This winter season in Wisconsin where I live has been relatively mild. At least until January 2019 reared its head. I feel like I have been living in a tundra environment for the past few weeks. Snow is coming out of our ears, literally. The dream-like winter wonderland is a myth, folks. On the inside of a warm and cozy dwelling, the white flakes flowing from the sky like a torrent rain, look blissful, soft, and mystical. The truth is, though, once you go outside and try to live your life, go to work, school, run errands, or keep appointments, the reality provides a different truth. That beautiful and gorgeous white manna from heaven, turns into work, hard work.
In the middle of this turmoil happening, the buzz about Puxatawney Phil was occurring. Each year this tradition is celebrated. Will he or won’t he see his shadow? Will spring appear in six weeks or will it be a longer winter to endure? About a week before the actual Phil siting, excitement builds, people are talking about the shadow, no-shadow. The daily and nightly news broadcasts, the weather updates, all offer insight and commentary about winter coming to a close. All this responsibility on one groundhog.
I began to think about this silly and unpredictable celebration. Was there a deeper meaning to participating in this drama each year? I think the deeper meaning is all about connection to others and a common thread we as humans need. In a world that has evolved to self-centered social media connection, where we do not know how to socialize with another sole albeit, without a technological device, celebration is the key to personal connection.
The dear ones in my life have a penchant for finding all the clever, kitschy days of celebration. At a glance, it seems such a waste of time, but, I believe this activity creates an opportunity to connect with others of like-mind. At a prior workplace, a group of co-workers made it a practice to celebrate these kitschy days. It led to humor, chatting, and pot-luck lunches. The day was filled with camaraderie among the workers. Work was no longer work, but a place to gather, complete work duties of course, and add that special something that makes work a fun activity. The drudgery has left and a connection has replaced the negative connotation of ‘work’.
There is a site called National Day Calendar that has every day of the year covered. The site boasts “National Day Calendar™ is the authoritative source for fun, unusual and unique National Days! Since our humble beginnings on National Popcorn Day in 2013, we now track nearly 1,500 National Days, National Weeks, and National Months. In addition, our research team continues to uncover the origins of existing National Days as well as discover new, exciting days for everyone to celebrate. Whether you want to celebrate your favorite mail carrier and flip flops, share your joy for bacon and chocolate cake, or pop some corn on National Popcorn Day.”
The creation of a business that recognizes and promotes “fun, unusual, and unique” days to celebrate sends the message to me at least, that celebration is not only the key to human connection but an important tradition in our culture. Why not celebrate the little things? Why save the celebration for the huge moments like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and major holidays? The little things in life matter. There are scores of books and writings over the millennium that stress the importance of the little things in life.
This little thing, celebrating quirky days, every day is HUGE! Something so small, so frivolous, and generally insignificant, becomes the catalyst for surprising, wonderful, event-filled moments that add to our lives. The positivity is boundless, the connection, priceless.
What is stopping you from joining in on February 2019 National Day celebrations? Pull-out those recipes, gather your friends and co-workers, pull out your planners and start on this journey of connectedness. Be the change-agent that brings positivity and camaraderie to your work environment. Not only will the season of winter pass by quickly, your attitude will be one that is successful and uplifting. These are gifts to share, with everyone.
My winter challenge to you is to celebrate each and every day of your life. Add to those major celebration days mentioned earlier through the mini-celebrations you create each day. Once the cold weather has ceased and warmer temperatures are back again, no need to end the celebrations, keep them going. A fun-filled happy life is yours. Enjoy being kitschy.