A Strange And Perhaps Unmerited Sense Of Accomplishment

We had flash floods last night and early this morning (MY WORD at the rain; there were times during the night when it sounded like people were emptying buckets of water on the roof), so most of the schools in our area had a late start today. The only problem with this development was that we didn’t find out about the late start until Alex and I were about to turn in the school parking lot, which means that we missed out on getting to sleep in a little later than normal, not to mention that I had gone through the motions of putting on make-up way earlier than was actually necessary.

SO. Since we were already out and about, we decided to head to Panera for coffee (me) and a cinnamon crunch bagel (Alex). We hung out there for 30 or 45 minutes, and I decided right then and there that I would like to start all of my mornings that way. It was so relaxing and peaceful and calm, all qualities that have been lacking during the early mornings at our house thanks to a certain adorable puppy who likes to run through the house with shoes and then wrestle them to the ground before she barks at them for an average of 3 1/2 minutes. She’s a cute one and all, but at least once a morning I want to pull a Frank Costanza and scream “SERENITY NOW” at the top of my lungs.

(And while I don’t have any idea what David’s Crocs have done to upset Hazel so much, I do know that she wages war against them at least twice a day.)

(The good news is that Crocs are seemingly indestructible and thankfully none the worse for the wear.)

Anyway, as I soaked up the quiet in Panera this morning, I eventually started thinking about what I needed to get done today – and reality set in. Since Mondays are usually my grocery store day, I knew that I had to make a list, and as Alex and I talked about what might be good for suppers this week and what I needed to buy, a very appealing thought started to form in my mind:

I could go to the grocery store right now.

RIGHT NOW.

AT 8 IN THE MORNING.

So that is exactly what we did.

By 8:30 I was putting my newly purchased groceries in my trunk, and I basically felt like I had cured a disease while crossing the finish line at a marathon and simultaneously advocating for world peace. There was just something about knowing that I’d planned the meals and done the shopping and IT WASN’T EVEN 9 O’CLOCK that made me feel like I could fly. It made me feel like I could touch the sky. It made me feel like I could soar. It made me feel like I could run through that open door. It made me feel like I could fly. It made me feel like I could fly. It made me feel like I could fly.

Sometimes some 90s song lyrics are all that will do.

So for the rest of the day – even after I dropped Alex off at school and went to work (where I stored all my perishables in the refrigerator) – I kept thinking about the early morning grocery run and how it had made my whole day. It didn’t matter what challenges I faced. It didn’t matter that the pollen was trying to choke and also kill me. It didn’t matter that my hair was totally uncooperative and flat as a pancake. None of it mattered.

Because I had gone to the grocery store, found what I needed, crossed every bit of it off my list – and I’d done it all by 8:30 in the AM. It really did make me feel like I had won all the things in all the areas of competition and clearly someone needed to give me a medal. Or, better yet, A CROWN.

And listen. I get it. In the grand scheme of life, it was a tiny little thing. Not that big a deal. But sometimes getting those little things out of the way – especially when you weren’t planning on it – makes you feel like you have accomplished the biggest, hugest, most majorest (totally a word) goal that anyone has ever attempted. That doesn’t make it true, of course, but still. THE FEELINGS.

Have you done anything lately that’s made you feel like you’ve unexpectedly conquered the whole wide world? Did you clean a bathroom? Weed a flower bed? Organize your silverware drawer? Pull the floor mats out of your car and spend more than 15 seconds vacuuming them? Buy a new container for your paper clips at work? Put a pot roast in the crock pot before you made the morning carpool rounds?

Don’t be afraid to bask in your victories, people. If you have just washed every towel in your house and maybe even folded a couple of them, you need to celebrate it. Let us cheer you on.

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Comments

  1. I haven’t exactly done anything quite that impressive lately, but I am surprised by the psychological difference between “large disorganized mess scattered across room” and “most of disorganized mess gathered into piles near walls, leaving wide patch of floor space clear.”

  2. Before I went to bed Friday night, I emptied a bag of frozen boneless chicken breasts into my crock pot, covered them with water and turned the pot on to low. I got up Saturday morning, ran a few errands and then came home to the cooked chicken. I shredded, then bagged it by the two cupfuls into freezer bags. Now I have shredded chicken ready for recipes. Something about cooking while I sleep appeals to me!

