How to celebrate the small victories

I’ve been having a hard time lately watching friends and family achieving different milestones. A new baby, a new job, a promotion, an award, it just seems like everything is happening to everyone else. While there a certain things I don’t necessarily want anymore because of my health, it’s hard to see other people living the life that I always assumed I’d have. I feel like like I’m standing outside in the rain peering through the window watching the world go by. It makes me feel like I’m completely isolated and on my own. So instead of feeling sorry for myself I’ve decided I need to celebrate the small victories. Because I have achievements, even though they aren’t exciting and most people don’t notice them.  For example:

– At the moment all the surfaces in my house are clean all at the same time. This is a rare achievement as it’s hard for me to physically keep up with the mess makers I live with.

– I’ve been exercising more than I have in years. It’s not unusual for me to walk a couple miles, even after I’ve spent my day hustling kids and cleaning floors.

– I’ve made it to almost all of my kids’ end of school year events.

– I’ve been doing a better job of maintaining boundaries and saying no when I can’t do something.

– I’ve mostly maintained a good attitude of late, despite having the flu, followed by kidney stones, followed by a cold.

After taking stock of my small victories I noticed that there were a few things to remember for next time:

1. Remember that it takes tremendous courage to get out of bed every day. No one applauds you for doing it, but by fighting back the pain and getting up to face the day, you are a warrior.

2. No one else may recognize your victories, but you deserve to reward yourself. Take a moment to remind yourself how awesome you are. Enjoy your happiness, you deserve it.

3. Remember that even a small win can show you the progress you have made and will provide you with encouragement to keep fighting.

4. If you are feeling discouraged make a list of all the things you did that day that were hard for you to accomplish. You will notice that you are accomplishing more than you think.

5. Focus on what you have done right, not what you have done wrong. Every day is a new battle when you have a chronic illness, so don’t get down on yourself if things don’t go the way you planned.
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4 thoughts on “How to celebrate the small victories

  1. Dear Shelley~
    I think you forgot one item…This wonderful blog you create!! You have been a big blessing in my life and have helped me to have a better outlook in my life. I was at the end of my rope when I found your blog. I was ready to give up and just didn't know where to turn. I felt like a burden to everyone around me, I felt useless because I don't have a job, I felt like I was a BIG waste of space. And then I found your blog. I keep your blog open all day every day, because I now know that there is someone out there who feels like I do and she is doing something about it. I now tell myself that no matter how my day turns out, whether it is a good day and I got something accomplished, or a bad day that I didn't even get out of my pajamas or my bed for that matter, I am still a good person and I deserve to be happy. You are like my bright ray of sunshine each day, whether here or on Pinterest. I thank God for directing me to your site when I needed it the most. No matter how little you think those victories are, they are actually BIG victories and should be celebrated. I just want you to know that you are an awesome lady, and that there is at least one person out here who thinks YOU ROCK!! Keep up your wonderful words, and honest insights to what it is like to be a chronic illness sufferer. It's people like you who will change the way the world looks at us. God Bless You!!

  2. I need to get this in mind as well. I often times am hard on myself because I didn't get certain tasks done during the time. I need to recognize the tasks that i did get done and be happy with that. Thank you for refocusing me on the positives for the day rather than the negatives.

    I found your post at Fibro Friday.

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