Wednesday 28 August 2013

What Madonna knew about happiness

As much as I love Madonna (and I mean LOVE), it's not often that I find myself drawing upon her lyrics for inspiration of any kind, let alone for this here blog. I say often, in fact, ever. It is not something I ever envisaged myself doing.

Yet, here I am on day 28 of Happiness Happens month, about to do it.

Today is my mum's birthday and we put our full efforts into celebrating in the appropriate fashion, as we always do.  It felt like a really lovely holiday all day as we sat in the sun, swam in an outside pool (in England, a rare opportunity), drifted along the river on a boat...aaah, lovely.

So you'll understand why  'Holiday, Celebrate' popped into my head.

In the song 'Holiday', Madonna suggests we should all take some time out of life just to celebrate. To forget about all the bad times and the problems and just celebrate all the good stuff. Bring back the happy days.  Why? Because that would be so nice.  (I am actually singing these lyrics in my head as I'm typing them by the way!)

It would be SO nice.

And she's right, it really would. It would be more than nice, it would....release the pressure. She knew that too.

We are so pre-programmed to notice and dwell on rubbish stuff that it's too easy not to stop and take time to celebrate the good stuff.

And I don't just mean birthdays, anniversaries and the like, I mean little every day things too.

My family do celebrating like it's going out of fashion. If there were an olympics in celebrating things, we would enter.  I think it is SO important to recognise, acknowledge and celebrate any positive you can get your little mitts on.  A passed exam, a good day at the office, an extra weight added at the gym, a birthday, a reunion, a weekend, an evening, a sunny morning...whatever you can get your hands on.

I've heard many people say something like "oh, I don't really do birthdays/valentine's day/insert excuse for celebrating here" and I don't understand it. They may as well as be saying "oh, I don't do life".

Why not take every possible excuse for feeling good and having fun and celebrating each other as possible? In whatever way. I don't mean throwing huge parties and getting drunk and eating too much...although certain celebrations may also call for that...I mean stopping and spending time together, dwelling on whatever it is that you're celebrating, letting whoever's good news it is know how proud you are of them.

We often wait for that big pinnacle of success before we celebrate.  The big new job, the magic number on the scales, the golden wedding anniversary, the 4,000 A*s at GSCE or whatever other thing we're aiming for tomorrow.

What if tomorrow never comes? What if we're so busy heading for that big golden goal in the sky that we miss all the little signs along the way that we're already winning?  What about that interview you rocked (regardless if you got the job). What about that habit you stuck to all week (even if the stupid scales didn't shift). What about every day you wake up together and smile (even if you never make it to the big 50). What about all the effort and the hard work and the late nights spent studying, even if you didn't quite make the grade.

It's one thing being grateful for 3 things every day but surely we can do even better than that.

Life is so precious. Surely the least we can do is to do as Madonna says and, just once in a while take some time to celebrate it.

It really would release that pressure. It really would be SO nice.

Because happiness happens when we take time to celebrate the little things as well as the big.

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