One of my best moments of celebration was during a family caravan holiday to the Grampians, a beautiful location marked by mountains and forest. Being a couple with young children, our caravan was typically well equipped with every necessity for a happy, enjoyable and relaxing holiday – or so I thought. Unfortunately I made one important oversight – we forgot the board games which were a standard essential for children easily bored and looking to their parents for entertainment (These were the days before iPads and Facebook).
Not to be defeated and with a very fertile imagination, I came up with a game that involved the four of us hunting for clues around the park for the 4 day period. It was a fantastic holiday, made memorable by our family game and the way I celebrated at its completion. I danced, jigged, sung and hollered like a mad woman as I circled around one of the huge trees in the park. I loved it. It felt good. The feeling of happiness, fun, and joy as I gave myself up to that moment of celebration was delicious and infectious and I remember it to this day!
Celebrations are important to our lives. They mark certain moments as meaningful and memorable; opportunities to take time out to acknowledge the significance of who we are, what we have achieved, where we have come from and where we are going. A celebration is like an oasis – an opportunity to relax, recover and be present to the significance of what we have ascribed value to.
I wonder if it is in celebration that we experience the necessary ‘permission’ to be a child again? To laugh loudly and retell family stories, to dance enthusiastically (even if you have ‘two left feet’); to eat good food and recapture the sheer joy of being alive and present to the people you care about. Times like these are priceless.
What are your best memories? Most of us learn ways to celebrate through our family, community and cultural experiences. The things you celebrate, where you celebrate, who you celebrate with and what you consume as you celebrate, are all to a greater or lesser extent, informed by former experiences.
What was the role of alcohol in your childhood experience of celebration? Was it central to the celebration or something of little consequence? In many cultures, including Australia, alcohol is regarded by many to be necessary to ‘having a good time’ because of its power to release inhibitions that generally bind and restrict us. However it is increasingly alarming to observe the negative impact alcohol is having on our society; domestic violence, family and relationship breakdowns, road trauma and acts of violence are being reported by the media every day. We need to turn the tide and one way to do this is to practice ways of celebrating that are less reliant on alcohol and more reliant on your capacity for fun and creativity.
I have great memories of celebrating Australia Day down at the beach with the church community that my family was a part of; getting buried in sand, building sandcastles, playing in the water, listening in to the conversations of the adults around me, sharing food, joining in the ‘mandatory’ game of beach cricket. These are carefree days where the normal routine of our lives could be put aside for a moment in time so that we could relax and be together.
More recently a family celebration around my outdoor dining table was memorable by its theme which was the death of my beloved father in law 12 months previous. Whilst that might sound morbid and depressing, it was in fact, a delightful opportunity to come together as a family to remember a person whose loving and kind ways made him dear to all of us. Food, non-alcoholic drinks, good company and lots of laughter defined our celebration and will remain long in my memory.
If you took the Go 30 Day Alcohol Free Challenge at the commencement of 2015, you are near completion which is cause for celebration. Well done! Sustaining any commitment takes effort, self-discipline and determination. The argument to ‘have a few drinks because you deserve it’ is very persuasive but also dangerous. Consider how you will celebrate and who you will celebrate with. Put some of the tips you received from Watersedge Go 30 Day Alcohol Free Challenge into practice and have some fun!
This year there will be plenty of celebrations going on in backyards and at the beach. Celebrate days that will be long remembered, days that your children will remember – laugh, dance, eat lots, play games. If alcohol is a part of the day, minimise the amount to ensure the safety of your guests, your family and yourself.
If you would like to take the opportunity to do the Go 30 Days Alcohol Free Challenge for the month of February, you can sign up for FREE now or anytime over this month. It is a great opportunity to take a ‘personal lifestyle stocktake’ and at the same time challenge your need for alcohol.
Should you or someone you love have an alcohol-related issue that is impacting your life, you can contact Duncan on 0434331243 or Colleen on 0434337245 for a FREE 10 minute consultation as to how we can best meet your need. If you are ready, you can make an appointment by going to the BOOK NOW button and following the prompts.