We can celebrate hard things

By: Stella Orange

If you’re just joining the conversation, it’s a summer of celebration over here at Las Peregrinas.

Our team is diligently at work, putting together an experience for you to celebrate what’s worth celebrating in your neck of the woods. Because the time is ripe to notice who has been there for us, the progress that’s been made, and that the stuff that once was hard that has since softened, like premium grass-fed butter.

Yum, butter.

Side bar: now that Zoe and Felix are here, we eat a lot more butter in our house. I celebrate all this butter eating. I made steamed sweet potatoes with tahini butter last night. It was lip smacking, wipe-the-oil-off-those-lips-cheeks-foreheads-and-forearms delicious. Hooray for butter!

See? Celebrating doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t even have to be all deep and meaningful. It can be so very simple. Delightful, even. What makes life better?


Okay, but back to our topic. Hard things. And maybe what to do when we notice that the hard things of the past aren’t as hard as they used to be.

Anyone else feeling this?

For example, I find myself rather giddy that I’m not dead right now. (Feel free to borrow this one if you are running a celebration deficit). There are all sorts of things I have lived through at this point, and none of them have killed me.

Hip hip, hooray!

A bit over a year ago, I was at my desk, pregnant and preparing for death. I know that modern childbirth (for white women, anyway) is less perilous than it once was. But short of some of my misadventures in the wilderness, I have never felt as vulnerable—and close to death—as I did when I was pregnant. Maybe it’s because birth and death are both doors on the same hallway. Anyhoo. Point being…

My response was to quietly add the Philosopher’s name to all our financial accounts, prepare a master document of passwords so he could find things, put some extra cash in my underwear drawer, and make sure my people knew that I loved them and had enjoyed being alive with them.   

Does that sound dark?

I mean, I guess it kind of was. But it was also quite pragmatic. From an actuarial perspective, my going to the hospital right as COVID hit for a C-Section probably did slightly increase my risk of ending.

But that’s not my point. My point is that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger… and HALLELUJAH FOR THAT! (You can borrow that one too, if your list is shorter than you’d like).

So I find myself, this Spring, doubling down on celebrating what once was hard, intense, or even bleak. Much of it looks different now, from this angle, in this light.

I meant to write this about business, I swear. But as many of you have been pointing out, seems like the personal and the professional are especially swirled nowadays. So I’ve quit trying to separate them and am doing my darndest to allow them to mingle and chat one another up.

There have been hard things in business, too, that I aim to celebrate

Getting out before things went south.   

Letting good people go.Tightening my boundaries.  

Hooray, hooray, hooray!

So I ask you again: What are we celebrating?

Stella is cofounder and copywriter at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. As our resident word nerd, she writes copy and points out the stories everyone is living and telling through their work. She is also fun at parties.

Get letters like this one, plus updates, insights, and invitations, delivered right to your inbox every week. Here’s the sign-up.

Want to read more?