S.J. thought nothing of what he was saying. However, to me it was everything. You see I used to lose my patience with him – all the time. We would end up sniping at each other. While I always loved him, and we often had fun together, frustration and anger was too prevalent in our relationship.
A change was needed. The relationship had to get better.
And it did. But it didn’t just happen.
We worked on it. These days you might find us dancing in the kitchen over a song/beat we created, or sitting side by side on the sofa sharing secrets, or laughing together at inside jokes.
The improvement in our relationship has been evident for months.
So, when I was thinking about changes in my life over the past year, I didn’t even think about the positive change in our relationship. I took it for granted. It had happened and was great. Now what?
I was reading a post on Hands Free Mama (HFM). On it, HFM talked about a situation that occurred with her daughter and how she handled it. She contrasted it with how she would have handled it in the past. It was clear HFM had grown. That growth had a positive effect on her as well as her daughter. I left a comment on the blog and noted how great it was that she was able to see her own growth.
I rarely can. See my own growth that is.
Once I accomplish something, I feel some satisfaction. However, the satisfaction quickly fades. I accept the accomplishment as just part of life. I don’t celebrate. I don’t recognize my accomplishment.
Even worse, I often have in mind that my accomplishment was not special.
After my first day as a teacher, Ms. MMK said, “So, how was it? How did it go?”
“It was fine.”
“Were you nervous? Did it feel weird to be in front of people?”
I shrugged, “No.” I went off to prepare for the next day.
A few years ago, I had my first article published in a newspaper. When I got word from the editor, I was thrilled. A few days later, friends approached me and mentioned seeing the article. I smiled, “Yes, it was me. I just sent it in. No, I don’t know anyone over there.” And then it was over.
Something was missing.
THE POWER OF CELEBRATION
I read (can’t remember title/author) about a failing school that was turned around. Someone interviewed the principal of the school. He was asked how he was able to turn around the school. His answer: celebrate. Every time a student did something positive, the accomplishment was shared with the rest of the school and celebrated. It didn’t matter that the celebrations took time out of the school day. He was attempting to create a culture of achievement.
I think that principal has the right idea. We need to acknowledge our achievements and celebrate more. We should celebrate each step along the way.
EACH STEP COUNTS
After all, you don’t reach the top of the proverbial mountain – whether it’s an improved relationship, a better job, a published novel, dropping a bad habit – in one step. Each step up the mountain is a step in the right direction. Each step is crucial in getting to the top. Each step is worthy of celebration.
It’s so easy to naysay little accomplishments – it’s no big deal. Everyone else did it anyway. I got a lot of help. This is a mistake!
Acknowledging and even celebrating those small steps can inspire us just like it did with the students at the school mentioned above. Celebrations remind us of what we are trying to accomplish. Celebrations remind us of what we have already accomplished and acknowledge the challenges faced along the way. Celebrations give us the confidence needed to continue to grow.
I’m thrilled that SJ and I have a better relationship. I’m proud of the way I transitioned into being a teacher. I feel great that my writing has appeared in publications.
I have much more I want to accomplish. I’m working on being more patient, growing my freelance writing business, and more. None of these things will happen instantly. There will be stumbles along the way and sometimes it will feel like I am moving horizontally and not vertically up the mountain. That’s okay. As long as I keep moving, I have reason to celebrate.
Join me, please. Grab a party hat. Dust off those streamers. And celebrate your accomplishments.