Take time to celebrate all things great and small
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Here we are, at the start of a new year, and although I don’t usually make resolutions, I tend to get nostalgic when the ol’ calendar changes. It always feels like a clean slate and just another day all wrapped into one.
If I have one piece of unsolicited advice, it’s this: In this new year, celebrate every milestone no matter how big or small. Enjoy your successes and revel in the moments that make you happy. Don’t downplay any of it, and pay no mind to others if they do.
If I have learned anything in the past few years, it’s that we need to grab hold of the good moments, and the things that make us happy and we need to enjoy them. The really big milestones are often few and far between, but in everyday life there are special moments that ought to be recognized and appreciated. For goodness sake, we need to stop downplaying them when they happen.
My friend Kevin Chief always says: “We are at our best when we celebrate.” And he’s right.
I had a special moment last week.
I went to the Manitoba Museum with my family. This is an annual tradition that we’ve done for as long as I can remember. There were, of course, a few years that we didn’t go for various reasons, but for most of my life we’ve ventured to the museum during this time of the year. Back in the day, my dad would always wash the car, and park in the underground parking (if he could get a spot) to let it dry out while we explored the exhibits. It was calculated and genius.
This year, I thoroughly enjoyed the new Nick Yudell, a Photographer Discovered exhibit. They are photographs from the 1920s and 30s from a young Morden man, who died in the Second World War. It was really cool to see life and people from nearly a hundred years ago through Yudell’s lens.
Of course, the museum offers that old familiarity of the exhibits that haven’t changed much, if at all, over the decades.
This year, there was a tiny sliver of my work in the museum. Not a permanent fixture, and probably not even noticeable to many people. But, two of my columns were pinned to a bulletin board, alongside the work of several of my colleagues, just around the corner from the picture of Sgt. Tommy Prince and his medals. (Really cool, as one of my columns had a picture of my nana, Annie, who was Tommy’s older sister.)
I had no chill when I saw this. (I knew my two columns were hanging up because my friend Todd had messaged me about it). To see it in person; my words hung up alongside the words and stories of Niigaan Sinclair, Melissa Martin, Malak Abas, Ben Waldman, and Maggie Macintosh (among others) was really very special, and it made me really happy.
This is a place that holds decades of special memories for my family, and for little while a tiny sliver of my work is there. It felt like an accomplishment.
At first I downplayed how proud I felt about it, because it felt silly and I didn’t want to seem like I was bragging or not being humble. Then I realized I wasn’t doing myself any favours by downplaying anything. This made me feel happy and I should celebrate that. Life is full of mediocre moments, why not honour the joyful ones?
Anyway, like Chief’er says, “We’re at our best when we celebrate.”
I hope this new year brings you a whole bunch of celebrations of all different sizes, and I hope you thoroughly enjoy every single one of them.
Columnist, Manager of Reader Bridge project
Shelley is a born and raised Winnipegger. She is a proud member of the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation.