One of my (many it would seem), intentions for the season ahead echoes one of the mantras that informs both my life and this blog. To remember to celebrate the small stuff. 

Why? Because life is tough - so tough sometimes that it'll have you running for the hills screaming in pain and frustration. So don't we deserve those little pockets of joy? Hell yes. Especially when things are really hard. That’s when I think it becomes more important than ever to find a moment worthy of shaking your metaphorical pom poms at. A million Pinterest quotes about learning to dance in the rain and storms that come to clear the air etc. can't be wrong. 

By celebrating something, no matter how small the achievement or occasion, you're also doing something vital - acknowledging your own worth. In an era where we’re often guilty of way too much negative self-talk, this kind of affirmation has become more important than ever before. 

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When it feels like things are repeatedly going wrong, it’s natural to ruminate on the bad stuff that's already happened. And to think that from now on in, it’s only more bad stuff ahead. I have a theory that I'm holding on to of late. If I take the time to celebrate the small stuff, it might help to swing the balance of how I roll with the highs and lows of life in general. If I can have a collection of happy moments to hold onto tightly when things get tough, I figure that will help when the lows are in full swing. 

There’s an incident from last summer that comes to mind, now even more poignantly so since recent events. It was when my mum had initially gone into hospital after falling and breaking her hip and the outcome at that point looked pretty bleak whichever way you looked at it. Our original plan that weekend, with H away on a school trip, had been for a night away and to see Jack Savoretti at an intimate open air gig.

Despite spending the weekend at the hospital, as nothing was happening that night and the location was close by, we did get to the concert on the Saturday evening. And it was standing outside in the warm summer night's air lost in a favourite song being performed live, replete with chilli con carne and red wine and with Patrick’s arm around my shoulders that I had a moment. 

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I decided that this one right here, despite whatever might happen, this moment will be the one I file away as the Don't Forget one. Possibly because it felt like the most surreal weekend ever. Possibly because it was one of extreme worry, sadness and confusion mixed in with a moment of pure joy… emotions running high, possibly in part due to the red wine. But I won't forget exactly how I felt in that moment and I vowed to hold onto all the feelings I was experiencing. 

Since then, mum has passed away and I’m going through a whole host of feelings that naturally take place when you lose a loved one, but I’m still glad I have that moment and others to hold onto.  

Back to the present and life seems to be a full on mix of happy and sad - it’s a regular emotional rollercoaster in our house of late. And despite what these images might infer, I'm not suggesting we’re carrying on and busting open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot's finest every time something makes us smile. But I do see the merit in enjoying and celebrating the more uplifting moments because you need to hold onto those really tightly too. 

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Celebrating anything, big or small belongs to a positive mindset. And you don't need me or any other well-meaning online source to tell you that positivity is linked to good health, resilience and optimism. Taking time for a moment of reflection or finding a way to mark an achievement makes me receptive to more of the same… so I'm hoping it might become some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. 

It also reminds me that there really isn't an all encompassing goal or level of total awesomeness to reach before you can be happy. Newsflash - there is no such thing. Have you ever heard anyone say "I am THERE! My life is perfection. I got it all right and ticked every single box. Now where is my bottle of champagne?" To Do lists will always be added to. There will always be another challenge or a bump in the road to navigate over and around. So why not stop and celebrate often along the journey? Because ultimately, that's all it will ever be - a pathway of ups and downs. 

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And if that means a bottle of champagne and cheats supper of bread and antipasti just because it's Friday and you made it through a tough week then so be it! 

Here’s My List Of Big + Small Things Worth Celebrating 

  • I've read loads of books this year and my To Read pile brings me joy whenever I see it. 

  • I enjoyed my first cup of tea of the day in peace and quiet in the bathroom. 

  • I did something solely for myself - I went for a beach walk and listened to music. 

  • I drove past a field of sunflowers to get to the beach and they made me smile. 

  • I've been blogging for eleven years. And I'm still blogging! 

  • Every time I catch up with a best friend, it feels like we've never been apart. 

  • I got out of bed on time without even reaching for the snooze button. 

  • I ticked three things off my nagging domestic To Do list. Three! 

  • I'm raising a girl who sometimes shows wisdom and maturity way beyond her years. 

  • Raising said teen girl is proving to be challenging on SO many levels, But I’m still sane. Just. 

Which small things will you celebrate this week? And how will you do it? I can highly recommend a bottle of Veuve Clicquot on Champagne Fridays in case you were wondering… 

Photography: SarahLou Francis