How do you celebrate yourself?

I’ve recently come to the understanding that I am pretty bad at celebrating professional accomplishments. Academic life is a long stream of asking “are we there yet” about your research, so I believe it’s important to schedule some stop points for joy. Which leads me to ask: How do you celebrate yourself??

In a super goofy mood last month, I took some new headshots. But then there was a disco ball available at the shoot and let’s just say these are not department website shots but I am happy to have some party pictures because my book has now entered production!! That’s a fancy way of saying that an editor is now fixing my numerous comma errors and exhausted April typos. Next up the book will be set up as, well, an actual book, instead of a Word document.

The problem with book writing, or dissertation writing, or article writing, is that it’s hard to know when to celebrate. When the chapter is done? When the article is submitted? When it’s accepted? 6 months later when you can finally print it out and hold it in your hands?

But that’s maybe just adulthood, right? We’re out of official graduation dates. And it’s hard to celebrate yourself. It seems like to do so, you have to declare it: we are going to happy hour. I am ordering champagne. My birthday party is Friday. It’s hard to schedule your own parties but I’m learning, if that’s what you want, you just have to do it!

So: How do you celebrate yourself? Have you and your friends established any celebration traditions?

My friends here have created a lovely tradition where no one coordinates their own birthday thing (calendar notifications are key to this). It’s really wonderful to do the planning for other people AND to be on the receiving end.

Aside from birthdays, here are some of my favorite victory celebrations:

  • Appetizers and champagne party: Going out for these happy hour will always be my favorite, plus it’s low commitment.
  • An afternoon alone: In my PhD I would always take a weekday after finals ended to go downtown, read a book in a coffee shop, and aimlessly wander through all my favorite little shops. It really helped my brain to know that the deadlines had been met and I could be a little more spontaneous and relaxed.
  • Do it big: I just traveled (!!! thanks vaccines) for a friend’s 30th birthday weekend and it was so nice to explore a new city, split an airbnb, and just hang out. This is what we did for my birthday last year too (as a road trip) and it was awesome.

And you know what? Disco ball headshots are on the list now 🙂

2 thoughts on “How do you celebrate yourself?”

  1. I LOVE THIS. I’m all about celebrating academic wins and all wins in life in general, not just the “big” ones everyone always celebrates (for good reason, of course). I’m so excited about your book!!! Eeee! Would you be up for another IG live chat about your book/academic publishing? (I suppose we could talk about journal articles too…if there’s time!) I’m just very excited for you if you couldn’t tell hahaha. Also I love these headshots so much! (I tried to limit my exclamation points but not sure I succeeded…)


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