Monday, September 14, 2009

Everyday could be a Holiday-Day

As I'm thinking about preparations for the 4th annual Halloween Party, I am also looking back at past holiday events. Holidays are very important to me. I love traditions and rites-of-passage almost as much as I like shaking-up those traditions.

Making special occasions out of every-day occurrences helps me remember the good times. Moments slip through my mind faster than I can capture them. My mental shutter speed is no match for a camera. That's why I try to take lots of pictures and write about what's going on in my life. It seems that our minds sometimes block out the good memories when the going gets tough, but I have concrete evidence that I do have a good time on a regular basis. :-)
Try it! Take a picture of yourself with a big, cheesy grin and put it up somewhere you'll see it everyday. When something horrible happens and it seems impossible to find the lesson or the humor, fake it. Write down something positive about it, even if you have to lie a little, it can help shift the way you are feeling right now...and it will definitely change the way you remember it later on.

If every single day could be a party, I would be the happiest person in the universe. I love the way people interact and experience something when they know it's time to relax and let go. Also, being a visual person, I love to make invitations and create atmosphere through lights, decorations and music.

Years and years ago, before my Dad shipped out on a 6-month tour, I created a "Holiday-day" event. I set up "stations" around the living room, each one featuring a different holiday, effectively cramming 6-months worth of holidays into an hour. We walked around to each area, sang the related songs and took a picture of ourselves with the holidays' decorations. It helped me to create a memory for each holiday that included our whole family. That way, when the actual holiday rolled around, I wouldn't have to feel like anyone was missing.

It's about escapism. It's very much about forgetting that tomorrow we get on a boat and sail away from the ones we love. Whether that's an actual boat or just the obligations in our lives that pull us away from what's important, it makes no difference, the feeling is the same.

Here some invitations I've designed that remind me of fun times and make me smile:

On a separate note:

This Sunday, I tried inner-tubing for the first time. I haven't been on a small boat in about 20 years and I never imagined that I would be comfortable on the water. But you know what? It was awesome.

The speed and the sunshine and the spray from the water is incredible. It was much more intense than I thought it would be.

My arms are crazy-sore today from holding on to the mesh handles. Keeping your grip isn't easy and hitting the water is like being struck by a train. I don't remember anything after hearing Aaron yell, "OH SHIT!" Then I was coughing and laughing and soaking wet and trying to catch my breath.

"Super-Awesome, Shorty-Summer" isn't quite over yet, but it could end tomorrow and I would be more than satisfied. The yard sale, the yard-sale after party, having my socks rocked off by Modest Mouse, being seriously piggy-ish at Pig Out in the Park, making a whole new look for my kitchen for just over $100, training for the Spokane half-marathon, and myriad other things have made it incredible.

Bring on the Fall!

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