Little Victories

by Gurpreet Sihat

This week, I’ve been thinking about little victories.

July has been a difficult month. Restrictions have eased and people’s lives are starting to move forward again. Unfortunately, as someone living in a high-risk house, often popping in on high-risk neighbours, restrictions easing mean nothing to me. I’ve left the house once a month (if that) to pick up medications and that’s it. Ordinarily this wouldn’t bother me, but between COVID-19 and unrelated drama, my workload has been on the smaller side, shall we say. While this has given me time to write and edit my latest manuscript, catch up on TV shows and movies, and read, it also gives enough time for the voices in my head to remind me that I’m worthless, bringing nothing to the table, lazy. 

A few days ago, I was scrolling through Instagram and found this post from @nepentheez:

“Take a second to think of something positive you’ve done in the past few days. It can be something really small and simple, like getting out of bed, brushing your hair, replying to a message from a friend, feeding a pet, cleaning the house. Take a few seconds to congratulate yourself on achieving that, and be proud of yourself. Sometimes even the tiniest hills to climb can seem like mountains when you’re feeling small, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plant your flag at the top and be proud of yourself for making it up there.” 

Illustration by @parvati_pillai

I’ve been trying to implement this this week.

  • I woke up this morning feeling like singing and dancing. Victory!
  • I ate three meals today instead of just one. Victory!
  • I only needed two cups of coffee to survive today. Victory!
  • I caught up on a TV show I’ve been putting off for months. Victory!
  • I wrote 100 words this evening. Victory!
  • I replied to texts even though my head was screaming for solitude. Victory!
  • I finished reading a book! Victory!
  • I finished Camp NaNoWriMo two weeks in advance. Victory!
  • I managed to make it a whole day without feeling guilty for my lack of work. VICTORY!

As we near the end of July, I’m starting to pick out things that I wouldn’t have been able to do had I been out socialising or working non-stop. I wouldn’t have been able to finish Camp NaNoWriMo for a start. I wouldn’t have been able to attend (online) the London Indian Film Festival or BAFTA’s TV Sessions or San Diego Comic-Con.I wouldn’t have been able to write this blog post. 

A new lesson I’ve learnt thanks to July’s struggles.

Celebrate the victories...

...however small!
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