Not long ago, I realized almost every story I’ve written ends with some big milestone or celebration in a characters’ life. I never strategized for it to be that way; it just has always seemed to culminate to that. Of course, I’m not the only writer to do that, as countless books, movies, and television shows all usually have that kind of grand finale.
This trend no doubt stems from our yearning to have some sort of fanciful closure in real life—or do these storylines foster that desire? Regardless, in most grand finale scenes, characters use these big events to express their appreciation and true feelings to others, leaving us with the conclusion that their life has improved moving forward. Then, the sequel or next season comes out and you learn otherwise. But I digress.
The point is we put so much pressure on these “grand finale” moments, and all too often, they don’t pan out the way we fantasized. Personally speaking, the majority of my big celebrations haven’t left me with the gratification I imagined. Does that mean you’ll never have those happily-ever-after moments? Of course not. In truth, most of those moments come when we least expect it. For me, my best memories are of ordinary days with the people I love. There are no elegant gowns or elaborate festivities; it’s just us enjoying time together.
I doubt that I’m alone in this because life, by and large, is made up of simple moments, which is why we term the other days “special occasions”. When you realize this, though, it changes your perspective on the big milestones and their “make-or-break” importance in the long run. You won’t put so much gravity on how they turn out, and usually, that makes them better. We put ourselves in line to be surprised rather than disappointed.
Something else we can take away is the fact that we don’t need to wait for an occasion to make a day special. If there’s something we want to say or do for someone, why hold off until a certain date? Every day brings something to celebrate if we look close enough, and making somebody else’s day a little brighter provides ever more reason to rejoice.
No matter what time of year it is, then, glean joy from the everyday rhythm. If the day was good for you, celebrate that. If not, celebrate that it’s over! Most important, share that spirit with others whenever you can. Don’t listen to the calendar: it’s old, flat and square!