Previous: Doing This Makes Me Happy, but Maybe it Doesn't' Seem that Way?
Next: Four Jokes from a Two year Old



View count:191,140
Last sync:2023-05-04 08:15
In which John celebrates celebration.

Subscribe to our newsletter!
And join the community at
Help transcribe videos -
John's twitter -
Hank's twitter -
Hank's tumblr -
Listen to The Anthropocene Reviewed at
Listen to Dear Hank and John at
Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday.

Your video on Friday reminded me that we don't talk enough about joy or the many very real reasons to feel joyous. By the way, I didn't get a haircut.

I'm too busy. Let's not talk about. Let's talk about joy.

Here's the thing, Hank. I think it's really hard to feel joy unless you make room for it, which might be one of the reasons that historically humans have created so many celebration rituals. From coming of age ceremonies to, "Yay, it rained!" ceremonies, we have created all of these occasions for us to come together and feel joy, or at least we used to create them.

But these days of course fewer of us are receiving First Communion or dancing when it rains or whatever, and that can make it feel like there is no cause for celebration, and I just don't think that's true. Like, at a societal level, U. S. median household income is higher than it's ever been, and the poverty rate is declining.

Although, not as fast as it should be given our economic growth, but still. Cause for celebration! And there are also, of course, many personal causes for celebration.

There's love among family and friends. There are babies! And there are human accomplishments, big and small.

Maybe you got a promotion at work or passed a class that was difficult or overcame your anxiety to call the dealership about that rattling noise in your care or maybe that's just me. But at any rate, it's also worth celebrating. I'm also very pleased that this year's black-eyed pea crop almost filled this container.

Plus, I learned how to dry oregano, which only looks illegal in twenty-seven states. And then, of course, there are big things like my daughter going to kindergarten. But whatever it is, I think if you look hard at your life over the last several months, you will find causes for celebration.

There will be accomplishments that you're proud of or developments that you're grateful for, and in my experience, at least, if you don't pause to celebrate that stuff, it's never going to bring you much joy. In my life, anyway, the weird thing is that if I take time to celebrate, I can feel really joyful about things that from the outside probably don't seem that impressive. Like I worked my tail off for these black-eyed peas, and I am super psyched about them.

But if I don't take time to celebrate, I feel almost nothing about things that from the outside, probably seem like really big deals. Like when I found out that my novel "Turtles All The Way Down" had its fifty-second consecutive week on the New York Times Bestsellers List. I felt happy for a moment, but then I went back to feeling the broad and poorly-specified anxiety that tends to be my background emotion.

It was only weeks later when Sarah came home with a bottle of champagne and we toasted together in a quiet celebration that I suddenly felt overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. So here's my proposal: Every now and again, you get a bottle of champagne. You don't need the good stuff.

And if you don't drink, don't get champagne. Get some fancy tea or chocolate or a really great cheese or something you love. You have a friend or two over or you gather your roommates or your parents or your partner or whomever and you break bread or pop champagne or sip tea or whatever, and you celebrate.

You talk about the wonderful thing that's happened. You tell the story of how you won that game of Fortnite or you made that student loan payment or you got that promotion and you celebrate it together and then you invite people to share with you what they are celebrating. I've been doing this lately, and it has brought me so much joy.

And then after we all, like, celebrate together for a bit, we all go back to complaining about everything. Because, you know, it's a dumpster fire. But even so, I believe there is cause for celebration.

So here's to building rituals and traditions that help us to come together and celebrate. I don't have any champagne with me, but I do have this Cherry Coke Zero. #NonSpon. Cheers!

Prost! L'chaim! Hank, I'll see you on Friday.

It's a pretty good Cherry Coke Zero, actually.