I’m not sure when I added this thought/mindset to my repertoire, but it has definitely been at least 8 years.

I know this, because living overseas has giving me many opportunities to have to put it into practice.

In the beginning, lack of language meaning you’re basically like a child learning to walk. The challenges of cross-cultural living that can sometimes stretch you too far. The frustration of slow progress, and doubts over whether the work you are doing is making a difference etc. etc.

If my sights were always set on significant milestones or the ‘end goal’, I might have waited a long time before celebrating.

Getting to the central train station and back, plus the train schedule of the trains to Depok.* Celebrated with a cornetto. Enjoyed on the balcony of a guesthouse.

Celebrating the stories of the 1s and 2s whose circumstances have changed. Totally helps the daily showing-up (sometimes grind) feel worth it.

A more recent example: Opening the door to a GO-JEK bike messenger bearing madeira cake from a friend who’d been in the UK. This was cause for sending a ridiculously, excited, high pitched voice note to my mate. Listen, it was a full on 1-women party. And you know what, I’d been thinking about madeira cake just a couple days beforehand!

I’m saying all this, just to say,

Celebrate the small things.

You can do this, and be focused on the bigger goals.

Don’t miss the small things. The moments for mini celebrations along the way. As depending on what your bigger goals are, the journey towards them may be long. Signs of progress hard to spot.

*town where I study language and lived for the 1st year.