Aug 26

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Is this worth celebrating?

A couple weeks ago, I participated in a local short-fiction contest.  The prompt they gave was to write a new story for an old song in 500 words or less.

I chose the song “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes, and wrote the same scenario from the point of view of the woman.  I had SUCH A BALL writing it!  It was silly and frothy, and completely different from almost everything else I’ve ever written.

It was fun to watch recognition dawn on the faces of the audience members as they realized what song I was working from and where the whole thing was headed.  They laughed at the right places, and all in all I felt it was a very successful toe-dip into the waters of fiction for me.

At the end of the evening, they handed out first, second, and third place awards.  I received second place, including a gift certificate and a mention in the newspaper (hello weird placing my own name and picture on the page of the newspaper…)

081613-ent-flash-fiction-winnersIn the two weeks since that paper was published, people have been coming up to me and saying, “I saw your picture in the paper.  Congratulations!  That’s so exciting!”

Every time it happens I smile and accept the congratulations, but inside I’m thinking, “Really? It’s not that big a deal. It’s not like I won a major prize at a major contest. It was just a piddly little town thing.”

And then came the slap upside the head.  Because isn’t this another aspect of exactly what I wrote about last week in “Calling bullsh*t on myself“?  In that post, I talked about comparing my accomplishments to those of my colleagues.  This is about comparing my accomplishments to some fictional version of my own perfect accomplishment.

Entering this contest was a BIG step for me.  I share my non-fiction writing all the time, but writing and sharing a fanciful piece is way outside my comfort zone.  Doesn’t that deserve celebration?

On my first time out of the gate, I did it well enough to be recognized by the judges. Doesn’t that deserve celebration?

I got mentioned in the newspaper I write for by doing it.  Doesn’t that deserve celebration?

And, perhaps most exciting, I earned a gift certificate so that I could purchase a book I’ve been wanting to read.  Doesn’t that deserve celebration?

Why was I bypassing all the celebrations in order to downplay the entire experience??

Habit.  Pure and simple.

So once again, I’m calling bullshit on myself and saying NOT TODAY.  Today I am stepping fully into celebrating the step I took and the good that came of it.

Because if I don’t, who will?!?

What about you?
What accomplishments have you been downplaying that deserve celebration?


I’ll be the guest teacher tomorrow night (Tuesday) on Peggy Nolan’s “Be Your Best Self”!!  Peggy is an incredible woman I met a couple years ago when I was working on a concept for a new program.  In fact, I wrote about our meeting on one of my favorite EVER blog posts, “Who is deserving?”

Peggy has graciously invited me to spend about 40 minutes talking about my theory of the “stinky pile of poo” (which is – hint hint – the subject of the book I’m working on!)

To get on the FREE call, click here to sign up.  Please join us!!!

And here’s a fun little sneak peek into the Stinky Pile Of Poo…


About the author

Leah Carey

Leah Carey is the Chief Miracle Officer of The Miracle Journal, where she writes about the large and small miracles that happen in her life every day. She is a life coach, speaker, journalist, freelance writer, and lover of life. In all of those pursuits, she works with people to identify what’s already right in your life so you can build an even more joyful and fulfilling daily experience from that foundation. You can find her on Facebook, , Twitter, and YouTube.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.leahcarey.com/themiraclejournal/2013/08/26/is-this-worth-celebrating/


  1. Peggy Nolan

    Hi Leah!

    I’m a HUGE believer in celebrating achievements no matter how big or small! How awesome that you stepped out of your comfort zone and submitted a fiction piece. If we continue to compare ourselves to others, we surely rob ourselves of joy. As a white belt in Jiu-Jitsu, I don’t dare compare myself to anyone else – there are way too many who I train with who have been training for many, many years. I compare how I did today with how I did when I trained on Friday. Did I remember what I learned? Did I do better than last time?

    But my big achievement today is that I FINALLY launched my Email Coaching services for stepmoms, women going through divorce and women who have finished breast cancer treatment and are wondering, “what next?”

    🙂 GO ME 🙂
    Peggy Nolan recently posted at their blog…Are You a Miracle Worker?

    1. Leah Carey

      I LOVE it, Peggy! That’s a great way of thinking about it. 🙂 And congratulations on your big achievement – hip hip HOORAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!
      🙂 GO YOU!! 🙂

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