The Celebration Test

Today I enjoyed being with family in Oklahoma, in honor of my great nephew, Kaleb. On his actual birthdate I featured a blog post about this charming five year. On this beautiful Saturday, I had the opportunity to be with Kaleb in a day long celebration. 

Being away from home has its challenges on a plant based diet. It requires planning and preparation. I had my morning celery juice before leaving the house. Breakfast smoothies travel well in a plastic cup. I drank a banana, peach, strawberry one on the way. And I carried in my own food. I knew there would be birthday cake ahead to tempt me!

Kaleb watching for me to arrive. He is such a sweet boy. 

You see, today was a test for me. So many of our celebrations involve food. And there is nothing wrong with that. We eat to rejoice, to honor someone, to mark a special occasion. And we also eat to comfort ourselves, ease boredom, and relieve stress. On this journey I am changing my relationship with food. I am focusing on eating to nourish my body with the healthiest of food choices, so that I feel my best. Right now, I eat to heal. I was curious to see if I could skip the cake today, without compromising the celebration. 

My sister Debbie and niece Ashley helped by serving fresh fruits and veggies as snacks. What an encouragement! It wasn’t difficult to have a salad for lunch, and at the end of our day together, have a plain baked potato with green beans at a restaurant. 

When Happy Birthday was sung, the candles blown out and the cake cut, I could rejoice in the blessing that is Kaleb, and pass on the cake and ice cream. Instead, I arranged my afternoon treat of an apple, celery sticks and dates on a brightly colored Pokemon party plate, and enjoyed it. The cake was adorable…and did not tempt me at all.  

It’s not willpower that carried me through. It is the desire to feel good and live in a healthy, pain free body that guides my choices. And it helped that I planned ahead and had a suitable treat to snack on while others had cake. 

My take away from today was that celebrations are about the people involved, not the food. I had fun with Kaleb and the rest of the family…playing, chatting and laughing…and the birthday boy didn’t care at all whether I had a piece of cake, or not. What mattered to Kaleb was that I was present, and spent time with him. 

I passed the celebration test today. I can do this, without offending anyone or compromising my healing journey. This is good to know. My younger daughter is getting married in October. And I will be there to celebrate!

Journey 37: Send a Card to a Friend Day…Almost

send a card to a friend day glad

Sometimes I get excited about the day’s journey, after anticipating how the experience might unfold. Using the unique holidays website, I had seen Send a Card to a Friend Day coming up and thought what fun it would be to send out ecards via text or email, or hand out an actual card or two, as a way of celebrating the day.

This morning I found several cards online I liked and began texting them to family and friends, just to let them know that I appreciate them. I had fun and gratitude is always appropriate to express. I have many people who have so enriched my life. Some I have known for a long time. Some are new friends. And some are family members I have known all their lives or all of mine!

send a card to a friend day family too

It was after I had sent out a batch of texts with cards attached, and was preparing to go to Zumba class, that this little inner nudge got my attention. Standing still a moment, a realization dawned that had escaped me earlier, while I was busy sending texts. I grabbed my phone and opened the screen to the date….February 6. February 6!! Hmmm. Opening the unique holidays site, I checked the date for Send a Card to a Friend Day. Yes, there is was, exactly when it was supposed to be….February 7. Tomorrow.

I had a moment of consternation. And then, I laughed. Ah well. Had I not enjoyed picking out cards and texting them to friends and family? Had I not heard back from appreciative friends and family? And not one said, “Pardon me, but this holiday is tomorrow!” The expression about not sweating the small stuff came to mind, and I chose to embrace the wisdom in that saying and apply it to this situation. That is part of the joy, in my journey, going with the flow. Yes, I was a day early. No, it didn’t matter at all.

send a card to a friend day journey

Throughout the day, I continued to text out cards, changing the wording to “Tomorrow is Send a Card to a Friend Day….”. There was a time in my life when such a blunder would have ruined my day, or at least, robbed me of some of the joy. No longer. Today became my own Send a Card to a Friend Day, and I loved it. I might decide to celebrate it again tomorrow, or next week, or make another mistake. Once I’ve broken through a boundary, usually self imposed, I find it much easier to keep going, moving forward into spaces that open ever wider in delightful and expansive ways. Happy Send a Card to a Friend Day!

send a card to a friend day plus

I didn’t use this card, but I thought it was hilarious, as it combines several February 7th holidays into one handy ecard!