Patting Ourselves On The Back

Writing can be a great tool to help us navigate through the many turns and twists on this path we call life. Journaling, writing practice, memoirs and allegory can give us a way to express our emotions and react to life’s challenges in a safe environment. I have noticed, though, that these tools are used more often to deal with issues that upset us, or cause us some kind of stress or unhappiness. We use it less often to celebrate our accomplishments and the realization of our goals and dreams. That’s a shame because it is in those moments that we should be patting ourselves on the back, giving ourselves a high-five and commemorating our victory to the page. So today I want to talk about using our writing practice to celebrate our proudest moments.

My proudest moment was when I graduated from college. I had gotten married two years after I graduated from high school. In those days, girls only went to college if they were going to pursue a career that could support them until they found Mr. Right, and could support them again after Mr. Right was no longer around. The two most acceptable professions for women at that time were teachers and nurses (women in Med School or Law School was only a pipe dream back in the 60’s). The idea of going to college to become a writer received that old fall-back position from parents everywhere: “You can’t support a family being a writer/artist/ actor/fill-in-the-blank.” So I, along with the rest of us, became secretaries until we got married.

I returned to college at the age of 30. I started going only at night while during the day I juggled a job, kids, a home and family obligations. After two years I was able to switch it around and go full-time during the day, holding on to a part-time job at night and on the weekends, and still the one responsible for the kids, the house and everything else. At the age of 36, I finally got my BA and graduated at the top of my class, with my final semester coming in at a 4.0 average. I was the first one in my family to graduate from college. On graduation day I was filled with pride and joy having  my two teen-age daughters watch me walk across that stage, a demonstration that women could do anything they put their mind to, and laughing at the sound of my aged mother hooting and cheering in the crowd while my father whistled. Six years later he would be taken from us and I am grateful that he was able to share that day with me.

We need to congratulate ourselves for the achievements in our lives, however small. When I finally taught myself how to set up a blog site and posted my first blog, you would have thought I had won the lottery. As technology has never been one of my strong points (along with math), this was a huge victory for seniors everywhere! And I had no problem writing about it and sharing it with the world!

Give yourself the gift of a pat on the back for a job well done. Write it down and then look at those words shouting back at you from the paper or the screen.  That’s you they’re talking about! You rocked it, and you deserve to celebrate. So write away, you awesome person!

Peace and Blessings.




5 thoughts on “Patting Ourselves On The Back

  1. I also went to college part time while working full time, taking care of my family and managing a house. It was not easy but I did it. I graduated with my Engineering degree when I was 34. I agree with what you say Barb, when a woman, puts her mind into it, she can do anything. We need to believe and remember this more often. Thank you for sharing your story.


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