Anyone else feel like October bulldozed it’s way in like an uninvited party guest?
I was just starting to settle into September when I realized it was already 4 days into October. Seriously, I genuinely thought yesterday was September 28th (no idea why), and it wasn’t until I went to write the date on a chart at work that I realized October had gone and started without me.
So here I am in October, and to be honest I feel a little bit lost. It’s difficult to not look over the month of September with some disappointment, especially when I think of the goals I planned to small step towards meeting; most of them I didn’t even meet the small steps, let alone the goals.
That’s life though right? We can’t control every circumstance. What we can do though is show up, be present, and have grace for ourselves and those around us when life gets messy.
So what did I do over the month of September? Because I did some things, and those things are worth celebrating!
I ran my first half marathon
I started a new position at work
I traveled and connected with some friends I hadn’t seen in a while
I finished some books
I organized a worship evening at my church
Even if my list of September “accomplishments” weren’t the things I set out to do, I need to, and want to, get into the practice of not feeling like a failure if I don’t check off everything on my to do list. I’m not sure why we as humans are so hard on ourselves. For many (including myself) it seems almost second nature to criticize the things we do and the ways we don’t quite measure up.
I make myself feel less than more often than other people or life circumstances do, which the more I think about just doesn’t make sense. So in an effort to be a better self cheerleader, I’m admitting I did not meet my September goals or my small steps, I’m acknowledging some things are beyond my control (like my pottery class being cancelled), and I am reflecting on, and celebrating the things that I did accomplish this month.
If you’re beating yourself up about not being where you think you should be in life, or not meeting the standard of productivity or success our society pushes us to meet, I’d encourage you to try this simple exercise.
1) Write down one way you cared for your emotional health, mental health, physical health, spiritual health, and someone else’s health this month. (These don’t need to be complicated, brushing your teeth everyday is caring for your physical health)
2) Acknowledge that there are things you would still like to accomplish; turn your paper over and write down some goals you have for yourself for an upcoming season.
3) Reflect on how the things you accomplished this month will contribute to your future goals (if they don’t or you can’t find a link, that’s okay, every season holds new opportunities for growth).
4) CELEBRATE! Do something that makes you feel good to reward yourself for all you have accomplished this month, and to celebrate all you are capable of accomplishing in the future.
Let’s show more grace, and love ourselves better. Not because we deserve it based on how much, or what we do, but simply because, regardless of any life circumstance, or situation, we are all worthy and deserving of love.