Little Victories

Take one minute and think about yesterday. What do you remember?

Or think about Friday, last Tuesday, a month ago Thursday? What stands out?

If you’re like me, the things you remember most are the mistakes. I can look back and tell you exactly which days I didn’t finish my list, said rude things, sent emails that shouldn’t have gone or didn’t send emails that were needed, took a break when I should have gotten more done, and so on.

What’s harder is trying to remember the places I succeeded and did well. I can hardly name one at first, not until I talk about the week with someone and they mention something that sparks a memory of a kid I finally made a connection with, the book I finished writing, the projects sent on their way, the paper turned in on time, the friends connected with.

I think our inability to notice the good in ourselves is largely a mix of fear and pride. Pride, because if we celebrate those things other people might not be impressed or think much of them and we want to be people that press on and do so much we hardly have time to think about it. And fear, because what if that’s the best we’ll ever do, or what if it’s not as much as we would hope, or what if we actually can’t think of anything?

But you can, and you need to, because celebration and delight in the small things is what makes our lives beautiful, day after day. If anything, be proud that you have eyes to see small things, and be afraid of shrinking your soul by never acknowledging your successes.

So here are my successes from the last few days: my paper was in on time, if not perfect. I made time to talk with my sister and my dad on the phone. I made time to read. I finished writing a book. And this morning, I’m both up on time and having a healthy breakfast.

Nothing big or fancy. But things that have made my life beautiful.

What are your small victories?

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