Celebrate life, transitions and milestones

Celebrate Life

Celebrate life has been one of my catch phrases for a long time. And this week, some of my family came to dinner with obligatory Champagne to celebrate the next phase of my life that began with the settlement of my property on 1 May, 2024.

May Day! what a good day to mark the beginning of a new life after an especially painful nine months of fear and uncertainty. Even the time seems somehow prophetic, now it’s over. Whoever would have thought someone closer to ninety than eighty would be thinking about a fresh start?

Here’s a link to a related blog you may not have read, ‘Three shiny new things“.

Read more: Celebrate life, transitions and milestones

It’s been a long time since I hosted a dinner party. I worried I might have forgotten how, but it all came back in a nanosecond as soon as I put my mind to it. I delighted in the prospect of sharing a meal (and my new start) with people who love me.

The meal, a simple Greek chicken traybake, worked a treat. Leftovers went home with one of my grandsons. Nothing remained of the dessert to go anywhere.


Life constantly changes, and change can often be so painful that it renders us incapable of believing that anything good can come from it. As Julia Cameron says in her book, Transitions: Prayers and Declarations for a Changing Life,

‘It is usually the emotional burden of a difficult circumstance that causes us to move through it numbly…’.

A transition marks the movement from one state to another. To watch the transition from first to second stage of a woman in labour means to witness one of the most painful physical changes many people ever undergo. Women in transition often say they don’t want to do this, they’ve changed their minds, they want to go home.

However, transition we must, and the acceptance of our changing or changed circumstances becomes important, if not essential if we want to move on.

How we celebrate

Some celebrations such as weddings, christenings, retirement involve rituals, feasting and speechmaking. Families and friends have their own ways and traditions for celebrating occasions such as birthdays and religious and cultural festivals.

But celebrations do not need to be major or impressive. They do not need to be expensive. A celebration can be as simple as sharing a cup of coffee with another person to mark a finished piece of work. Colleagues celebrate the end of a project. We celebrate the milestones in the life of a baby simply by photographing the event.

According to the Harvard Business Review,

Celebrating small wins stimulates dopamine release in the brain, a feel-good chemical that reinforces the learning experience and strengthens our sense of connection
to those we work with” 

Why celebrate life and events?

We celebrate life and events because it’s good for us, individually and collectively. It also just feels good! Justine Clarabut in an article entitled ‘Why celebrating is good for you,’ says we celebrate with others so we can share these things.

  • Connection with others
  • Feel-good emotions
  • Excitement and joy
  • Unity and harmony
  • Increased self-worth
  • and making memories.

Personal events not celebrated

I haven’t always known about the importance of celebrating, and missed out with some important personal achievements. For example, when I changed my name to Maureen-Helen in 1984, I didn’t mark the day.

Submitting my PhD thesis was a very simple, business-like affair. I hand over a counter the result three years of very intensive work. I didn’t even ask anyone to take a photo.

I’ve regretted not celebrating these events, and make sure that now I celebrate life in the most appropriate way. I urge my friends and readers, also, to mark their special occasions and celebrate appropriately.

I’d love to read your comments about how and what you celebrate.

Celebrate life at a wedding


  1. I have to say that since I acquired a mobile phone I have myself snapping pics of EVERYTHING and I rarely regret any of them – I hope I never let any chances go by

    1. Hi Laura, Yes mobiles have certainly changed how I manage to record important, trivial, quirky events and scenes. Such fun to review later.

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