(Winner of the "Celebrating Myself" competition, by Women's Web; 22-3-12)
There is all kinds of brain research happening at cutting edge levels these days.
Folks do all kinds of experiments to figure out why we have left brains and right brains, and what each side is supposed to specialize in. All these calculating, analytical scientists, immersed and shining, in a left brain neuronic ocean , glinting in the cerebral sun. And then there are the dreamers, the visionaries , artists and poets and ordinary intuitive folks, who are convinced they are doing everything "right", and beaming about it.
I have a hypothesis which is a function of time.
As a child, in the 50's and early 60's, resplendent in the middle class, one lived by rules, in all aspects of life. Slogging ensured a degree of success. Things you celebrated about were universal. Success at school, sports, an honor in the society in which we lived. Standard festival celebrations. And so I celebrated along with the proud parents. Birthdays were not "planned", but they happened, and were celebrated, without being unduly ecstatic about the fact that time never stopped, and you got a year older. Terribly left brained, if you ask me.
College and University, was a time to celebrate a coming of age, a companionship with friends, occasional academic successes and the celebrations started to get a tinge of right brain madness. Reverses and disagreements in life were managed leaning on right brained folks, while maintaining a left brained sense of "feet on the ground". Celebrations were about uninhibited laughs, enjoying with friends, whispers ,gossip, treks and trips, while the left brain kept nudging about examinations, curfews, time and other then unpleasant concepts.
Like a car taking the on-ramp to the expressway, life accelerated, and stayed on course for many years, through work, marriage, children, extended family, and assorted events lighting up along the path. My celebrations were all about a child's birth, the first words, the first step, the joy on the face of a grandparent of four score years, going for a walk with a 4 year old grandson, fun events and howlers at school by the children. Celebrations were the order of the day the princess arrived, born of the heart and not of the womb, and slowly proceeded to nullify the borders between the two organs, in a flood of amazing life experiences.
Life has been a celebration of small steps by small folks, then big steps by small folks, and occasionally , me hitting myself on the head in a right brained way, when I realized that successes to be celebrated in life were never all academic, but of myriads of types. Celebrating has been about facing difficulties in some one's education and overcoming them day by day, it was about realizing that every human being has a different development plan, and the difference was to be celebrated.
Another kind of celebration was about being there for so many when they looked for a shoulder and a mind and a ear to lean on, in the evening of their life. A celebration of the honor, of being in the right place at the right time , for them as well as for yourself. Celebrations, slowly ceased to be about acquiring things, like objects of leisure and the good life, and became more about giving and participating and not worrying about who thought or said what of you.
Slowly over the years, the "l" in my celebrations, has tended to become an "r" . From "celebrating" my life, it has slowly become a fun exercise in "cerebrating " it. Thoughtfully, intuitively, and sometimes, even going against, what might have been considered, by someone, somewhere, the grain.
And so I "cerebrate" today, giving my mind free reign, enjoying forays into the world of words and art, unconcerned about accepted norms. Cerebrating has been all about joining in some one's fun on discovering an aptitude, possibly at an unexpected juncture; it has been a sense of peace and having tried, when doing something that went against a left brained norm; and it has been a realization, that the more you give , the more you can both cerebrate and celebrate.
At the end of the day, its really about "l" and "r" ; and how you move from one to the other , in time.
Clearly, as you might have noticed, my path baking research on how a left brained celebrating kid turns out into a right brained cerebrating geriatric soul, and can laugh about it....
Submitted for the "Celebrating Myself" contest at Women's Web.