  3. I put all of our loose pictures in albums tonight. It had been on my list for over a year. I got to reminisce about my sweet grandparents and other family and got to cross a major item off the to-do list…double bonus.

  4. Karen Beymer says:

    Oh let me just bask my own glory for a few minutes.
    I cleaned both bathrooms, mopped floors, cleaned the tub(stood on my head in the process)
    Cleaned the shower, polished the mirrors & cleaned sinks & vanities. I mopped the kitchen floor & vacuumed the Livingroom! I truly think I can fly & touch the sky!! Maybe I will go to Panera for breakfast. :-) It’s 4am now so I will be waiting at their door when they open!

  5. Debbie L says:

    I’m just in awe that you managed to go to the grocery store and do your entire shopping for the week in only 30 minutes!!! How in the world did you do that? It takes me a full hour, always. And to counteract your wonderful story of getting it done is me, sitting here with no groceries because i never made it to the store this weekend and didn’t go again last night. I hate when that happens!

    • Kristen says:

      Because she went early in the morning. Early morning grocery shopping is peaceful, quiet, and so much less crowded that it takes a lot less time. It’s one of the things I really miss from my stay-at-home mom days!

  6. I cleaned out all of my kids’ closets. Glory.

  7. Merri Jo says:

    I reorganized my linen closet AND my dresser drawers, which also led to donating unused items to people who need them! I now want to attack all the closets in our house!

  8. When I drive to town to run in the morning and then hit the grocery store before heading home? That’s trophy worthy in my book. Lately, I’ve begun to clean out my sewing/school room. Even a clear walkway makes me giddy. ;)

  9. Take care of my two year old grand daughter for 2 days while we wait for her parents and new brother to come home from the hospital!
    I am one tired but blessed granny!

  10. In a fine moment of procrastination yesterday, I vacuumed the whole house! And straightened the couch pillows and blankets. It was Ah-mazing!!!

  11. Amen to the 90s lyrics. Sometimes R.Kelly just has the right words, ya know?

    On a whim, I bought a drawer organizer (on clearance! with a 20% off coupon!) at Bed Bath and Beyond for my unmentionables. It is so fabulous that I plan to go buy more. My teen self is dying right now.

  12. Melissa says:

    We have recently moved into a much smaller place and as you say, “My word”, there are so many boxes. However, I feel like I conquered a mountain because we have emptied bunches of boxes and even had a yard sale and sold some “stuff”. You know …. that “stuff” that I thought I couldn’t live without. Now, it lives with another family. :-)

  13. Miranda says:

    I woke up at 4 am this morning and HEADED TO THE GYM! Making it to the gym before work most mornings is my goal but not very often my reality. I won’t know what to do with all the free time I’ll have tonight.

  14. Debra D. says:

    I actually not only cleaned out my closet last Saturday, but also dropped the (still in good condition) cast-offs at the proper location ON THE SAME DAY!! I am so pleased that I didn’t drive around for 3 months with that bag of clothes in my trunk! And…I have always heard that the CROCS are vegan (hope this is true), so even if Hazel manages to consume a bite or two, she shouldn’t be any worse for the wear. Probably wouldn’t be able to say that about the CROCS though.

  15. I had to drive &/or pick up my 3 children each to their own ‘thing’ at 9:30, 12, 1, 2, 3 & 4 yesterday (spring break appts) and managed a few overdue errands between – and had all back home with supper on the table by 6. Then I was d-o-n-e. I want to feel that accomplished on a day when a forced ‘rest’ is the only thing written on my to-do list!

  16. Ha! I was way too proud of myself for organizing the DVDs the other day. WAY TOO PROUD!

  17. Shannon says:

    I changed the broken doorknob on the bathroom door. Also, I dropped off candy-filled eggs for the Easter egg hunt at church and spare Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes (the ones that are pre-cut to be folded) that I have been carrying around since November! I love to mark items off my list!

  18. Amen for small victories in the domestic engineering department! Cleaning out the junk drawer in the kitchen was a massive victory for me last week. It’s been 12 whole months in the making. And I believe I could fly after that one.

  19. This post made me so happy! My life has been crazypants lately so I’ve learned to celebrate small victories as well! You are fabulous, Sophie!

