As some of you will already know, I am currently in the process of writing a book (EEK!) and the deadline for the main chunk of it was on Tuesday. For the last week I have been working like an absolute madman to get it all done, and despite not feeling very well and having various other commitments, I have primarily been focussed on nothing but this, omitting sleep, blog posts (sorry) and social engagements to get it done.
Despite my hard work however, the book is still a long way from being finished, although the main body is there, it is not yet long enough and hasn't been touched by my editor, so as I clicked send on the email containing all of my hard work, I did not feel the excitement that I had expected to feel on November 1st, deadline day, rather, a cold panic.
Alex rang me straight away to congratulate me and told me that he wanted to take me out for dinner to celebrate. To my mind though, there was nothing to celebrate yesterday, on the contrary, there was only reason to freak out and so I got crabby on the phone with him and told him in my sulky voice that I didn't want to leave the house. Just after I got off the phone however, I got an email from my agent saying: "you did it! So proud! Bask in the fact you've done the heavy lifting now and give yourself a little break."
I was really grateful for that email, because after a chat with her, I realised quite how much I had done. By the time that Alex arrived home, with an orchid for me (bloody love orchids) that I definitely didn't deserve after being so foul, I did for the first time that I needed to sit back and appreciate how much that I had done.
It is very easy, when you are so focussed on something, not to notice the progress that you have made, and it is even easier to talk yourself into believing that you don't deserve praise, least of all from yourself... we all do it. But I realise now how important it is to not only recognise what I have done, but to reward myself for it too. I never ever ever thought that I would be writing a book, hell, i never even thought that I would be running a blog and I think probably because this wasn't part of some big plan, that I get quite blinded by it a lot of the time. So I do appreciate how easy it is to get lost in what you are doing and take how awesome it all is for granted, as you get swept up in the various moments, but we definitely need to stop doing that.
The day that I signed the book deal, back in January, I found myself wandering back home through a North London market, when I found a jewellery stand and I did something that I hadn't planned on: I bought myself a ring. It wasn't mega expensive or anything but I absolutely love wearing it because now, every time I look down, I see something that reminds me of my achievements, even though I hadn't officially 'done' any of the hard work yet. I wear it every day and every day it is a reminder of what I have achieved.
So I have my lovely orchid from Alex, that I am going to put in my bedroom as a reminder but I also think that I need to do something else nice for myself. We are expected to do an awful lot and we are all incredibly hard on ourselves, so it is hardly surprising that we rarely get rewarded, but I reckon it's definitely time to change that.
Every day is made up of lots of little mile stones and most days we don't even notice them when they pass us by. Which just isn't good enough. SO, the next time that you achieve something that you know, deep down, you should be proud of, don't be modest, don't beat yourself up over the fact that you could maybe have done more and instead take pride in the fact that you've done something impressive and take the time to do something nice for yourself, whether that's going for a massage, buying yourself a little present or even ordering a pizza and eating it in the bath, as the reward that you deserve.
PS. This time I bought myself a tiny pair of silver hoop earrings, they weren't at all expensive (£7 from Etsy), but they're just going to hangout in my ears for the foreseeable future, reminding me that I did something amazing.