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Do You Notice When You’re Crushing It?

Something I notice: when I don’t sleep well, I feel it. If I’ve stayed up too late the night before, I’m aware of the subtle grogginess that lingers throughout my day. Something else I notice: when I eat copious amounts of junk food, I similarly feel sluggish. When I don’t drink enough water, I have a harder time on the running trail. And it's when all of these things happen that I find myself frustratingly saying, “Gosh, I’ve really been doing xyz wrong.”


I immediately notice when I haven’t been managing my needs. “Man, I’ve been staying up way too late. I need to go to bed early tonight.” Or “Ugh, I’ve been eating such garbage.” Or “I feel so dehydrated.” Or, or, or. The list goes on and on.


A few months ago, I felt like I had been spending too much time doom scrolling on my phone. It doesn’t make me feel good, and I know that, but it is still something that is remarkably easy to get sucked into. I made a mental note to focus on screen time reduction the rest of the week.


I stayed true to my mental commitment. And I’m sure many other subconscious benefits were experienced. But I realized that not once in the course of that week did I think to myself, “hey, you’re doing a really good job being disconnected from your phone today!”


So I let my mind wander back further and I noticed how quickly I talk down on myself when I feel like I’ve been making a series of bad decisions but how seldom I congratulate myself for the good ones.


After my birthday, my apartment was filled with leftover cake, cookies, cupcakes, and other sweet treats. Surrounded by sugar, it’s easy to feel like I wasn’t eating super healthy. And therefore, easy to mentally comment—“I really need to eat healthier!”


But when was the last time I woke up well-rested and gave myself a pat on the back? When was the last time I finished a run and felt quick and limber, owing my success to being prepared with proper stretching and hydration?


Why do I jump to criticism when I see the space for improvement instead of looking at what is going right and being proud? Why not give some inner monologue to the healthy meal prep from Sunday night? Why not recognize the good moments?


I’m pretty big on self improvement and the constant striving to do and be our best. But that should never stop us from feeling proud of where we are right now, in this moment.


There are going to be periods that feel like, for lack of a better word, garbage. And I hope I always have the strength and support to get out of those periods. But there are also so many periods of mundane beauty. And I hope I have the wisdom to see them for what they are. To meet them where I am. To appreciate them. To appreciate myself.


I hope the same for you.


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