Last weekend I ran five miles with my sister. I usually go about a mile less than that when I run, so I knew I could do it. My sister is training for a marathon, which YOU GO GIRL, because I could never. At each mile, though, she celebrated. She physically threw her hands in the air as her tracking app reached each mile marker. I thought it was cute, and it was encouraging (especially at mile five, because OUCH).
Then I started thinking: when do I celebrate in my personal life? What do I celebrate? And sadly, I couldn’t think of anything.
My words are not celebratory, but hypercritical. I don’t often speak life into the things I do. I critique, but with an emphasis on the negative. Celebrating your victories does not mean ignoring the bad things that happen. It means allowing yourself to feel happy about the things that you do, even if you think they’re smaller than the negative things that happen.
It’s a crazy world out there. Like, CRAZY. Like, I feel uncomfortable waking up and checking the news because I know it’s going to be crazy. There is so much craziness going on around us in every moment that it has to intentional to celebrate our victories.
So in my own life, I can celebrate every mile, or I can focus on how many more miles I have to go. At work, I can celebrate an outstanding project, or focus on the terrible ones I had to sift through to find it.
I don’t live outside of reality. I know that life can feel 100% negative and it can feel foolish to celebrate things as small as another mile or a great project. But actually, it’s not foolish at all. It’s a sign of self-control and perseverance. Not everyone can say they purposefully choose every day to celebrate themselves. It’s not being selfish, it’s being attentive. It’s acknowledging that you are worth it. It’s saying “look at me, my accomplishments are bigger than my failures and I am more than they are.”
We are all a product of our past. The significance of every event shapes us into who we are today, and who we will become. But how amazing to be able to look back and see that you chose to celebrate instead of focus on the negative. That’s the past I want to create for myself. Because even though we can’t change the past, we can change how it influences our future.