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Remember to celebrate the big and small accomplishments


AND…. Go Rockies!

Yes, your Colorado Rockies are going to the postseason in 2017!

Of course, by the time you read this, it is entirely possible that they will be out of the postseason already, but we’re going to ignore that for just a moment or two.

I think everybody expected the Rockies to be better this year, but I don’t remember anybody predicting a playoff scenario. When your #1 pitcher misses the 1st six weeks with a foot injury, and one of your other starters—the only one who you would describe as “veteran”—misses 4 months battling cancer, it’s hard to expect too much. Especially when the guys you’re asking to step up are all rookies.

But, somehow, manager Buddy Black kept them all together long enough, pushed the right buttons, and got them across the finish line. Limping, bleeding, slumping, stumbling … but across the finish line.

What cracks me up is all the people on social media and elsewhere who mock the team for the big champagne celebration after clinching on Saturday (after a loss). This was a big deal, and these guys have been playing at this since Feb. 14 of this year, every day, logging tens of thousands of frequent flyer miles. I have no problem with popping the champagne corks over that. As Troy Renck of the Denver Post said the other day, “there are people who buy the first round at happy hour after successfully sending an email.” Pop away, Rockies!

In fact, I think that’s pretty decent advice for anybody. If you accomplish something big, you come to the end of some project that has consumed you for months, you should celebrate. It doesn’t have to be big, or grand, or public. But the principle is the same.

This weekend, if you happen to wander past the North Area Athletic Complex, you will see thousands of students, with teachers and parent support staffs, all engaging in one of the early marching band competitions of the season. And, let me tell you — marching band is a project. These students are spending untold hours digging into the minutiae of 7 minute program, the design of which has been in the works since last winter, every day striving to make it just a little bit better. And, when they hit the finish on Oct. 28, they should stop and celebrate.

I have a friend working on her dissertation right now, too. She has been in school, off and on, for the last 30 years, studying, doing research, writing, editing and defending her ideas since before I met her. And, when she comes to the end of this road, God (and the Graduate Review Committee willing) she will have a few extra initials after her name, a pay raise, and a lot of time suddenly on her hands.

Even I sometimes manage to finish a few things. In the past two months, in fact, I’ve been able to actually put a bow on a couple things, and I always take at least a night to stop, enjoy a beverage, and take stock of what I’ve done.

The celebration is necessary, no matter how boisterous or how low-key. Big accomplishments are all-consuming: it’s not just the time and the energy, it’s the “always in the back of your mind and part of your thought process” thing that, suddenly, frees up schedules and brain cells. A celebration of such is needed to put a lid on the box, and get ready to move on.

Because one thing I’ve found, whether it’s the Rockies getting ready for the Diamondbacks and then, hopefully, the Dodgers, or a musician preparing for the next album or the tour, it’s that there’s always a next thing to move on to. And only stopping to look around and measure your last accomplishment gives you the perspective to go after the next one even better.


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