Thursday, January 04, 2007

Celebrating the Little Stuff

I don’t know about you, but for me, 2007 couldn’t get here fast enough.

It wasn’t that 2006 was such a bad year. I mean, sure, I had my share of disappointments but I also experienced a lot of wonderful moments last year. I guess the thing is, I'm just ready for a new year and new challenges. I have lofty goals this year, too. (And I’m not referring to my cleaning out the downstairs bedroom closet, either. LOL.)

One of the items on my list is to appreciate the small victories in life. You know the things I mean. Choosing to walk up the stairs rather than take the elevator. Remembering to say thank-you to the people whose assistance we take for granted. Celebrating every bit of good news related to my writing, no matter how small. Celebrating the little stuff.

So, when I realized that today was Thankful Thursday – the day when we’re supposed to blog about our good news and the things for which we’re thankful – I thought it only fitting that I start making good on that list.

That’s why I rewarded myself with a facial for sending off a proposal for a new book to my agent. Yea, me!

It felt good celebrating that small victory, too. LOL.

What about you? What are the small victories in your life that you should appreciate/celebrate more?

16 comments:

K said...

Faye,

What a great topic! A few years ago, I started the habit of thanking my family when they did something that made me happy/proud/ relieved. At first they stared at me for saying thank you when they brought out the trash, picked up their backpacks, unloaded the dishwasher (I'm not an effusive person, and I stepped up the thanks with a personalizer like "Thanks for taking out that trash, I love an empty trash can.")

A year or so ago, I realized I could do the same for myself! I celebrate the smallest things (this year my goal is to run my new Roomba every morning...so far I'm 4 for 4...and then I take my socks off and walk over the clean floor and just enjoy the sensation--which I haven't been able to do regularly since living in my mother's spotless house). I'm looking forward to warm weather, when I don't have to put the socks back on so quickly.

Oh...and I thank my Roomba (it knows...I swear it knows...)

Thank you for this topic! It put a smile on my face and let me extend my Roomba moment a little longer.

Kelly

Sally MacKenzie said...

Great post! I think the flip side of this is not making every setback a major event.

And, okay, I know this has NOTHING to do with writing...but, Kelly, does the Roomba really work? I've been eyeing the ads. It doesn't get lost under the furniture? And do you move it from room to room or do you only have one clean room? It does wood floors and carpets? But I don't suppose it also picks up all the stuff on the floor first, does it? Sigh.

Christie Craig said...

That was a really good post, Faye.

I think positive reenforcement is so important and keeps us going. Have you ever worked for someone who tried to motivate with intimidation? It never worked well with me. I shut down and got even less done.

Now, as a writer, I’m basically my own boss. And yet so often, that is the method I use on myself. Thanks for reminding me not to be such a b..Itchy boss.

CC

Nancy Morse said...

Great post, Faye. We all know the major things we're thankful for, but we often overlook the little things and, after all, it's the little things that make up our daily lives. For me, the little things have to do with paying attention to the days when my computer hums like a well-oiled machine, when I don't have a cold and can breathe through both nostrils without the aid of nasal spray, when my dog doesn't have diarrhea, when things in general run smoothly. Some days it seems like nothing can go right, but if you pay attention to these little things, you realize that they far outnumber the days when everything goes wrong.

JoAnn Ross said...

Faye, great post! Congratulations on the proposal and the new agent! And yes, yay, you!

I'm pretty good about celebrating small life moments, except when it comes to writing. With writing, those good moments seem more a relief (a bullet dodged, so to speak) than a joy, then it's right back to trying to make the next goal, or level, or whatever. I've been working on that, but admittedly could do better. Right now I'd just be thankful for some decent words on the page that I believe might actually survive to the final draft. lol

Sally, I'm with you. It's that stuff on the floor that's the problem, isn't it? I swear, clutter grows exponentially with the amt of flat surfaces in a house.

CJ, when people tell me they wish they could work on their own, from home, in their jammies, I always tell them that it's great, but there's a downside. . . If I hate my boss, I have only myself to blame. :)

L. Faye Hughes said...

I love you guys! LOL.

And Kelly, I'm with Sally - give us the scoopage on the Roomba! Do you have cats? If so, how do they handle it? (I'm picturing a battle of epic proportions. lol.)

Faye

Nancy Morse said...

