I found this old divorce-era notebook entry. It’s something I wrote and forgot about.
I’m making baby steps towards a new life. Little extractions. The new EZ Pass, the storage unit, filling out one form at a time. Taken as a whole, it could seem completely overwhelming and interminable, but in bite-sized pieces, accompanied by friends or at least the good iPod mix I made, it’s totally doable.
I celebrate moving the last odds and ends to storage by taking myself out to lunch and buying the salad special. The little extravagances that probably seem mundane to the outside observer to me are victory laps.
(You never know, do you, about the person at the next table? Are they having an ordinary day? What is the triumph? What is the heartache? I fall in love a little when I pause to consider the human-ness of fellow diners. I can’t help but wonder about them, and in that, to care for their happiness.)
These little celebrations are vital. Each base camp of a climb up a mountain. Each school semester nearing graduation. Small monuments to progress keep us moving forward. And this is how it is with healing. Sometimes, it’s all quick and straightforward. But most of the time, we need friends, time, increments, and a soundtrack. It is enough to say, “Today, I will take care of myself. Tomorrow, I will honor that accomplishment. On a hard day, I will grieve, rage, rest, and remember that I can take one small step forward again in the morning.”
Whatever impatience I feel, though in truth all this has happened in fast-forward, I am grateful for the slow and steady climb. I can integrate each small thing. The net effect of this over a month, six months, a year will be enormous.
Whatever your challenge now, I’m walking it beside you. I see you at the next table and wonder how you’re doing. I hope you have a soundtrack, a friend to call, some small way to celebrate your progress.