For most of my life, I have not allowed myself the grace of celebrating my victories, unless it was the last battle in a very long war and I could see the sunset on hard. Then it felt acceptable to toast to a job well done. But ordinary, everyday small stuff? No way. However, I’m learning my life is infinitely better with a perspective shift that includes acknowledging my small victories. I started this journey of recovery years ago and I still feel very much a novice unless I take the time to slow down and really be present to the wins. I am learning that to celebrate I have to be in relationship with people who know me, who I trust with full access and who enjoy a glass of bubbly every now and then.
I’m sharing a recent win and a not-so-win to give you hope. Hope that if I can be restored to the place where I can realize my own progress, you most certainly can as well.
For instance, this morning one of my sons was scheduled to go tour a new school. Having set the event up weeks ago, I thought I remembered that he needed to be there at 8:30am. We took our time about arriving and didn’t even get bent out of shape about being a few minutes past 8:30. When we arrived, the school secretary exclaimed, “Oh, I thought y’all weren’t coming today.” Why? I asked, we’re only a couple of minutes late.” Turns out, we were almost an hour late. He was supposed to be there at 7:45. Whoops. There I go just being human again. I felt gladness that I didn’t feel a wave of shame or guilt or self-condemnation. I just apologized and we went on with the meeting from there. Small, yes. Insignificant, no. Within a few minutes I was on the phone recounting it to a couple of friends, who (since they know me) totally validated and affirmed my growth.
My not-so-win involves a convo with my husband, where I was not able to accept his totally different approach to telling our kids hard information in the moment. (OK, I just realized this story contains a bonus!!) The not-so-win part is that I didn’t immediately speak my truth about how his choices are affecting me. After realizing that I was unsettled and chatting about it with some of my support team, I recognized the need to loop back around and discuss the issue again. I have the desire to resolve it for me, not to change him. That feels like a big and brave win.
Even though we are all walking different paths and have significantly different challenges, my guess is we all blow thru parts of our lives truly worthy of a fist pump. I really hope these stories encourage you to have your own slight perspective shift, and that you choose to celebrate an anysize win today!
Cheers! – Liberty Bain
PS – We’d love to rejoice with you; share your wins in the comments below for a high five!