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In Celebration of Small Victories
It’s easy to feel bad about yourself during isolation. But this is a time for finding joy in even minor achievement, argues Hayleigh Mccullough
I think we can all admit that everything feels a bit odd at the moment.
In fact, I know I am not alone in feeling a little lost. My productivity, usually a constant in my life, arrives in seemingly random waves before I seem to cave into procrastination.
Recently, though, I’ve found a lot of peace in the little victories, in the small, (and perhaps mundane) parts of my daily life that I never really stopped to think about too much previously. As they say, ‘whatever gets you through the day.’
I’m finding joy in the sunlight coming through the window, and for it waking me up in the morning instead of my usual blaring alarm. I’m grateful for the time to stop, to spend with my partner, to catch up with friends. I can’t get over how much more communicating we are doing through all of this, and substituting a cup of tea and a catch up with a virtual one is a small price to pay really. From group FaceTime and Zoom quizzes to Houseparty Pictionary, things that simply didn’t happen before are scheduled in weekly, and I am forever grateful to be living in a digital age – for my career and my relationships.
A lot of us are taking time for ourselves during this time, and I’m no different. Discovering that my daily exercise, albeit a walk, is showing me parts of my own front garden in a new light, paired with a new-found love of an evening stroll, has prompted a definite shift.
The guilt of joy
I’ll admit I’ve felt a tinge of guilt sometimes for feeling a real sense of enjoyment during this. It’s hard to justify your small victories when there is a global pandemic going on and there are, frankly, much bigger things to worry about. But for me, this is what’s keeping me happy. I’ve become a more appreciative person in this lockdown – someone who finds joy in little things I would just brush past before.
Recently, I started a daily thread of content on my Instagram called #dailymakes – it’s become something I can focus my energy on most days and (luckily) something that seems to bring others a little joy. And, I know this sounds like I am blowing smoke up my arse, but I made a CRACKING whipped coffee on there if you wanna go try it. Aside from the fact that cooking food and eating food is one of my true joys in life, for me, it feels like achievement in a time when, really, there isn’t anything to achieve bar a small but meaningful pat on the back for making something semi-nutritious.
All I can really hope from all this, besides the obvious, is that we can emerge from this with a new sense of appreciation for what we may have previously taken for granted, for what we care about the most, as well as a new respect for taking time to ourselves.
As awful as everything can seem at the moment, I hope that as a whole we come out of this a little kinder, a little happier to be here and with a newly regimented skincare routine.
Because these small victories amount to something far bigger, something to celebrate in a time where celebrations are few and far between. So, as I take a stab at a new recipe, it’s almost like there’s something new happening. A momentary distraction. And right now, that’s enough.