The day was long.
I mean, it was one of those long days. And we were in the middle of it. There was so much to do, so much I'd already done, and the time was slipping away faster than the early spring daylight.
Over the last few months, we've tasked ourselves with more than a handful of special projects, focusing on their completion, sometimes wearily after the completion of our day jobs. After we put the little one to bed and when most people would be sinking into their sofas with a good book or the most recent binge-worthy show, we were in front of our laptops, desk lamps illuminating whatever it was we were working on at the time. The clock would tick, our eyelids would feel the gravity of the day pulling them closed, and we worked until we weren't doing these projects justice.
The alarm clock would cheerily sing in the morning, and we'd do it all again the next day. Projects have deadlines, people.
It was feeling like we were climbing a mountain that we couldn't see the top of. We didn't know if there was a top, if the effort would be worth the climb. But we were climbing that mountain, damn it, because opportunities to be your creative selves (with your husband, doing stuff you both love) don't come every day. But that mountain, it was steep. Who am I kidding....it still is. And we had to climb the mountain after Elsie was in bed because if we didn't, if we prioritized time to work over time with her, well...we might miss out on a beautiful moment, or in this case, learn something about ourselves that we really needed to know.
So on this early spring day, between the breakfast battles and the bathtime bubbles, the sun made a rare appearance. "Outside, Mama, outside." For you moms-of-toddlers out there, you will feel me when I say I blame that phrase on the Bubble Guppies and now it will be stuck in your heads, too. Anyway, we put on our boots and jackets and headed outside.
"Line up, line up. Everybody line up. It's time to go outside." See, there it is.
In our particular outside, we are lucky to have a few acres of land, which my husband has manicured into a motocross track, mini bike track, and go-kart track. These activities and experiences are part of why our land is deemed Lancaster Land. Elsie and I walk the ups and downs of the track, splashing in mud puddles and weaving in and out of the tall pine trees.
We come to one of the jumps. We walk up, slowly, hand-in-hand. She looks at me, throws her hands in the air and exclaims, "Mama, I DID IT! I DID IT, Mama."
She sure did.
I looked down at her blonde curls, her grin stretching across her two-year-old face, and the pride beaming from her body. She did it. She was proud and I was proud of her. What seems like such a usual feat, a small hurdle to me, was worth celebrating to her. She felt a victory, and together we celebrated.
And then I started thinking as we continued on our trek up and down and around, and back again. I was reflecting on all of my work lately, my accomplishments, and the work that the hubs and I had completed. I thought about the big goals and the small wins and even the losses that stung so hard.
I thought to myself, I want to be more like my two-year-old.
I want to celebrate the small victories. I want to climb a small hill on the path to climb the big mountain and I want to feel that win. Even though the summit might be so far away that I can't even see it, I want to celebrate the victory and take a moment to just feel good about where I'm at, not focusing on where I'm going. Although the next steps and the action plans and the to-do-lists will always be charging fast at you, the immediate feel-good, pat-on-the-back celebrations need to be slowed down for.
Every day, there's a reason to stand up, throw our hands in the air, and say (even if it's just to ourselves), I did it.