This post originally appeared on the blog Stepping Away From the Edge July 20, 2022.

This month, the prompt from the Ali Edwards OLW team is all about celebrating our small wins . . . which is a really great topic for any month, actually. (I highly recommend thinking about the little things you DID accomplish . . . rather than all the things you didn’t get around to.)

Anyway, I thought I’d share one of my small wins with you today.

watercolor barns and silo in field of green and gold

Last spring, I was experiencing a bit of a “breakthrough” with my painting. I could actually tell . . . that my paintings were improving; that all the lessons I’d been learning were coming together.

watercolor reclined woman reading a book

I was finding the time (making the time) to do a little painting every day, and that regular practice was beginning to pay off for me.

watercolor seated woman in purple hat and dress

I was challenging myself and trying new things . . . just going for it in ways I didn’t before. I was becoming more confident — and more comfortable about taking risks.

watercolor sunflower against abstract background

But then . . . I needed to clear out my “studio” (I laugh when I call it that; it sounds so pretentious . . . and it’s really just my desk in Brian’s old room where I have my painting stuff permanently set up) so Erin could use it as her office during her month-long stay with us.

I packed up my painting stuff (and there is a lot of “stuff” involved), and moved it to a work table in the basement where I planned to continue painting every day. After all, I was on a roll!

But you know what? I never touched the stuff again once I moved it down to that table. I didn’t even arrange it so I COULD paint. It just sat there, making me feel bad every time I walked by. So that painting of the barn up there? The first painting in this post? It’s the last thing I’ve painted since mid-May.¬†Even after Erin left (a month ago now!), I just left all that painting stuff sitting in a sad heap on that work table.

But over the weekend, I decided enough was enough. I forced myself to clear off that work table in the basement, and drag all my painting stuff back up to my (ahem) “studio” and set things to rights again.

art studio desk and chair with supplies and inspiration boards

I haven’t actually picked up my paintbrushes yet. But that’s not really the point here. I took the first step. I put things back together, which paves the way for my being able to paint again.

And that, my friends, is a small win that I’m celebrating today.


How about you? What small win might you be celebrating this month?