Celebrate Yourself!

Those who’ve read my past posts will know I’m not a fan of the self-esteem movement. Nevertheless, I do believe that, just as acknowledging our failings is important, there are times and ways in which self-appreciation is equally wise, healthy and necessary.

1978cIt’s my 40th Journalversary! Say what? I’ve just discovered that I wrote my first Journal entry 40 years ago, and have continued journaling (with a few lapses) ever since. Apart from the beard (recently re-grown and a smidge whiter), I’m a different guy from that kid rowing on the Thames River. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we’re family—closer than brothers, actually. But I’ve grown in ways he didn’t. Beard2Then again, I think it’s safe to say I’ve grown because of him. I’ve read his journal entries and learned a lot from him–about what to do and, especially, what not to do. One thing we have in common: He loved God. And so do I. Only my love for God is less naïve, more mature. Thanks to him.

In the past I might have said, “Well, that’s cool” and pushed on. But not anymore. I’ve learned—and I know this sounds suspiciously narcissistic—to celebrate myself. What I mean, actually, is to celebrate significant personal milestones by entering them in my online Calendar as “Repeat every year” events, and then taking the time to celebrate them when they pop up.

And since Journaling has been a key component in my growth as a “spiritual being having a human experience” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin), I choose to celebrate it. I do the same with my Renewal, the moment 5 ½ years ago this month that I began memorizing, meditating upon and praying Scriptures, a practice that has resulted in a dramatic rejuvenation of my spiritual life.

I think of these events as private holidays, by which I mean I celebrate them only with myself (although my wife knows about them). Unlike public holidays, I don’t take the day off, or send flowers. But I do take the time to thank God and celebrate the milestone.

Personal accomplishments matter. They remind us that, while our lives are, as the idiom goes, “a work in progress,” there has been progress. Most of our days, weeks, and months are (to borrow another idiom) “three steps forward, two steps back.” Personal milestone celebrations can encourage us by reminding us that at least it’s not the reverse! Or if it is, they can remind us that it has not always been so, and encourage us to empty the trash and reboot!

So, keep it in balance, but if there’ve been personal milestones in your life—and I know there have—schedule a few annual events. Then take a moment when each comes up to…

Celebrate yourself!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Celebrate Yourself!

  1. Fisherofmen says:

    Great post. I agree with you I’m not to sold in the self-esteem movement as well. It can seem at some times that it pushes for people to praise themselves and celebrate themselves a little too much. It’s nothing wrong with acknowledging your self worth and values but everything is with a balance.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Bill Sweeney says:

    Congratulations, Mitch! I think keeping a journal is great. I like your Keith Green look back in the day 🙂 you’re still a handsome guy.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. “… empty the trash and reboot!” Well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Celebrating your personal growth is very much a redeeming quality of your new life in the Vine, and I hope you continue to share with us what you are learning. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Amen! When we can learn to celebrate ourselves, then we can celebrate others so much better, too. Happy journalversary!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. atimetoshare.me says:

    Time has been good to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Wow. And look how much you have grown and learned in this time!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. nancyehead says:

    Congratulations, Mitch! I love the idea of private holidays! Thanks and God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. laronda65 says:

    I think recognizing your progress can give you hope for your potential. Being God-loving and God-trusting is what makes the difference in how you define your potential. I think even if I reach 90, I’ll look back at my 80’s and wish I’d known then “what I know now.” This was nice! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. laronda65 says:

    Makes me think of Alice: I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.

    And Shel Silverstein’s take on her:
    ALICE
    by Shel Silverstein
    She drank from a bottle called DRINK ME
    And up she grew so tall,
    She ate from a plate called TASTE ME
    And down she shrank so small.
    And so she changed, while other folks
    Never tried nothin’ at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ron Bouchard says:

    Love the beard! I feel like I can relate to you in a closer way. Strange, right? I don’t know why; maybe it’s because I have some weird hang up; like never trusting a guy without facial hair! After all God gave it to us guys. Thanks Mitch. I was looking forward to the pics. God bless brother.
    Ron
    http://www.theburningheart.com

    Liked by 1 person

  12. gregoryjoel says:

    Fantastic post Mitch. I’m not a fan of the self-esteem movement either. In fact, I’m quite leery of anything that has “self” in front of it. It tends to be a red light for me in my relation with God. I meet with failure and frustration every time I start acting on “self”. Who I am is unimportant. Who’s I am is everything.

    That being said, I celebrate the life I get to live today because of God’s infinite love and grace. God knows (pun intended) that I sure didn’t deserve it. I hope when I’m on my way to the place Jesus prepared for me in His Father’s house I will be remembered for loving others and showing my gratitude by my actions.

    Thanks again and have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mark Johnson says:

    Forty years of journal entries … and still going strong. Congratulations, Mitch. That’s most definitely worth celebrating!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Alien Resort says:

    A private holiday sounds like a great idea. But I don’t think I could resist telling everyone about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Great post ! And I like the beard

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great points. Taking time to mark milestones helps us to see how God impacts our life.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I love this. I’ve practiced celebrating myself for years. My mother told me to do it. I was a golf widow. I was angry all the time with my husband because I was at home with four small children. I started to celebrate him being gone instead of fuming. His golf days became our fun days when we ate as we wanted and watched movies.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Pingback: Celebrate Yourself! — Mitch Teemley | Ups and Downs of Family History V2.0

  19. Pingback: Believe in Yourself? | Mitch Teemley

  20. BoardFlak says:

    I have no problem with celebrating my successes so long as I remember I am a child of God before anything else.

    Liked by 1 person

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