Progress, here and there

I am right in the middle of several long and complicated projects. The house renovation, writing Tranquility by Tuesday, my youngest being a toddler (hopefully emerging from the food-throwing stage with all of us intact). I’m even right in the middle of my year-long reading of War and Peace (page 776, this version has 1455 pages…)

Any long project can feature low moments. Sometimes you even go through a valley of despair (see: toddler sleep woes…or the build-up to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia…). That’s why it’s good to celebrate any milestones you can. You can even build in milestones to celebrate!

So this morning I turned in three chapters plus the intro to my editor to get feedback. I went out for a sushi lunch with my 11-year-old to celebrate (he has half-day camp this week). I’ll toast getting a third of the book done tonight. Then I’ll toast my progress again when I finish the next three chapters.

There’s nothing magical about three chapters, but part of adulthood is realizing that you can give yourself gold stars if you find them motivational. Given all these long projects, I’m needing a few gold stars. So I’ll seize the opportunity when I can.

Now, on to approve some more change orders…

Photo: From the celebratory lunch

3 thoughts on “Progress, here and there

  1. I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of celebrating progress, not just completion (

    Also, it makes me so happy when I hear about kids that like sushi! The first time I had sushi, I despised it. I was about 19 working and working for the summer at a major biotech research facility in Montreal. Each month a different department would choose food for order-in lunch. Somehow people learned I’d never had sushi before and all eyes were on me as I took my first uncoordinated bite. I was so embarrassed: I didn’t know how to use chopsticks or navigate the flavour’s and textures. I ate an ENORMOUS dollop of wasabi and, of course, my eyes and nose started watering. Fast forward a few decades and sushi is one of my favourite meals (and a friend from Japan taught me the intricacies of proper chopstick technique). I wish I had been exposed to different foods at an earlier age. Gold star to you (and your son)!

    And good luck with the food-throwing. This too shall pass, but it’s a particularly unpleasant aspect of toddler development.

  2. Do you consider puppy training to be one of your long projects? Or is that someone else’s responsibility in the household?
    I only ask because my husband and I just got a puppy, and between house-training, and leash-training, and maybe-someday-we’ll-get-to-teaching-you-“sit” training, it’s definitely a long project!

  3. I’ve been reading (actually listening to the audiobook) War and Peace this year as a year-long project as well. As I listened to the end of part 8, I was reminded that the musical “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812” was based on section 8. If you haven’t listened to it, I recommend it after you finish part 8.

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