I’ve got them. Not the Mondays. The “I’ve Only”s. And it gets worse…it seems I have passed them along to my kids.
Little Sister’s school has a fitness challenge going on where the kids run during recess and someone tallies their laps. Once they reach five miles, they get a little keychain charm in the shape of a foot. She was talking to Leader Pam about it today, and I overheard her telling her, “I’ve only run 2 miles.”
Big Sister is getting great grades in high school, which is a relief, because she struggled in middle school. At the beginning of the year, it because she’d “only” had a few assignments, but she’s keeping up with it and we are so proud of her. She’s a great artist, too, but “only” because she had a picture to guide her.
And me. Since giving birth ten and a half weeks ago, I’ve only lost 25 pounds. Since joining Weight Watchers again 9 weeks ago, I’ve only lost 8.6 pounds. I went back to the gym recently, but I’ve only been 6 times in the last three weeks.
Why? Why do we qualify our successes with that word? Why do we make them seem less important, less impressive than they should be? Leader Pam asked the question at my Weight Watchers meeting this morning—why can’t we celebrate our own successes?
For me, it’s because I’m not done yet. I have a hard time seeing the place I came from because I’m looking at how far I have to go. It’s hard to celebrate fitting into regular, not maternity clothes because I’ve still got boxes of clothes I can’t fit into. It’s hard to celebrate losing five or ten pounds because I’m nowhere near where I want to be.
It breaks my heart that my children have picked up on this and started qualifying their own achievements.
So, this week, I’m challenging myself to celebrate the small things and stop demeaning my success. I DID go back to Weight Watchers. I DID go back to the gym. I WILL continue to lose. And I will set a better example for my children while I’m working on it.
Mine can be qualified in other ways that are limitations, as well. "I've only slept 4 hours...I've only sat for 20 minutes the whole day...I've only..." This type of speech limits me in different ways, as it is still negative in nature. If we could get the word only in its proper place in our vocabulary, I believe that we would have much more power in what we acheive, our attitude, and even how we feel! Let's all strive to put this limiting qualifier back in its place and encourage ourselves for the great things that we DO accomplish!