There's more of a downside to working at home than hating your boss. I've been working at home for the last 15 years, day job and, of course, writing. I find that I work more hours per day, more days per week, holidays and weekends. Sure, I can take time off during the day to do things, but the time has to be made up somewhere else or I'd be drowning in work. The up side is that I don't have to scrape ice off the windshield to drive to the railroad station on a cold, snowy winter morning, which I did when I lived in NY. And, of course, I can look like hell and not care if anyone's going to see me. My husband's away a lot, and the dog doesn't seem to mind. All things considered, working at home is something else I'm thankful for.

Terry Z McDermid said...

Your post was timely, Faye. I'm usually pretty good about celebrating the small things in my regular day (for a long time, I kept a gratitude journal and wrote three thankful things each day -- I don't keep the journal as much but the habit's still there). Since I've been working at home, I've been more lax about recognizing my writing positives. I had always celebrated the end of a chapter, whether first draft or revisions, with one piece of toffee from a fabulous local candy store. I've been struggling with my final proposal chapter and realized I had no incentive! So, for New Year's, I bought enough pieces to help me through the rest of the chapters for two proposals.

An added perk: the candy shop workers wanted to know how my writing was going and now we're thinking of some sort of marketing tool for my book's debut in May -- chocolate and romance!

JoAnn Ross said...

Terry -- you must have self discipline of iron!!! You're sitting there with enough candy for chapters for two proposals and you're actually going to dole it out to yourself? Wow. I am beyond impressed!

I once, during a stressful time, unwrapped all the little foil wrapped pieces of chocolate Pocket had printed with my book title and cover and name, ate the chocolate, then resealed the wrappers and put them back in the book box so they'd still look pretty. I got the idea from my then agent's assistant (a guy who's now a mystery/thriller agent at Trident) who'd done the exact same thing with the box Pocket had sent to the agency. lol

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. Celebrating our victories along the way is so important. Otherwise, we'll "arrive" and won't really feel ready because we didn't acknowledge them. And so we'll miss out on really feeling the accomplishment we'd been striving so hard for.

Margaret Daley said...

Faye, I totally agree with you. We have to celebrate the little stuff because that's what keeps me going, especially as a writer. I don't write fast enough to sell that many books in a year so making a writing goal, getting a proposal off, receiving a note from a reader, those things become important.

Margaret

K said...

The scoop on Roomba...

Yes, you have to pick up the clutter (so far, I toss it on the couch...every morning :-)

It can do more than one room, but you do have to move it. I do the living room everyday, the upstairs hall when I remember, and I made both my boys do their rooms today (I thought it might balk and refuse my older son's floor--he picked up the clutter and tossed it on his bed :-)

I like it, so far. Even though it doesn't get the corners perfectly, it does a very thorough job (those of you who have vacuumed for an hour at a time, this does not apply to you).

I have no idea how long the poor dear will last in my house, with a college boy, a senior in high school, and a man who refuses to take off his shoes even when they're covered with road sanding debris. But I'm still going to thank my Roomba every day, until it gives up in despair or runs away to join the circus.

Kelly

Terry Z McDermid said...

Yes, JoAnn, I can sit here with that candy waiting to be eaten. Not sure where the discipline came from but I've been faithful since I discovered the shop about only eating one piece after each completed chapter. Not that way with all foodstuffs -- been known to snitch a few pieces from Halloween candy bags but for some reason, I can make it with this toffee. Can even use it to procrastinate -- go figure!!

Allison Brennan said...

Boy, I do need to learn to celebrate the small stuff. I'm always afraid that if I celebrate, then I'm taking it for granted and something bad will happen. I know, I know, it's superstitious and I'm Catholic and we're not supposed to be superstitious, but tell that to my head!!

I do reward myself when I finish a book by buying a season of television on DVD, something I had wanted to see but missed. That's been fun. But I'm getting tired of TV again. When I hit the NYT extended list I bought a really cool suede jacket and it wasn't on sale. For me, that's a HUGE celebration, LOL.

JoAnn Ross said...

I'm Irish Catholic. Aka Superstitions R Us. Which is why I understand completely that not messing with the universe thing.

L. Faye Hughes said...

LOL, Allison. I love it. Both the superstitions. (Hey, color me superstitious, especially when it comes to my writing. lol.) And on the purchase of that suede jacket at retail. Girl, you deserved it. lol.

Faye