This post is a hybrid-combo post for Do You Have Goals and Celebrate The Small Things, with some thoughts on "validation" which seems to be a popular theme this week online.
Goals Check-In and Celebration: I've written a total of 39,000 words for two different projects this month plus run a basic spell/grammar/error check. The month isn't over. I still have time to finish. (more on the details of those projects some other day) I've also written one story and submitted it, plus re-submitted two other stories.
Validation Versus Celebration: I read three posts about attention-grabbing, empty validation this week. Some of the posts and comments made me think, and some got under my skin.
I agree that we live in a crazy culture of posting about every little moment of life - potentially bragging about our kids, our selves, etc. and that this kind of thing can seem like empty validation. It might be. It can be. It depends on the person.
However . . . . I started thinking about the people I know who post a lot of happy stuff, a lot of pictures of their kids, a lot of celebrations and accomplishments. And then, I started thinking about why I do those things . . .
When I'm celebrating, I'm not trying to gain validation with comments or likes, and I'm not trying to create an impression of perfection, sweetness, uber-blessings, arrogance, or anything like that.
If I post pictures on facebook or brag on my family, it's meant as a celebration of the parts of my life that totally and completely amaze me.
I'm also trying to be accountable in what has been a long-term goal to foster an attitude of gratitude.
If I post celebrations every day, it's because I'm looking for them.
When I don't look for celebrations, I just see the "suck" part of life: I had to put two dogs to sleep last year and I still miss them, my parents are aging and there are moments when that gets me down, my kids are testing their wings and sometimes I get whacked by an overzealous wingtip, I have had health issues scare the ____ out of me, my husband wants to help everyone which means he forgets to just hang out with me sometimes, our roof had to be replaced and before that we were living with smelly, wet insulation smell for years, and my sink always seems full with dirty dishes even though I run the dishwasher every day, sometimes twice.
However, if I focus on life-suck stuff, where does it get me? A validation for whininess?
I grew up with relatives that often had "I had the worst day/month/year" storytelling conversations - as if each person was trying to get the most "poor yous" out of a group of people.
I used to do that - friends from my high school and college years could "validate" that.
But I don't want to celebrate the life suck stuff. I don't want it cling to me and make me feel like _____.
If I'm celebrating, I want to celebrate life-giving moments, and I want to post it so I can remember it. Plus, I want to remember to say thanks and try to build up an attitude of gratitude.
I think that's what most people are doing when they share pics of their families and their lives on facebook or their blogs, when they celebrate their accomplishments and their blessings.
I don't think that's empty or wrong.
I think that everyone needs to look for celebrations.
If it's new to you, it may take time.
I spent a year forcing myself to post ten blessings a day, and trust me, there were times that I stopped at 2 or 4 and just stared at the blinking cursor on my screen.
In those moments, I couldn't even see the blessings right in front of me and all around me.
I created my own life suck moments because I was walking around only looking at life-sucking stuff.
I refuse to do that anymore.
You don't have to validate that with comments or likes because I found the validation I needed by making that decision several years ago and each day since the first time.
Celebrate life. Celebrate this moment. Celebrate the air you breathe and the pc you write on, and the gift of this moment. Celebrate pencils, and paper, and knives, and forks, and spoons, and water, and toes, and fingers, and everything you can think of to celebrate in the next ten seconds.
And, don't forget to participate in:
Celebrate her life with sunflowers and help from Blogging from A to Z.
Link up to help C. Lee Mckenzie advocate literacy here
Say Cheese for a Shelfie with Tara Tyler
Take part in The Big "C" Hop to fight cancer.
And have fun with Underrated Treasures.
And I'll be back next week for IWSG, of course. :)