My birthday is in December, but this year I had a party in late September with my friends in Mexico City and then another one in November with my friends in San Francisco. During the two weeks surrounding the actual day, I had three celebratory dinners (two at the same restaurant because free prosecco!), two spa days, and one giant party complete with a bouncy house.

Is this overdoing it? Absolutely. But that’s kind of the point.

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See, I didn’t celebrate my birthday for six years.

First my brother was sick, then he was dead, then he was still dead, and yeaup the next year he was still dead (funny how death works like that). Then my partner left me right before it. Then I got mono and strep and a stomach infection the week before. Does that add up to six? I’m not sure, maybe there’s another one in there where it just felt wrong celebrating because my brother was dead and so was my beloved grandpa that had shared the same birthday as me for 30 years.

True, on my 33rd birthday I had a party for the release of my book Bawdy Love: 10 Steps to Profoundly Loving Your Body, but I still didn’t feel like I had anything to celebrate.

My business was financially failing. I owed a crap ton of money to student loans and credit cards. That book I published had spelling errors we totally should have caught. I kept ruining my relationships. I wasn’t talking to my family. I couldn’t seem to keep my house clean. Oh and I was just diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, adding to my feelings of emotional inadequacy.

I could go on. Seriously, the list of reasons why I didn’t feel worthy of celebration could go on so long that your inbox would bounce it for taking up too much space.

This is the point where I’d like to go “but then X happened and all of a sudden I was like totally cool with who I was.” But let’s be real, it’s never that easy. Feeling worthy is a long, hard road full of bumps.

I had to start small.

I celebrated getting one new coaching client.

I celebrated two people taking a course from me.

I celebrated three days in a row that I got out of bed and brushed my teeth and ate a meal.

It’s the time of year where we look back and think about what we accomplished in the past 12 months – and it’s all too easy to think “I didn’t make/do/learn/have enough.”

​But did you get out of bed and brush your teeth and eat a meal? 

Did you check one thing off your to-do list?

Did you make it one more year around the sun?

Did you eat the shrimp?

Then you, my friend, are worthy of celebrating.

Simply surviving is worthy of celebrating. 

As the year ends and you look back at what you accomplished, remember this: Simply surviving is worthy of celebrating. Click To Tweet

Perhaps this year, you even managed something bigger than just survival. Maybe this year you thrived. Maybe this year you created something that made you proud. Maybe you helped others. Maybe you took a trip. Maybe you started a new project. Maybe you even finished something you’d been wanting to do for a long time.

Whatever you did that’s worth celebrating, I want to know.

I want you to tell me what you accomplished this year. I’m going to collect them all and list them out so we can see the collective impact we’ve had on this world.

Nothing is too small or too big, too mundane or too grand. All of your accomplishments are worthy of celebration.

So what did you do this year? 

Email me at info@laurenmariefleming.com and let me know.

With love and celebration,

Lauren

P.S. For privacy’s sake, let me know how you’d like to be credited for your accomplishment. You can be just your initials, anonymous, or I can include your name and a link to what you did. It’s up to you.

 

Here’s the list of all of your accomplishments this year! Ya’ll are very accomplished. 🙂

“I started my own practice and my client load continues to grow; I traveled outside of the country twice which I had never done before, I’m learning how to play piano which is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I got accepted into a doctorate program.” – A.K.

 

“I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. And we adopted a dog.” – J.C.

 

“1. I’ve survived almost a year without my best friend. I said goodbye to my rock, my sister, my daughter’s aunt, my absolute everything. Lauren is gone and it tears me apart everyday. Mostly the pain comes from seeing how much my daughter misses her. My beautiful 18 year old has learned far too young how painful saying goodbye to the most cherished human in your life is. I watched Lauren’s body be slowly consumed by a disease that is proof that evil exists in this world. NO ONE should ever have to have Cystic Fibrosis be a part of their existence. Then, I dealt with the guilt of actually being relieved when she was finally gone. Not an easy emotion to process. You may be questioning what any of this has to do with celebrating. So here it is. I celebrate that I had a Lauren. Very few people get a friend like her. I celebrate our memories. WE HAD SOME FUCKING GREAT TIMES! I have some pretty epic stories.

2. Speaking of that daughter – I’m just so proud of her. Despite the fact that she suffered this monumental loss – she did some pretty amazing things. Turned 18, graduated from high school and just finished her first semester of college. She’s a rock star!!! But, so am I. Mom’s don’t ever give themselves enough credit. I’ve been a single mom since she was in 6th grade and her success is mine too damn it. Call me selfish – but badass kids come from badass parents. The relationship we have is something that is worth celebrating.

3. I made it through another year with Multiple Sclerosis. I wake up every morning living in a body that betrays me. How fucked up is it that something in my own DNA thinks that it should eat it’s own immune system. Again…proof of evil. But instead of living a fear based existence I’ve learned to celebrate what my body IS capable of. We aren’t defined by what we can’t do. Its not easy and sometimes the only celebration that I can muster is a grand ol pitty party. But, here I am. Still teaching special ed everyday, raising a daughter, and pushing through. That is worth celebrating!” – C.B.

 

 

“It feels strange to call it an accomplishment because there is still a lot of pain, but I ended a long-term romantic partnership that had ceased to be about love, admiration, and growth. This person is amazing in many ways, but we were not amazing for each other anymore. It took me a few months to find the courage to do it, but I stood in my truth and we parted ways. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done.
So, that’s my accomplishment: Saying goodbye to someone I loved because I chose myself and my growth over habit and routine. It’s been fucking brutal, this week especially. But I’m hopeful for whatever is next.”  -– MJ
“This year I am celebrating: getting my novel accepted by a publisher, going to the Women’s March in DC, selling a home, writing my first full length play and yes, absolutely, surviving! (A really challenging year, but thank goodness 2018 is on the way).” – Joanell Serra
“Just by taking the time to unpack the gap between what I knew I was capable of and what I was creating, I have already noticed a change in my work … So yes, there is so much more to be done, but now I have the confidence to really start. My proudest accomplishment is not my thesis itself, or even becoming a “Master”–but finally being able to do the emotional work to make sense of my writing’s flaws, and to see its promise.” – E
“Here is my list:
i retrieved my inner child.
i started my business (www.lifedoulaservices.com)
i moved in with my partner and choose to do the work around that
i said goodbye when lines were crossed.
I have been writing everyday for 3 months!
I have started to dive into my spiritual work
In the past month i have started a regular exercise routine and feel really good about it!” –A.H.

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