It takes a handful of adult holidays for 18-24 year olds to realize that life isn’t perfect and it just doesn’t “feel” like it used to. But I have learned (and am learning) that life is bigger than my expectations. Choosing to initiate the good times and grab hold of celebrations is a lost art, since so many young adults expect every party to be planned for them, and every good time dropped in their laps.
So, I’m here to tell you that LIFE IS NOT PERFECT, and it never will be. Absolutely never. I’m also here to say that it has the potential to be SO FUN.
BUT you actually have to do something.
Let’s rewind to the 4th of July. I had no grand plans and no fun craft or party planned for the kiddos in Kiddie Korner (I really dropped the ball on that one!). But that morning, I hopped onto Pinterest and found a 4th of July craft that could be done with the supplies on hand.
Boy, it was fun! We painted fireworks with a fork & four different colors of paint. I even grabbed the glitter for the occasion. So worth it! Even when the three year old accidentally knocked the glitter off the table. There was a huge pile of pink glitter glimmering on the ground and a poor kid crying, until I assured her that it was a happy mess. Things went much better after that! I was so happy to have done something with the girls, even though we didn’t get our party (always next year!!).
I was exhausted that afternoon, and did not feel very holiday-ish. That evening I asked Ben whether we should eat at the camp dining room then watch fireworks later that night OR if we should eat in town, and then just come home to relax.
We rarely eat out, so of course we decided to do that! As we sat in Panda Express (don’t judge us, folks!), I thought to myself this is our 4th of July. This is the celebration. This has got to be enough.
And maybe that sounds stupid, but when you’re an adult doing holidays alone or differently than usual, you just have to look at what’s going on around you and say this is enough for me, this is good! You realize that you don’t need the holiday feelings or the perfectly planned celebration. You just need to initiate good times, go do things, and let it be enough.
On our way home, he mentioned blackberries, and once the blackberries entered my mind, I just KNEW I had to take a walk and pick some. I have been anticipating blackberry season for some time now. I assured Ben that he didn’t need to come with me if he didn’t want to. I knew he was exhausted from the day, but he decided to go with me…and I was so happy!
We didn’t go far, but we meandered here & there and picked + plopped the blackberries in our ice-cream bucket. There was no fanfare, no planning, no great feelings of a holiday…but it was so fun! And I even think we have a new 4th of July tradition now!
Let me tell you, it wasn’t Instagram aesthetic. I mean, it was a recycled ice-cream bucket… burs were all over my shoes and do you see how I’m standing? It’s not proportional.
Ben and I just enjoyed the view, talked about nothing important, set off no fireworks, and ate no 4th of July specific treat.
But guess what? We still had great fun!
The lesson from the blackberry-filled, firework-less 4th of July is that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be fun. A holiday doesn’t have to FEEL like a holiday to be full of good memories. You don’t have to impress anyone with your life to celebrate life.
But you can’t sit on your bum and do nothing. You can’t expect for people to do stuff for you and you certainly can’t wait on people to give you a good time. You’ve got to go out and DO. You’ve got to go out and CELEBRATE. A good holiday is 100% up to you. And it doesn’t have to be perfect, look good, or feel like a holiday.
JUST MAKE MEMORIES WITH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE.
The effort to enjoy life is worth it. The effort to embrace the imperfection of a holiday will surprise you with its memories. I mean, I had no idea we’d walk away from this 4th of July with a possible new family tradition! How fun is that?! And it didn’t even feel like a holiday!
go live. Go do stuff. Live the life God gave you.
It has the potential to be full, awesome, and strangely surprising. But first, you gotta get off the couch, leave your pity party, and initiate some memories.
Man, blackberries sure teach big life lessons.