The importance of celebrating small successes can never be overestimated. Would that we could cheer ourselves on in our daily successes the same way we cheer on our babies and toddlers with each tiny accomplishment.
We are writers and writing is a time consuming occupation. We write and rewrite; critique and revise, analyze and test and then rewrite again. We need to celebrate more often. Each day that we get up and sit down at our computers one more time - celebrate. Every time we find a better word to express a thought – celebrate. When we nail an emotion so well that we, ourselves, burst into tears – good heavens, what a moment to celebrate. If we only celebrate when we finish the book, find an agent, get the contract, or receive the five star reviews there are too many other opportunities that slipped by. What do we hang onto when we don’t find an agent, don’t get the contract, or don’t get the five star reviews?
I had a wonderful aunt who started every conversation by saying, “I have the best news to tell you. I am so lucky.” She would then launch into a description of something as mundane as the nicest server who brought her an extra serving of potato salad at lunch. Regardless, we would all listen intently, smile, and rejoice with her at the conclusion of her story. I will never forget the day she told me, “I have the best news to tell you. I am so lucky. I committed my son today and he understood exactly why I had to.” I looked at her in complete disbelief. Instead of bemoaning a hardship, she celebrated her strength in making a very difficult decision that she believed to be for the best. It was. What a gift she shared with us. Her smile was contagious. Her presence electrifying.
This weekend I turn sixty-five. Do I plan to celebrate? You can bet on it. I’ve been working for a long time to get here. I’ll start by trashing all of my underwear and going out and buying new ones, as I do every year on my birthday. A good foundation is the basis on which new goals hold firm.
This year I might get a book published. I’ve still got some challenges ahead of me, but regardless, it’s been a good trip. I learn more about myself each step of the way, and I continue to meet new and interesting people as part of the process. I plan to continue to celebrate each morning I wake up and sit back down at my computer. Both of those things deserve applause, individually and together. If one day I should decide to skip writing and do something different, that’s okay, too. There are other things in my life that I want to celebrate. You never know. I might just get an extra helping of potato salad from a waiter who smiles back.