So early the other morning I was laid on my sofa, practically dribbling, so relaxed in my morning meditation I might as well have been drugged to within an inch of my life (NOT the point of meditation, by the way, I was just particularly knackered that day), when something made my ears prick up. The lovely lady leading me through my twenty-minute practice huskily whispered from my iPhone . . . "Sometimes it's the small victories that we need to feel good about, that we need to celebrate."
I LOVED this. The Small Victories. Now I'm all for positivity and noticing the good. I make a point every day of mentally noting the small things like the cheeky flash of my youngest son's smile (even if he is about to lecture me about Fortnite tactics) or the rays of the sun stroking my kitchen floor (yes, ok, even if they do highlight the crap that needs sweeping up). By noticing these things, it helps me to soak up some good vibes and therefore tackle the shit that inevitably happens with more control, more grace.
But the idea of victories that we accomplish daily - now that spoke to me. Although I practice mindfulness, which is all about experiencing the present moment for what it is, I am still a stickler for goals. I have clear things I want to achieve. Get fit. Learn to oil paint. Sky dive. And my biggie - writing and getting my novel published - took me twelve years to achieve. Twelve years! That's some hard-ass dedication right there (*does mental air punch*).
And now that I'm in the throes of discussing book covers and fonts and dedications I'm ecstatic that I stuck it out for all that time. But without the days when I managed to map out a chapter or nail a tricky scene or finally come up with a name for that god-awful character - aka the Small Victories - I wouldn't be sitting here now, feeling that excitement rising in my belly.
And sometimes the Small Victories can be about just bloody well getting through the day. I mean, as a mum to two truly terrifying young beings, I know that life has its challenges. It's HARD being a parent, as any parenting blogger / Instagrammer / social media icon will bang on about day after day. Being responsible for actual little humans residing on this planet comes with its inevitable disasters, embarrassments and quite frankly existential nightmares. So surely it makes sense to spend some time looking at how we navigate all of that. The Small Victories hidden smoothly in the stubborn fog of parenting.
So I bought a notebook. I did. So inspired I was I marched down to my local stationers / gift shop / seller of cheap tat and bought the first one that appealed to me. A pretty little hardback thing with a tree on the front and some glittery bits. Glittery bits have got to be good, right? Small Victory number one achieved. Notebook purchased.
But it's not about that, see? I'm not going to go and specially perform Small Victories so I can write them up and feel all smug at the end of the day (and do mental air punches) before bed. No. It's about just jotting down the ones that happen anyway. OK, I might start to tune in a bit more to what works for me and they might become more frequent, which would be lovely thank you very much, but it's more about recognising what I'm already capable of. What I'm already doing.
So here are my first two days worth of Small Victories . . .
And if we read between the lines, sure there would have been things that flew in the face those victories - for example, the cake was baked whilst deciphering overly-complex maths homework and fretfully cooking veggies that ultimately nobody ate. The delivery of the swanky mattress was arranged after clearing out the joint bank account until the next pay day and the harmonious rendition of Aha's 'Take On Me' was swiftly followed by an epic showdown between the Lads over who had been able to hit the high note. But they still happened people. They still happened and let me tell you, they were VICTORIOUS.
And those feelings, those victorious, accomplished feelings really matter. Because who knows what we will go on to do from there? If we feel better, surely we venture out more joyfully into the world? Surely we have more potential, more possibility, more power to be happy? So for now, I'm sticking to my cheap little notebook. I'm writing those notes and feeling those feels and I might even do a REAL air punch. And I am not ever going to underestimate the Small Victories again. Who's with me?
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