I’m in the midst of my first big job change and move. Nobody said it would be easy, but they also didn’t say it would be quite this hard. When I finish work for the day, I come home to a bare-walled apartment that still doesn’t feel like home, as most of my personal effects remain in boxes and my newly acquired Craigslist couch is too small for my awkwardly-long living area.
It’s been harder than I’d like to admit to stay positive when items are getting added to the to-do list much more quickly than they’re getting checked off, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from Warhorse, it’s this: I just have to keep moving. Cliché as it may be, life is a marathon, not a sprint. Just when I’m moving along at a good clip, life ties a parachute to my back and slows the hustle. On the days like that, I might not be able to hit the ground running, but I can keep placing one foot in front of the other with intention.
Here’s how I’m learning to find motivation to keep moving in the face of adversity: by celebrating the small victories. This is an underrated exercise and I think it’s one that we can all benefit from. Sure, maybe the dishes from dinner have to wait in the sink until morning to be washed and put away (only to be dirtied again at breakfast shortly thereafter of course). They’re dirty because I filled my furry kiddos’ bellies AND managed to make myself a hot dinner at the end of a long day. That’s a win.
Celebrate that singular feeling of enveloping yourself in freshly laundered sheets, even if it took a few tries to stretch the fitted one over all the corners without it popping off. Celebrate your dog’s goofy smile when he comes up to you covered in pond scum the day after his bath; he loves you, after all. Celebrate the headlight you changed, the birthday card you mailed, the smile you exchanged with the lady at the post office, the stubborn stain you scrubbed off the backsplash in your kitchen.
I often collapse into bed without having checked all the things off my to-do list. It’s hard to keep moving when I get bogged down in focusing on all of the things I couldn’t do. But I know that I did what I could. And that’s worth celebrating.
It’s the positive spark that I need to start fresh tomorrow morning with renewed eagerness. When my feet hit the floor, I’ll let the dogs out, splash some cold water on my face, and dig deep to keep moving.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." -Theodore Roosevelt