Many years ago one of my piano students entered a cross-country ski race--the Silver Spoon, for any Deep-River-ites out there. Even in her age group (7 years) there were some mad keen skiers who zoomed through the course in no time flat. Chrissy, on the other hand, was in no hurry...she'd pause to adjust her toque, look at the nifty bird in that tree over there, wave at one of her friends on the sidelines--so she came thirtieth in the race, out of thirty.
Her mother, who is on the competitive side, assumed that Chrissy would be upset about losing the race, and so was surprised to see her looking so cheerful. She asked her, "Aren't you disappointed that you came last?" Chrissy answered, "Well, I may have come last out of the people who entered--but just think about all the people who didn't enter!"
Chrissy came to mind yesterday when I was giving myself a hard time about my work. Yes, it is true that many people I know could do this stuff better and faster and with less effort than it's costing me--but it's also true that many people's heads would explode at the very thought of attempting what I'm doing.
I'm declaring today to be National Self-Gratulation Day (for two reasons: one, that I suspect that I'm not the only human being who habitually gives herself too hard a time; two, that it's a really cool word that hasn't been used much by anyone since Jane Austen). I invite you as you read this to pause and congratulate yourself for something--anything. Just getting out of bed this morning is something to be proud of: there are people out there who didn't do even that.