  20. Kristina in GA says:

    I always go in the mornings after school drop-off and before work (I work from home). I LOVE it! It does give you a giddy feeling. :) You can get done with your shopping so much quicker than on the weekends and afternoons because there’s hardly anyone in there.

  21. I have all the laundry done — except for the hand-washables. A major victory, I tell ya. AND I gathered up a trunkload of clothing etc — including going through the pockets, folding and packing it in sacks — and put it all in my trunk to take to Goodwill. ANOTHER major victory. I am woman, hear me roar.

  22. I changed out my closets for the seasons, took a bag of purses to the Hospice thrift store, and then it got cold again! But I can put on a sweater and make it. I love looking in my closet, organized by type of clothes and color. Those five purses won’t be falling on me every time I open the closet door.

  23. Last Saturday, my husband and I took 6 of our grandchildren to the Shriner’s circus. Ages 9, 6, 6, 4, 3, 2. At intermission, they ALL had to go to the bathroom AND we were out of popcorn. I took all six of them to the bathroom, washed hands and reappeared before Papa returned with the bucket o’corn. He nearly fell to his knees in admiration and worship. Gotta tell ya, it felt pretty good!

    • TokenGeriatric says:

      Dang Woman! I have one toddler grandson and it takes both my husband and I to get him toileted IN OUR OWN HOUSE! Kuddos!

  24. Julie in Michigan says:

    I organized my nail polish and got rid of several “not so nice colors”. Victory!

  25. Cindee Gratias says:

    You are SO funny. Thanks for the laughs!
    As to my accomishment, I’ve showered three mornings in a row BEFORE my toddler woke up. Oh, the peace and quiet! To be able to dry my hair without wondering what he’s getting into. Lol!

  26. This is completely lame, but…

    The other evening I got on a kick and wiped down all the leaves on my (many) plants. Turns out they are green! Ha! I had needed to do it forever and just kept wishing the dust would disappear. It didn’t. :-( But, now it’s gone! Yay! I feel like a million bucks!

  27. Kathleen says:

    Brought 2 dozen treats to my daughter’s school by 8:30am – totally overspent at the bakery – but I got the treats to school AND on time! Huge accomplishment for me! Even if, the $1 brownie mix on my counter is mocking me : (

  28. I was able to iron ALL items in my ironing pile…I actually had clothes to wear to work! In fact, I was so tickled with myself that I just stopped and stared in amazement for the longest time. I keep catching myself looking over to where my ironing pile usually is just to make sure it’s not a dream!

  29. I just love your heart! Thank you for being a bright spot in my day!

  30. I took 3 nephews and a niece to Walmart last night. Stopped at eye clinic to pick up glasses, got snacks, trip throug the toy department and flowers. All survived and were happy when we walked out. Major score!

  31. Melissa says:

    I cleaned all the winter ick from my flower beds on Saturday. Everyone, all the way around the house. It was a fine moment. Should I have been in the house working, yes. Was it too beautiful and a balmy 48 degrees outside to stay in, yes. I call it a win.

  32. LITERALLY just blogged this morning about my cleaning accomplishments!! I totally know “the feeling!”

  33. I recently discovered that it is actually possible to observe a “real” Sabbath if you wake up Saturday morning with a purposeful intention to work-and-get-all-the-stuff-done on Saturday. I’m still in infancy stages with this learning, but I suspect it may be life changing. ;)

  34. This made me smile and I so “get it” too! Especially the dreaded grocery shopping. AHHHH!

    We have a thing in our house that we do called the “Yeah Nathan” celebration on little things. I sometimes do it quietly when I just washed a sink full of dishes and think I should be celebrated for doing this. Well, they aren’t all MY dishes. LOL!

    Nathan is my BFF’s son and we watched him a lot when he was little. Whenever he accomplished something he was proud of he would raise his chubby little two year old arms high and shout “Yeah Nathan” and we all got the biggest kick out of it! But, it was and “ah ha” moment for me – why not celebrate those little things!

    Celebrating the small stuff helps with the big stuff too. Hallelujah!

