It’s nearly the end of January and I can’t shake this idea: I’m going to give myself an Everyday Achievement Award.
In past years I’ve given myself a report card, or focused on the misses. After all, I can easily think of five goals I didn’t meet last year, goals I had written neatly in the front of my diary with lots of underlining and arrows and sincere punctuation to > > STRESS < < just how **IMPORTANT** and SERIOUSLY (!!!) I was going to TAKE THIS YEAR. But instead of diving into the annual scourging festival of “Should’ve, Could’ve, Would’ve!! You don’t have to leave home to participate! No bra or shower required to attend! It can go wherever you go, and can last all! year! long!” I’m determined to customise an award to my life. To acknowledge something that I have poured effort or constancy or sweat or swearing (or a mix of them all) into over 2017, and I am proud of accomplishing. But… which everyday achievement?
Well, last year I DID keep all my sheets and pillowcases folded (mostly) neatly (mostly) inside a matching pillowcase. *Crowd does NOT go wild* Weird to celebrate, right? Sure, but easy to do and a huge payoff. It meant the changing of sheets was DONE – from thought to final pillow placement – in under 5 minutes. This not only gave me the linen count heavy joy of falling into fresh sheets but stopped my usual spiraling into “If you give a moose a muffin” escapades that often had me stabbing wildly with my last straw (at one point resulting in my vacuuming out my drier around midnight). I’m therefore pleased to announce that in 2017 I stuck with a tiny housekeeping tip that not only made me feel good, it also averted other domestic disasters. Definite contender.
I didn’t finish every book I started. I read wildly, deeply, roaring down the Dewey highway and didn’t keep my Goodreads account up to date. Didn’t feel guilty about it either.
Which leads me to the second-place winner – I didn’t feel guilty. Not for the letters I didn’t write, the social events I didn’t attend, the words I spoke, the time I did spend on the leg press machine at the gym. This one was progressive (maybe “Most Improved” contender?), as I wavered, rallied, and erratically bloomed into the ability to not guilt-trip myself. (Also, I’m in love with my thighs! Brilliance!)
Ultimately, the Award reflects where I put the majority of my time, effort and resources, day in, night out and repeat, each day – I loved. I loved my kids, in all their glorious weirdness and mind-numbing stupidity, I loved them. I loved my friends, nearby and not, as best as I could, in my own determined way. I loved myself – or at the very least gave myself the benefit of kindness towards my intentions on those awful, God-bereft days where I failed wrenchingly at everything (or so it seemed). I loved in tiny ways: in pot plants, emails, proofreading and pavlovas. I loved in word and books and hopes and biting my tongue and heartfelt haranguing. I loved my dog in her final seconds, my cat in the first minute of meeting him, my best of intentions and goals unmet. I loved, and it dragged me over the finish line, sent me soaring, gave me bruises, an everyday bouquet of opportunity, wilted hope and exultant success.
I won an award! A trophy too. I’m thinking a glazed ceramic bowl the colour of sunset, which nullifies the calories of any desserts it may hold. Maybe a pillow that keeps its shape and smells of sandalwood and good memories. Five minutes in a shower with the sort of water pressure that makes your eyes roll back, invents colours and liquifies your spine. Even better? A glowing little nightlight that I can hang in my head, to flare when I am doubting myself in the year to come, a fierce little blaze to warm my weariness, toast my doubts and put some sparkle (mischief? determination? righteous fury?) in my eye and sparks up my spine.
Here’s to everyday achievements, from deep in the thick of it all.
What Everyday Achievement Award do you bestow upon yourself for making it to 2018? What does your award or trophy look like? Who or what would you name in your acceptance speech?