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Small Strides

Embracing the small victories has the same, if not more impact than the larger achievements placed in front of our very eyes. My husband and I decided it was time to teach the sugars how to play badminton. If disastrophy (disaster-catastrophe) is not a clear definition of how the first night went, I don’t know what else to tell you. It was challenging to watch them awkwardly coordinate their body, the racket and the shuttlecock. Fifty serves later and Christian had not achieved serving over the net. This tap danced on my patience. In the end, my husband and I passed out ‘high fives’ insisting that street lights meant shower time. Anything to get them off the court was beneficial for our mutual peace.

Day two…Mahannah says, “wanna play badminton tonight.” Before I even considered yesterday’s disastrophy, I emphatically shouted “YES!” The impulsive kid inside gave way to all thoughts of how the night before fared. After dinner, we head outside. It was still rough…

Yet, I noticed that the kids were a little more coordinated than the night before. Mahannah could rally for 3 turns and Christian did not require 20 chances before making contact between the racket and his shuttlecock. Marcel and I were proud.

Were they Olympic ready? Well no…

Did they hold up the game? Absolutely…

Did I need an extra hour of time to play to get in a real workout? Well, yes…but that is not the point.

The point is…by the third night…we could actually play as a family (for like 30 minutes). Each night, the kids made small strides towards progress. We could not see it the first nights, but after constant practice, determination, resilience and trash talk, the kids small leaps turned into something noteworthy. I imagine that over time, and as they get older, they will probably beat the pants off of us (we’re competitive like that).

This made me reflect on the current state of the world. Two words struck me…small strides.

COVID-19 was enough to break us all down emotionally, psychologically, financially, and biologically. Yet, world changers, we learned how to connect with our sugars in ways we never imagined. We learned how to homeschool, work, play, cook, old hobbies, House Party, Zoom, and on and on and on. It did not happen overnight. With practice and determination, we learned how to master life within the parameters of these new norms. It took small strides. It took little victories to remind us that as we make progress, we can achieve anything we put our minds to.

I also reflected on the racial tension we are navigating through. I thought about how we are all being challenged with taking strides in various ways. Some with peace, some boldly protesting, some listening from another’s perspective, some laying down old ideals and beliefs, some creating space between bigoted friends. These are all small strides. Yet, in every attempt that we make to change a behavior, ideal, belief, activity, interaction, we place ourselves in a position where eventually we will win.

In the world of speech and language therapy, we watch our sugars make small strides every week. When a new word is learned, or a new concept is embraced, or a new friend is made, we watch our sugars first hand make these small strides into what eventually snowballs into noticeable progress.

World changers, 2020 is not half way over, and it has been a challenge. However, in all the disasters, the pain, the loss, the failure, the defeat and the tears, we can take the time to see that in the midst of that, we have become more resilient that ever before. We have learned how to fight a bit harder, see faith in dead situations, and hope in what felt like could ever be achieved.

Take the time and reflect World Changer. Where have you witnessed small strides in your life? In your interaction with your sugar? How you perceive the world? Next steps as the world begins to reopen?

I bet if you take the time to reflect on the little victories, before you know it, there will be a long list of achievements. Just taking this step in the midst of all that is going on is a stride. Keep on pressing. Don’t let negativity, doubt and fear hinder your ability to see the beauty in the ashes.

Until the next time World Changer, Take Care, C

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