Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Goals, Celebration, and Validation vs. Celebration

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. :)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks for mentioning the Sunflowers for Tina and my blogfest.
Life sucks enough - why moan and whine about it on top of everything else? That's a really crappy attitude. I try not to post down things at my blog because who wants to read that? We can turn to the news for negative junk. (Sorry for the sadness about Tina this week - I had to post something about her though.)

Tyrean Martinson said...

No, I totally respect posting a celebration of Tina's life. It is super sad that she's gone.

Suzanne Furness said...

I agree with your sentiments, Tyrean. Life isn't always great, things can be tough, but I do try to look for the positives in my daily life. I'm proud of my family and their achievements, celebrating them in a post is a way I try and show them how proud I am of them. Does that make sense? Thinking positive thoughts makes you feel better too. I don't do FB and whilst I use Twitter it is in moderation. I don't feel the need to let everyone know what I had for breakfast!

I think the sunflowers for Tina is a lovely idea.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I try to focus on the positive while not necessarily ignoring the negative. I recognize it's there and have to deal with it but I choose to deal with it in as constructive and as positive a way as possible.

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sounds like you've been getting lots of writing done. And yes, better to focus on the things we can celebrate and/or be grateful for.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

If we look for the bad, we'll find it. If we look for the good, we'll find that, too. Which way sounds like a better way to live?

shelly said...

It's good to be thankful. So true.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Great Attitude and Great Post. We blossom and grow healthier and happier when we surround ourselves with upbeat and happy people. Yes, we all have problems and strife like you said---but Iike you Tyrean, I like to celebrate life, goodness, and God's unending Grace!!!

Maurice Mitchell said...

We need to look for celebrations everywhere Tyrean even when there's life-suck stuff around every corner.

L.G. Keltner said...

You're right. Focusing on the things that suck is just exhausting and drags you down. Have a great weekend!

Morgan said...

Love all your posts, Tyrean. Wise words. And love the sunflowers for Tina. So much love.

J Lenni Dorner said...

It is difficult not to focus on the suck part. We do need to focus more on the good.
10 blessings a day... that seems difficult, especially if you can't repeat. Hmm... grateful for water, water fountains, being in a country with enough water to have public water fountains everywhere that people toss excess money in....... Yeah, some days I'd get there, but other days, not so much.

Thanks for the great links. I'm going to check a few out. Tina's memorial I'm already in. So sad that she's gone.

Irishredfox said...

It's easy to let life get me down sometimes. I've missed all the posts about validation this week, but I feel like I've heard it all before. And you make a good point about using all the posts to forget about the suck. Everyone has different tricks to stop focusing on the bad stuff it seems, because otherwise we can't get a thing done. I'm just stopping by for bloghop, good luck.

Anonymous said...

A true test of whether we're celebrating or seeking validation: Does it matter how many likes, retweets, favorites, or +1's we receive? Looking forward to meeting Tina face-to-face on the other side someday. She will be missed.

Heather R. Holden said...

39,000 words in a single month?! Wow, impressive!

And I've never viewed people who share celebratory things as them seeking validation. To me, they're just appreciating the good moments that come their way!

cleemckenzie said...

I just heard someone on the radio yesterday. He spoke about how down he felt with all the horrible news from around the world. Then he looked around him at his family, and he realized that he needed to focus on them and on how fortunate he was. That made him smile and this world wasn't so bad after all.

Thanks so much for lending your support to @WeWrite4U_Lit. I hope this gets some attention because literacy is such an important issue.