Unless you have been living under a rock, you are likely aware that yesterday was the long awaited total solar eclipse. Some lucky individuals got to experience a 100% aligning of the moon and sun, along with a big drop in light and temperature. For those of us who only got a partial eclipse (62% where I live) it was far less dramatic. In fact, many people in LA pretty much ignored it. Of course, everyone was talking about it…but for several of my friends and relatives, pilates class and business meetings trumped standing outside with flimsy paper glasses trying to get a look at a sliver of the sun. And that makes sense! Most of them explained that they’d catch it later on YouTube.
My family, in contrast, made a clumsy shoebox viewer and bought several pairs of glasses so that we could experience whatever it was that there was to experience.
Why did we watch the eclipse? It’s not because we are so fascinated by astronomy or because we associate it with dark mysticism or ominous prophecies.
We watched because it was a moment in time. This eclipse was visible from just about everywhere in the contiguous United States and was the first to cross from coast to coast in 99 years! Many of us pause each and every day to lament the craziness of our world, to note and condemn what is happening around us, from pollution to hatred to violence.
But can we pause from ordinary human activity just to celebrate?
Whether or not you looked at this eclipse, I encourage you to think about ways to celebrate life. If you have decided to apply to business school, take a moment to celebrate the big decision to invest in yourself, to take a step to learn, grow and advance. Celebrate when you wrap up the applications and submit. If you leave a doctor’s appointment with a clean bill of health, don’t take it for granted; celebrate it. Celebrating these things slows down time and increases our gratitude and our ability to live in and experience the now.
I have a friend whose business grew surprisingly quickly in its first year. She immediately set goals to double and triple that growth rate. Big goals are great but she never celebrated her accomplishments. Instead, she ignored the rewards and just pushed to go higher, belittling herself when she failed. When she finally sold the company, she felt a sense of regret over not enjoying the smaller triumphs and milestones along the way.
Did you know that September 6 is “Fight Procrastination Day?” You can dedicate the day to tearing through your to do list and getting it all done! And then you can celebrate all of your accomplishments on September 12 with “Chocolate Milkshake Day.”
I encourage you to find more reasons to celebrate. Wake up each day and celebrate life, friends, overcoming challenges, doing something hard, successes and failures alike…and on September 12, milkshakes. Definitely celebrate chocolate milkshakes.