To continue my series helping adults move “Beyond the Elementary,” in order to overcome stress and acheive success, here’s lesson #3.
3. Celebrate more
Are you a party animal? Apparently the students at UW Madison are and have earned the award of America’s #1 party school (we’re so proud). As Jason jokes, the folks handing out these awards have obviously not spent much time in a kindergarten classroom lately. Five and six-year-olds know how to celebrate!
It’s quite a miracle I didn’t gain 30 lbs. teaching, with all of the cupcakes with two inches of frosting on top, cookies, and cakes. (I am certainly not complaining! Yum!) There were parties for everything… all twenty-something birthdays, the seasonal holidays, and then there’s the “school holidays” like Dr. Suess’s birthday, Groundhog’s Day and Arbor Day. Does anyone in the real world truly celebrate these days? Let’s not forgot the ever-popular 100th Day of School… and we thought Hallmark was the only one making up holidays.
We had quite the party routine. After covering the tables with colorful paper, we played some of their favorite tunes (usually Greg and Steve), and read books that connected to the occasion. Then, of course the treats. Sugar highs for all! As if kindergartners really need help getting excited about life.
Sadly, the poor 1st graders go through quite the culture shock about three weeks into school when they realize that they have now entered “the real world,” in terms of what school is all about. (Parties are limited. Too much “work” to do!)
This is often the case shortly after graduation. It’s like Frogger. You step off that curb of safety as an official alumni into the craziness of the real world. There are obstacles attacking from every direction- student loans, rent, finding a job, changing relationships, and, oh yeah, being happy. Rule #1- Don’t die. (Remember the frenzy by playing Frogger here. I love that game!)
You start to look at life more seriously, as not to take it too lightly, like you naturally did in college. You realize in about 2.5 that you now know what Kermit was crooning about when he claimed, “It’s not easy being green.” In order to be taken more seriously as the newbie you start to overwork to prove your worth and commitment to the cause. You are responsible. You are competent. You are now an adult.
Eventually you look around. Is this it? Was this what I was working for, for so many years?
It’s quiet. Where’s the life? Where’s the umph? Where’s the sugar!?
You have to BRING the umph to the party. Not only that, YOU have to create the party. Adulthood doesn’t have to be so serious and dry. You can still celebrate the little things (and not just by bringing doughnuts in on Fridays… you party animal, you!)
The gimmies are birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, but go beyond that….
– Brighten someone’s day “just because.”
– Use your vacation days (Americans wasted 570 million vacation days in 2006. Yikes, that’s embarrassing people.)
– Eat dessert first.
– Paint your toenails all different colors.
– Play dodge ball on your desk.
– Schedule a massage with your best friend.
– Bring helium balloons and hang them in your cube.
– Wear a fun tie to work.
– Have a paper airplane throwing contest in the lounge during break.
– Drink milk out of your fancy glasses.
– Keep fresh flowers in your kitchen year round.
– Honor a friend with a “this is your life” slide show.
Live life so boldly that others are asking, “What’s his deal?”
Live BIGGER. Live brighter.
Leave a comment and share how you celebrate life.
[tags]celebrating life, UW Madison, Greg and Steve, holidays, Frogger, Beyond the Elementary[/tags]