I’m often reminded to celebrate the small victories. To focus on the positive, the haves, instead of have nots. Thank you, Ruth Ayres for reminding me to do this and sharing a platform to post my celebrations.

In summer especially, my to dos feel daunting, like I have to get my life back together after 10 months of neglecting bills, house repairs, etc. I don’t even know where to begin, and some days I don’t even start.

I coined the term reverse lists (probably not an original idea), but it has made all the difference in my days and has combatted some of my anxiety about being overwhelmed with all I need to do. Throughout the day, I write down what I have accomplished. Therefore, when my to do list feels daunting, I can celebrate the tiny victories of my day (recorded on my reverse list) and see what I’ve done, instead of where I’m coming up short in the never ending list of life.

I’d also like to celebrate all the other blessings in my life right now:

1. I joined a local writing club. These ladies and one gentleman stretch my thinking and encourage me when I don’t feel comfortable putting words to the page.
2. I have time to get stuff done and think about what I want, even if it feels like it’s not enough time.
3. I’m establishing a morning ritual and realizing the importance of taking care of myself first. My morning involves daily prayer reading, making my bed, and exercise before making a healthy breakfast. I’m grateful for having time now to establish this and hope it will continue once the school year gets underway.
4. I’m learning the importance of living simply and not having to have things just to have them. I feel best when my space is decluttered, and I’ve started piles to get rid of unwanted items and even started making money for my old junk. I sold several unwanted items this week!
5. I’ve finished two professional books in the last couple weeks that have me buzzing with new ideas to try for next year.
6. My sister had an amazing time in Grenada, and I’m so happy for her.  I’m grateful the Viber app helped us keep in touch and being able to see pictures of her trip.


Jessica holding a sheep’s heart

7. I reconnected with an old friend and am grateful for restarting our friendship.
8. The people in my life push me to become better. They are always encouraging me and sharing what has helped them on their journey. I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people and networks in my life.

9. My hydrangeas are finally blooming (after three years), and I’m able to cut some and bring to people.  It’s so fun to say, “These are from my garden.”



12 thoughts on “Celebrate

  1. Our hydrangeas are long gone, but it does take a while to get them going. They are worth the wait, aren’t they? I think it must feel very good to look at your “reverse list” at the end of the day-great idea! And, Viber is a real help isn’t it? Have a great rest of the weekend!

    • Thanks for reading, Linda. Yes, the flowers are totally worth the wait. The heat is starting to take their toll on them, but I still love them. Christy said I should call my reverse list my ta-da list. I loved that idea. Hope you are well.

  2. Your reverse list is a great idea. It sounds like you are doing many things to keep your life balanced and full. And I have to say, I wish my hydrangeas looked so beautiful. Our dogs seem to think they’re gardeners and pulled our new plants out of the ground and left them in the middle of the yard.

  3. The reverse list – a perfect way to get energized for people like me who can feel overwhelmed by the “to do” list. And now I’m curious about those two professional books. What were they?

    • Ramona, thanks for reading. So great to see your name in the comments. I finally read Thrive by Meenoo Rami. It totally energized me. I also read one of Kelly Gallagher’s older books, Reading Reasons. It’s got great go to lessons you can immediately use to help your students see why reading will help them. I often find myself telling them – reading will make your life better, but his lessons make why visible to them.

  4. I missed you at All-Write this year! I am so happy to see your words here today. I love your idea of a reverse list–I have never heard this before. It makes so much sense. I also love your focus on self-care routines. It is so important to take time for those little moments.

  5. Isn’t it wonderful taking care of yourself first? I started that practice this summer, and like you, I am hoping to continue it in the fall. I’m jealous of your hydrangeas. Mine don’t look so hot! Those are worth their own celebration.

    • Thanks for reading. The heat is really starting to take a toll on them, so they don’t look near as pretty, but they still make me smile. I’m getting anxious about school, but I hope to at least continue some of these practices. Good luck with your self-care plan.

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