invaluable life lesson from SpongeBob, by the way).
I cannot tell you exactly what celebrating means or looks like for you. What I can tell you is that you deserve to — and should — do it as often and as enthusiastically as you can. There will always be bad stuff out there and problems for us to solve, and we’ll get to those too, don’t you worry. But for just this moment, bring your full attention into all of the wonderful things, days, and people in your life that are well worth celebrating, and then do it.
If you wait until you’ve solved every problem and won every battle, you’ll miss out on all the opportunities for joy and excitement along the way. Celebrate life, every day, in whatever way calls to you. Oh, and happy Leif Erikson Day.