I had a conversation at the gym with a 42-year-old man that is a recovering stroke victim. He is blessed to have his father as his current caretaker, but he has a desire to once again live in his own home with his own caretaker (shit, I don’t blame him). As we spoke, I could hear the frustration in his voice. He was upset that his progress hasn’t been moving as fast as he’d like for it to be.
I began to ask him about what it felt like when he first stepped into the gym. I asked him about his mobility. I asked him about his speech. As I continued to ask him questions, I could see his eyes glow with excitement. I could see that he began to notice just how far he has progressed in less than six months.
Before ending the conversation, I reminded him to embrace his small victories. I told him that I oftentimes even forgot to embrace them myself, but they keep you focused when times are challenging. Fortunately for him, he knows that going to the gym is something he “has to do” instead of needs to do.” I am fortunate that I was able to give him just a little push in the direction that he is already heading toward.
Embracing the little victories are just as important as celebrating the larger ones. If anything, the smaller victories are more important than the big ones for they keep you on track to your ultimate goal. I remember there was a point where I didn’t even know the difference between a snare and a hi hat. There was even a point where I didn’t even think of the concept of looping a drum pattern! I would record it manually (damn my fingers would hurt by the end of my songs).
There are times that I would play songs for friends and family and be disappointed that they did not enjoy my work as much as I have anticipated. All the hours of thought, schooling, and ground work for nothing is what I would sometimes think.
It was on my most fortunate days that I was able to open my eyes and acknowledge my progression. Regardless of whether or not my art was enjoyed by others I knew that I have done my best with all the current knowledge I had. I want to continue to remember the little steps I am personally taking so I can see the tremendous growth that will accumulate over time. Continue the good fight ladies and gentlemen.