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“Each day is a gift.” This was my husband’s standard response when we were newly married and people asked us the inevitable question, “How’s married life?” Well, if you know my husband then you know this was not meant to be all mushy and sentimental. Rich has developed many of these unexpected and sarcastic responses to the usual questions people ask us when we are met with the typical small talk questions. I have recently decided to take this particular Rich-ism one step further and make it actually come true. For the next year I want to honestly be able to say, “Each day is a gift” and truly mean it.

I have been slowly slipping into what I call the ‘working man’s mentality’. Americans, as my newly retired mother-in-law informed me just this past weekend, live to work. This outlook differs from the rest of the world’s population who inversely work to live. We place too much emphasis on defining ourselves by how we make money. Value is not placed on the family dynamic, lasting friendships and lastly, and most importantly, one’s own happiness with their life.

I have become jaded by adulthood. I look back now and think of how carefree we all are as children and I envy that mindset. I wonder why I rushed through high school and college and was always waiting to get to that point of freedom where I could finally be a real grown up with a home of my own and a fulfilling career. I know I hit the realization that growing older wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be on the day I graduated college. In my celebratory drunken state it suddenly dawned on me that I now had to take on the responsibilities of life. No more leaning on the fact that I was still young or in school, that was over. Needless to say, I ended that evening as the crying girl at the bar….so it began.

Now, seven years later, I am that woman I wished to be. I have everything I could ask for: caring friends and family, a stable job, a loving husband, a beautiful baby boy and a home of our own. Even with all of this, I find myself always seeing the bad things in life. I know this is a common problem; again as Americans, nothing is ever good enough for us. We are conditioned to always want more things, to need more money, to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ as they say. I have never been one to worry too much about having the best of the best. I never have wanted a flashy car and I spent a whooping $200 on my wedding dress. That being said, I have succumbed to the negative energy that is constantly surrounding us as human beings. Turning on the nightly news is never an uplifting event and the fact that Rich and I are about $40,000 upside down on our mortgage is hard for me to stomach. Finding the positivity in a lot of situations can prove to be difficult and it’s simply just easier to be angry and pessimistic. I have lost that luster that comes with childhood and I want to try to get a piece of that back.

Since I am now a mother I have been tasked with the importance of introducing the world to a brand new person. This has motivated me to not only want to raise my son to be a good person who can see the good in life, but to also improve my attitude and allow myself to be happy. Attitude is everything, right? I want to have fun with life and have a reason to celebrate daily.

So, after that lovely woe is me story, I will finally get to my mission with this blog – happy holiday hayley. After reflecting on how to bring positivity back into my world, I thought of this delightful plan. I have always been interested in the random holidays that pop up every now and then (i.e. Talk Like a Pirate Day). Upon further research, it turns out there is a holiday almost every single day of the year. Some of these are no-brainers (Christmas, Independence Day, etc.) but there are many many more that are not celebrated by the majority of the U.S. population (National Hot Dog Day, Vinyl Records Day, etc.). I have found an extensive listing that lays out all recognized daily holidays and I intend to celebrate each day to the best of my ability for one entire year. This is a real undertaking and I know it is not always going to be easy, but I am approaching it with only good intentions. I want a daily reminder to myself that there is always something to celebrate and that life is about the good things. I have chosen to chronicle my adventure with a blog mostly to maintain accountability. I also want to document my daily celebration to give it a real meaning and hopefully spread some of my positive energy to anyone who wishes to read my words.

I have set some general rules to be my guide. They are as follows:

  1. I will approach each day of this journey with a positive attitude and genuinely live in the moment when celebrating daily holidays. I will not participate in anything that can result in negativity as that is not the purpose of this undertaking.
  2. Many days have more than one observed holiday. I am required to celebrate at least one of the holidays each day, but it is not mandatory to celebrate all holidays on the days when there are multiples.
  3. On the few days that there are no observed holidays, I will not blog and will use that time constructively.
  4. For holidays that do not apply to me (i.e. No Wig Day) or are next to impossible for me to complete (i.e. Balloon Around the World Day) I will find ways to honor the spirit of the holiday.
  5. Celebrating can be handled in a variety of ways depending on the holiday. I will blog how each holiday is celebrated by posting pictures, writing about how my experience went that day or relaying research on the history/meaning of each holiday.
  6. At a minimum, I will blog about my exploits once a week. I am going to try to maintain this blog daily, but I know myself and that seems to be a very lofty goal at this point in my life. This doesn’t mean I will not celebrate everyday, it simply means I may not post about it until several days later.

I know this first post seems very heavy and much more serious than my actual intentions. From this point forward this blog will be funny, witty (hopefully) and of course happy! I invite you all to join in on the celebrations and I welcome any and all feedback.

Happy Holiday Hayley will commence on July 1, 2011……Second Half of the Year Day…..see you there!

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