Another year, another vision board, another list of things we’re actually going to do this year, another lie we tell ourselves that this year is going to be totally different than 2018. But Jordan, 2019 is our year! Didn’t we say that last year? And the year before that, and the year before that?
I disagree with the notion that we’re over-celebrating. I don’t think we celebrate enough.
I’ve been reading about how the perception of time speeds up as we age. Essentially, because adults rarely come into new information or experiences, or for the purpose of this piece, moments, time flies right on by. As children we measured time by our new moments. First day of school, holidays, your first soccer match, or for the nerds like me your first Academic Decathlon meet. As we age, we run into less of those first moments. We close up, shut down, and keep our heads to the ground as we work ourselves to death.
In a piece in the Atlantic by Allia Wong, “The Over-celebration of Life Events,” Wong does a deep dive into the pressures of social media to publicly celebrate milestones and even create new ones like gender-reveal parties (don’t get me started) and fully stacked wedding weekends. I agree about the pressure created by social to celebrate for the sake of some awesome shots, but I disagree with the notion that we’re over-celebrating. I don’t think we celebrate enough.
I’m not saying this because celebrating is my business (as a wedding planner), I’m saying this as a person who doesn’t celebrate enough. I stand adjacent to the celebration but rarely do I do so for myself. I know most of us are the same because we dictate and limit milestone moments to the following: Birth, Marriage, Childbirth or Adoption, and Death. Sure there are a few birthdays thrown in there, maybe some anniversaries. But as adults we go far too long without fun reminders that we’re actually living versus going through the motions like some sad round of Life the board game.
The older you get the more life can be overwhelmingly shitty sometimes. Death, disease, breakups, natural disasters, war, loss of employment, and a million other terrible circumstances can wipe any semblance of joy we have left. By the end of the day we don’t have the energy to do more. We just want to sleep and turn off our brains. Eventually, you look up and it’s been a year of the same day. Wake up, work, eat, sleep, repeat ad infinitum. We don’t break out of routines because that’ll take too much time.
Moments, or bubbles as I’ve heard David Tutera call them, are all about stepping outside of the humdrum of our lives and shaking it up. It’s about remembering why the hell we’re here. It’s about reuniting with friends who you’ve gone far too long without seeing and laughing with parents we don’t call enough. Moments are expressly for celebrating, and celebrating is meant to be done more than a few times a decade.
Don’t Blame Millennials for Celebrating
Millennials do get blamed for a lot of things. Over-celebrating shouldn’t be added to the list. There are reasons why we’re so drawn to the need to celebrate and be seen. Our generation vividly remembers 9/11. We saw our friends and family members deployed to war. We’re balancing on the tight rope of a tenuous economy. We’re way poorer than our parents. We’re drowning in debt from choices we were told would help us. We grappling with mental illness in ways our families never acknowledged. We’re basically Sisyphus trying to roll a big ass rock up a steep ass hill.
Celebration, true celebration — something just for Instasport —makes us forget that life can be painful and brutal. Creating moments with people you love connects you to the reason you’re even here. It gives you the boost to keep going when you feel like giving up. It floods your brain with new ideas. It makes you stand up a little taller to brave the hardship because you know you’re loved. Maybe we should chill with celebration for social media’s sake and get into the habit of celebrating for the sakes of our sanity.
Don’t Wait to Celebrate
You don’t need a to wait to have a baby shower or a wedding to dance with your family and friends. You don’t need to have a photo shoot or dress up or smash cake in your loved ones faces. We don’t need to wait for permission to remind ourselves how to live. Make this year not just another blur, but get in the habit of celebrating. The etymology of the word is to frequent and honor. You don’t need Priyanka Chopra coins or spreadsheets to do that (unless you love them like I do). Did you make it through another day? Celebrate! Started a business? Celebrate! Promotion? Celebrate! Got out of bed today after a depressive episode? Celebrate! Left your trash ex? Celebrate! Dog’s birthday? Celebrate!
It’s 2019 babes. Celebrate!
Jordan A. Maney is a San Antonio-based wedding planner and owner of All The Days Event Co. She she started her company as a planning haven for all the couples the industry chooses to ignore. Instead of just making a brand, she's building a community. Find more of her sass, humor, and Southern hospitality at allthedaysweddings.com.