Friday, June 05, 2009

I Winnn!!!

What? You didn't know I was playing a game? Well, I was. And the game is called Blog On the Given Day. You see, our illustrious blog overseer Jenn assigns us days to blog (not out of a desire to control the world, but simply to spread out the goodness during the month). To win the game, I really need to blog on my given day (the 5th of the month). Jenn, being a benevolent overseer, is clear that our given day is a roundabout number. Hitting somewhere nearby -- for me, say, the 7th or the 3rd -- would be just fine.

Today, I win by hitting the bullseye -- today is June 5th! Yay me. [I thought it was the 6th, and I was one day off, so this is probably a much sweeter moment for me than anyone can truly understand.]

I have missed two months in a row completely, but this new bullseye clears my record and I can do the victory dance (at least, by my rules, I can). So picture me (on second thought -- don't) doing the victory dance on the blog goal line.

This may seem to be a post without a relevant topic (something I personally loathe), so let me connect my uber-extravagant-cool-bullseye win with a point: set your goal, and celebrate when you make it.

Just for example, if you graduated or are graduating in the past or upcoming few weeks: celebrate. And not just the cap and gown, listen to the speakers kind of celebration. Nope. I want you to celebrate in the way that means the most to you. Outside celebration and recognition is wonderful -- really, I got a bike for my high school graduation (never used it because I am the world's most dangerous bike rider), lots of cash, and some fun graduation parties (and I soooo don't count the family party). But that was other people celebrating their relief/joy that I had met one of the big milestones for entering adulthood.

Graduating high school meant I was eligible for college, of course, but also that a larger job market was now available (I was only 17 when I graduated, and didn't turn 18 until I was already a freshman in college). That I was, in essence, soon to be off my parents' tax forms and grocery list. My parents and relatives could breath a sigh of relief that I'd completed twelve laps on the way to being an adult (I didn't go to kindergarten, though I wish I had).

Looking back, I can fully appreciate that sense of relief, especially since I have now managed to get all three of my children into the fitful world of adult responsibility, and two of them are not listed on my tax forms any longer.

But what I remember most, is what I did to celebrate for myself -- I agreed to help my aunt (whose Navy husband was deployed for six months), by being her "au pair" for the summer. I traveled by bus from New Castle, Delaware to Jacksonville, Florida -- alone (full disclosure -- my mother and aunt made all the logistical arrangements, as I was a complete traveler-doofus still).

My Aunt Patty made sure I had plenty of beach and reading time, but I helped out by overseeing and being a second pair of hands to take care of my cousins, who were 5 and 18 months. We even took my older cousin, and another 5 year old cousin to Disneyworld (in August...which is why DH and I took our kids to Disney in January when we went). It was the perfect break for bookish, shy, and timid me. I have to say it prepared me for college in a way I didn't appreciate at the time.

Behind me were the days of school buses, class bells, and a set schedule. Ahead were the responsibilities of getting myself up and out for classes (and really, the hardest part was sometimes tearing myself away from the 24 hour Pinochle game going on in the dorm lounge...blush...cringe.)

And for that summer, I reveled in winning the high school game. Getting the diploma. Getting into college. And having an entire summer at the beach with an aunt and two cousins I adored.

So -- whatever you won recently, remember to award yourself a prize that has nothing to do with other people's joy/relief. It's okay if it is being a family au pair (I loved babysitting my cousins, but this was a step up from that). Or, like my husband did, taking a week long beach camping trip with just your peers. It doesn't matter if your personal celebration is small or grand. You just need to thank yourself when you set a goal and *you* make it!

Enjoy the summer!



Jennifer Echols said...

Kelly, this is great advice. A couple of terrific things happened to me yesterday, and to celebrate, I ate a salad. Maybe I should do something more.

And congratulations to all the recent grads!

Micol Ostow said...

LOL--I ascribe to the "better late than never" theory. But go you for hitting your deadline!