Life Day By Day,  Life Matters,  Self-Care

Life is a festival

If life is a festival then it is time I worked out how I can live my life and be in the festival spirit, more of the time. A festival is a celebration and when there is a celebration you are usually surrounded by many happy people. I feel so much better if I spend time with happy people. After my “laugh out loud” post my “one and only” (O&O) started taking up the cause and laughing out loud or making me laugh out loud at different situations. Everyone feels so much better after a good laugh and even more so when life is being celebrated. I embraced the concept of “life is a festival” during the week when I bottled the beetroot. See my post titled KISS. It was after this I realised the assertion “life is a festival” began last weekend when the Greek dish Souvlaki was on our menu. The main ingredient is lamb, cut into cubes and marinated (24 hours is best) with onions, tomatoes, garlic, oil and herbs. It is then placed on skewers and cooked on a BBQ grill. Delicious!

Souvlaki, a popular Greek food ready to be placed on skewers
Souvlaki, a popular Greek food ready to be placed on skewers

When we were eating the Souvlaki I was reminded of the times we would attend the Greek Paniyiri Greek Festival at West End in Brisbane. At the time we lived in Yeronga and did not have to travel far to be taken into another culture and another world with the Greek food, music and dance. When we were at the Paniyiri we would experience the essence of “life is a festival”. It has been 22 years since we left Yeronga and moved to the hills of Maleny in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Since then we haven’t been back to enjoy the Paniyiri. It has been long enough, this year we will definitely have to go. The 2015 Paniyiri  (meaning festival) is on the 24-25 May so we have time to organise ourselves and join in the festivities.

While it would be wonderful if “life is a festival” all the time, the truth of the matter is, it isn’t. We all experience disappointment, losses, heartbreak for all sorts of reasons and still we must go on. My sister Susan who was 2 years younger than me was snatched from us suddenly when she was 30 years old. She left behind a husband and two children under 4 years old. None of our family or friends felt like celebrating then. However, our family has continued to celebrate her life through our memories, those special moments we shared together. This is why I have a strong belief in creating traditions and celebrations in family life. It is only the memories that live on, not the moments we once enjoyed.

When the “life is a festival” thought came to me I wondered if there were others who had a similar thought. I discovered that Ralph Waldo Emerson (b1803 – d 1882) who was an American poet and writer stated that “Life is a festival only to the wise”.  I have been contemplating what this means. My thoughts to date on “life is a festival only to the wise” is that if we are wise we have the right mindset, the right attitude to ourselves and others. It is this that will get us through the tough times so we can go on to fully live. If we are wise then we have learnt what it means to be resilient and weather the storms of life. To be resilient and live life as though “life is a festival” means that we have a good self-esteem. We believe that we are an okay person and have developed a strong sense of right and wrong. Through difficult times I have found that a positive outlook, even if this requires me strengthening my resolve through positive affirmations, makes a difference.  Sometimes life is just plain mundane and that is when I like to take control of the situation and celebrate the ordinary things I do each day. It is by accepting the ordinary, celebrating what life offers, making changes when necessary, showing care and compassion for others that all of a sudden I find myself in the middle of a festival.

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years” – Abraham Lincoln.

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