Why is it that when we finally achieve something we’ve been working toward for so long, it can sometimes feel anticlimactic?
A few weeks ago I released my first album as a singer-songwriter. In terms of personal goals, this has been top-of-the-list for at least the last two years – maybe longer! So needless to say, this is something I have been working towards for a very long time.
And yet, I realized recently that I haven’t taken a moment – not even a moment – to stop and appreciate what I’ve done. And why not? Truth be told, at my album release show, I was so preoccupied with wanting to play well and entertain my full house of attendees that I all but forgot to mention the concert was to celebrate the release of my album! Afterward, my attention went immediately to applying to summer music festivals and gigs around the area so I could get the music from this album out in the world.
Does the above sound familiar? Have you ever reached the finish line of some huge project you’d been working towards for a long time, only to dive straight into whatever might come next? If so, you’re certainly not alone.
After some personal reflection on this topic and trying to figure out how I can handle the endings of large projects with self-care and grace while also staying realistic, I’ve concluded that there are two things I know to be true:
#1: We deserve to feel celebrated when we’ve accomplished something big.
Don’t skip out on recognizing when you’ve done something awesome! Depending on your style, this could look like throwing yourself a full-on party, meeting a few friends for celebratory drinks, or taking yourself to the spa. You also might do well to take some time before delving into another big project as a way of taking care of yourself and avoiding burnout.
#2: The end of one project often signifies the beginning of another – which is a good thing!
It’s true: all too often at the end of one finish line is another starting place. After I finished my album? It was time to figure out how to book shows. After a person finishes a Master’s degree? It’s time to search for a job and begin their new career. After a person retires from a long career? It’s time to figure out how they’re going to spend their days moving forward. And truly, the fact that each large project is often followed by another is a good thing! It means we’re staying in forward motion in our lives.
So in Closing…
The next time you finish something big, don’t forget to recognize what you’ve done in a way that feels special for you AND remember that whatever you’ve just finished, another something big most certainly lies ahead. Because that’s just the way life works 🙂