Decide on your own key life anniversaries and celebrate them
I am one of those people who tends to dread Christmas rather than look forward to it, due to my family situation, dislike of gifts, and dislike of being obligated to attend a bunch of hectic social gatherings back-to-back and probably travelling stressfully between them (in non-pandemic years).
So I started thinking: well, what if instead of just rebuking Christmas, I chose some days for myself, that are important and worth celebrating? Personal holidays.
I usually celebrate the 1st of August, because July is the coldest month of the year in Melbourne. Late June is the winter solstice, after which it starts getting lighter, but the 1st of August is the temperature solstice (the Coldstice), after which it starts getting warmer.
This year I also celebrated my Diagnosiversary, the day I got my ADHD diagnosis, because it was a big deal that resulted in a lot of positive life changes.
Other anniversaries you could celebrate: coming out, the day you moved away from home, becoming a citizen, renouncing your citizenship, the day you met a dear friend, changing religions, that time you won an Oscar when you were 9 years old, the first time you got paid to make art — these might not be good examples because the whole point is other people can’t guess what is important and meaningful to you.
If it feels narcissistic to ask someone else to celebrate it with you, you can just have a quiet beer or joint or piece of cake and toast to yourself, or even do nothing except put it on your calendar and notice it for a moment.
Also, if you can’t figure out the exact day on which it happened, that’s okay too. Lots of things have a commemorative day that isn’t the “real” day — the Queen’s Birthday in Australia is always on the 2nd Monday in June, which is a different date each year and nowhere near her actual birthday, which is in April.
It’s just an idea, if you think it might feel good to have your calendar marked out with some days that are meaningful to you instead of just ones chosen by other people.
This piece was originally published in The Whippet #111 – subscribe to get the next one in your inbox!
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