  35. p.s. I forgot my accomplishment:

    I cleared out and shredded all the old files in my filing cabinet. I was amazed at how much of it no longer applied. I filled a whole garbage bag with shredding. No one can see it, but now I know no one will ever have to figure out what is what on old life insurance policies, stocks, and other important information. Sadly, I learned the hard way through my Dad’s estate clean out last year. My daughter gave me a high five. =)

  36. I’ve been washing our bed pillows, 2 each night. I’m up to 6 done so far. I had no idea that pillows could be washed, but indeed , they can and they are even down or down mix. I put 2 at a time in the washer and let them soak for a good hour or more with bleach detergent, then let them go through the regular wash cycle and extra rinse. twice through the dryer and they’re really nice and refreshed.

  37. Does it count if you THINK about doing something? I so need to go through my bedroom again and pack up clothes to consign/donate to make room for new items sitting in bags on the floor. I am ashamed of the mess.

  38. This homeschool mama feels accomplished if I’m showered and dressed before 8:30! And if I’ve driven somewhere in my car by then…whoa! (But I’m in total agreement about grocery shopping. I do one big trip once a month and IT TAUNTS ME until I get it done!)

  39. I helped my son clean out his closet a couple of weeks ago. We took 2 bags to Goodwill, gave one large bag full of clothes to cousins, filled and labeled 2 totes to store in the attic, and I gained about 2 dozen empty hangers. Woohoo!

  40. Rebecca says:

    I just started a new job and am feeling a *tad* overwhelmed with managing that plus all the home stuff. I put a load of laundry in as soon as I got up this morning and it was ready for the dryer by the time the kids were on the bus! Victory!

  41. Wow, because my teaching schedule this year allows me to go into work after 9 o’clock most mornings, it just dawned on me that technically speaking, I could do my grocery shopping and errands every morning before work.

    Who knew that level of productivity was a possibility? Or that 9 o’clock doesn’t have to become the new 8 o’clock on flexible schedule years?

  42. Bethany says:

    I singlehandedly took apart a kitchen range that was given to me (at least 50 screws – I should have counted), tore out the mouse-infested insulation (the mice were gone before the stove entered my house…but their evidence – and aroma!!-was everywhere), ordered new insulation online, installed it, put everything back together, and was absolutely DELIGHTED to only have 4 screws left over. Go me!!

  43. We have a realtor coming to look at our house today and while I’ve had zero time to deep clean, I have straightened and wiped surfaces. All of this while tending to a baby with an ear infection that is very clingy. So I do feel accomplished! So glad you got your groceries done early. That’s the best time to go to the store!!

  44. Donna G says:

    I hung up the carbon monoxide detector and the broom holder thingie that have been cluttering up my utility room for lo these several weeks (as in, I got them mid-February). And I hung things on the hanger so now they’re not lounging around in the corner on the floor and the vacuum is LUXURIATING in all the space!

  45. Lisa D. says:

    The cause is unfortunate (MAJOR stomach virus that hit every single one of the four of us,) but now that we are better, I have a completely SANITIZED house. My surfaces and all linens are sparkling and the carpet will be cleaned tomorrow. There has got to be a better way to get here, though!

  46. Jeannette says:

    I have not volunteered to work an extra shift this week. That means I get two days off in a row this week. Last week I attended Michael W. Smith concert after getting last minute ticket. Agreed at 9 a.m. to work 11 a.m. baby nursery this past Sunday. (was able to hold a 7 week old baby for the whole hour. hooray!)
    Was frustrated in trying to do my BSF lessons and then completely lost them. (When I get to heaven I can ask where they were hiding.) Still made it to Bible study and was able to participate, without said notes.
    Blessings! A co-worker joined me that morning for Bible study.
    And finally, I was able to make several of my protein shakes ahead of time saving myself valuable time daily, as I run out the door to go to work. ( I feel like a mother making baby bottles for myself)
    So, even though I am a total mess, God is taking care of me.

  47. I got the taxes done! And I alllllllmost got all of the filing done.

  48. I scrubbed my walls, doors, and door facings. Well, actually, I just wiped down mainly the bottom half of the aforementioned surfaces in half of my house. I have 4 kids, the eldest of whom is 7, and apparently dragging dirty hands on walls on the way to the bathroom is fun. Also, it’s been awhile since my last scrub-fest, so I did feel very accomplished and even empowered. I also vacuumed/ swept/ mopped all of the floors. Those 2 things left me feeling like a total domestic goddess. Let’s don’t talk about my closets, though. Or my “desk”/ craft corner.