What Are Your Successes, Great and Small?
I had described for her one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It was the first day of my brand new job with The Partnership at Drugfree.org. I was in New York City for the organization’s annual fundraising event at the Waldorf Astoria and that night, in the hotel’s main ballroom, I breathed the same air as Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw and Diane Sawyer.
So Tess says to me, and I’m paraphrasing, “Do you have any idea what it took for you to get there? Have you really thought about–I mean, really thought about all the successes you had in your life to arrive at that moment in time?”
Uh, I guess so?
The same question for people in recovery
Tess’ question really got me thinking. Then yesterday, during my journaling time, I found myself writing about my recovery and all the successes that brought me to today, April 3, 2014.
I teared up as I wrote:
I love everything about life right now. Money in the bank (thank you, God, for that decision!), work to do (work that I love!), dreams to share, love and laughter to give . . . It hit me just now that none of the things in my life–yes, material things, but also attitudes, beliefs, relationships, dreams, goals–none of those “things” would be available to me without recovery.
Like many of us in long-term recovery, the years tick by and regular, everyday experiences are often taken for granted, even shrugged off as no big deal. Think about it though. Isn’t it the seemingly insignificant daily details that pile up one on top of another that allow us to step off into a huge success?
Every single flippin’ daily success–letting the person with two items go ahead of you in the check out line, showing up at a 12-step meeting and greeting a newcomer, or volunteering on Saturdays at your local animal shelter–is a BIG deal. Each success matters and is cause for celebration.
Think about your successes
I kept a gratitude journal last year. Each night before I went to bed, I typed five things in a cute little iPhone app. Since I didn’t roll the practice over into 2014, I think I’ll replace it with a daily success journal (anybody know a good App?).
Since 1991, April and May are the two months of the year when I really focus on the good in my life. My “belly-button” birthday is in a couple of weeks and my recovery birthday is in mid-May.
Here’s what’s on my mind this year: In the last 23 years, there have been a hell of a lot of events and people and circumstances that delivered me from one successful point to the next. Sometimes I think my heart will explode with gratitude.
Recovery paints my life with breathtaking tints and hues. Each brushstroke is necessary in this mosaic of life. There is nothing more magnificent, and for me, nothing more successful.
What are your successes great and small?
Photo courtesy of Natureworks