Years ago, during a performance review at a non-profit, my supervisor wrote the following comment at the end of my self-evaluation, "Page, you have exceeded my expectations, and, clearly, are adding value to the organization, but I wonder sometimes if you know how to stop and celebrate what you have achieved. It seems like you are always chasing the carrot at the end of the stick."
Hmmm. That caused me to pause and reflect. Deep in my gut I knew she was right. Why am I not stopping to enjoy what has been accomplished and celebrate? I realized that a lot had to do with my focus. I was always looking ahead to what was left to do. I measured everything against the whole and minimized the importance of the small victories. I clearly saw what was wrong and needing improving, but failed to see the value of the steps that had been taken.
I thanked my supervisor for caring enough about me to point this out. After all, she benefitted greatly from my drive and productivity. Her comment showed that she also cared about my personhood.
I write this because I am on a journey to learn more about stopping to celebrate. This past weekend, we had a "trunk-and-treat" event in our neighborhood. The kids had fun and so did I as I decorated my car. Sure, there are a lot of issues with the kids and families in my neighborhood. There are academic struggles, financial crises, and difficulties with the justice system, but there are kids who want to embrace life and have fun. If all I focused on is what is wrong or missing, I would never "waste" my energy on transforming my car into a frog.
So, what about you? When you think about work...or your friends...or your family life, are you taking time to see what there is to celebrate and enjoy?