It’s my party and I’ll celebrate if I want to

Celebrating your wins, big and small can increase your sense of self-worth and happiness. Take some time today to celebrate your wins for the week.
Aug 21
Title: It's my party andI'll celebrate if I want to

We don't celebrate often enough.

We go all-out when we celebrate milestone moments like birthdays, new jobs and weddings.

But we don't go all-out celebrating the moments between those milestones.

Those moments that we learn from. Or those moments that struggle through.

In fact we often don't think about them at all.

When was the last time you celebrated learning something new?

Did you celebrate that breakthrough moment?

Did you pat yourself on the back each time you made progress?

What about when you successfully negotiated your way through a difficult conversation? 

Did you celebrate?

Did you do a little dance (even if it was on the inside)?

If you're like me, you ticked it off your to-do list and moved onto the next thing. 

But not today. Today I'm celebrating. 

I'm celebrating a whole lot of moments that I've struggled through and learned from in the last year.

From being invited (and then uninvited) to be a keynote speaker to guest appearances in podcasts and publications.

Celebrating your wins, big and small can increase your sense of self-worth and happiness. Take some time today to celebrate your wins for the week. #TheLibraryBoss

Click to Tweet

An invitation like no other

About 10 months ago I was invited to be a keynote speaker for the Asia-Pacific Library and Information Conference (APLIC).

When I received the email I couldn't believe it. APLIC was going to be the library conference of the year in this part of the world. And they wanted me. Me. Holy crap! [cue: stupid grin on my face and no words to express how special I felt.]

Two months later I received an email saying that they didn't want me any more. I was uninvited. There were tears.

But what an honour.

Two reasons to say 'no'

Of all the great things that have happened this year, this has been the best.

I totally stepped outside my comfort zone to talk with Sally Turbitt and Amy Walduck on their podcast Turbitt and Duck. Why? Two reasons - I might say something I'd regret (and it would be on record), and I don't like the sound of my voice! 

Those two reasons to say no, weren't enough to stop me from saying yes. 

Sally and Amy opened my mind to other possibilities and taking a leap of faith. I still don't like the sound of my voice but I'm not going to fret over it any more.

Monthly doses of inspiration

Each month (or thereabouts) I send subscribers an email with small doses of inspiration.

Knowing how many people open those emails is important to me. I mean what's the point of sending an email if no one is inspired to open it?

So I looked for some best practice statistics to benchmark myself against and to give me an idea of what I should be aiming for. It turns out that an open rate of 20-25% is about average. 

My open rate is above 50%!


Couragemakers isn't a library-related podcast. It's a podcast where creative and multi-passionate women "speak all things courage, creativity and dream-chasing as they share vulnerably and honestly about their journey so far."

 A chance tweet with the Couragemakers host, Meg Kissack, led to an invitation to be on the podcast 3 months later. I talk about how enthusiasm, curiosity and strengths are a huge part of my life.

For the second time I revealed lots about me. And it felt good.

The benefits of confidence

Connections is a quarterly magazine (online and print) for Australian school library professionals. The editor Nicole Richardson asked if I wanted to write an article for it. I said yes. It got published. Seeing it in print is just the bestest.

My heart sings

The committee for Digital Literacies ANZ asked if I could present a digital literacies webinar for them. I spoke about why digital literacy super-powers aren't technical. It was a roaring success, even if I do say so myself.

Conversations to celebrate

The committee for the Research Special Interest Group asked if I could run a workshop for them during their symposium. Research isn't one of my strengths, but I submitted a workshop proposal on gamifying the research process and it was accepted.

During the lead-up to the symposium it became clear to me and the committee that the time available for the workshop was too short. So I worked with the committee to make the workshop suit the time available and still offer high value. It morphed from 'gamifying the research process' into 'open access conversations'. And it went so much better than I thought it might. Yay!

Being brave

Dr Michael Stephens and I have been friends for a few years. When I wanted to spread the word about The Library Boss I asked Michael if I could write a guest blog post for his website Tame the Web, and if he could give me some suggestions on how to have an article published in Library Journal. 

 I admit I was super-apprehensive about asking. I wasn't worried that Michael would say no (I expected him to). But I was worried that he'd think I was being too pushy. 

Michael said yes.

And we worked together to create a two-part article (part 1 and part 2) for his regular Library Journal column. I did not expect this to happen. But I will definitely celebrate that it did.

Hitting Twitter out of the park

Recently I attended a workshop introducing academics to Twitter. I was curious to see what the presentation would cover and what kinds of questions the audience would ask. I didn't expect to learn much as I thought I had a pretty good handle on how Twitter worked. 

One tidbit the presenter mentioned was that the university measures their engagement rate for each tweet. Research shows the median engagement rate across all industries to be 0.046%. An acceptable tweet for the university has an engagement rate of between 0.5%-1.0%. A wildly successful tweet had an engagement rate of 2.0%. 

After the workshop I did some research and found my monthly Twitter engagement rate hovers between 1.8% and 2.3%! Totally stoked!!

Your wins, big and small are worth celebrating.

They can increase your sense of self-worth and happiness.

Plus celebrating (or at least acknowledging) your accomplishments can provide that burst of motivation you need to keep going.

When was the last time you took a few moments to celebrate?

Take some time today to start noting and celebrating your wins for the week. 

Spark Notes

  • A conversation on Twitter prompted me to stop ticking items off the to-do list and take time to celebrate them instead.
  • Coincidentally, the celebration grid appeared in my inbox at the same time. I can't wait to create my own and pin it to my wall as a visual reminder of the good things that have happened.
  • If you're struggling to find something worth celebrating this week, I'm sure you'll find something on this list.
  • Gifs by Xaviera Lopez and Kim Campbell.
  • Image by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash.
  • Kay Oddone says:

    What a fabulous post. I too agree that we don’t celebrate our achievements anywhere near enough – and I know that I spend a lot more time dissecting things that don’t go well a LOT more…which is not a healthy habit. Yes, we can learn from failure, but equally we need to recognise our wins, and pat ourselves on the back. Easier said than done, but thank you for reminding me of its importance to our mental health and to enriching who we are as interesting, important, lovable individuals! 🙂

  • Alisa says:

    Bravo lovely lady! You’re right, it is not often we celebrate wins. But we should. Noticing them in the first place is the hardest part, I think. Some people (me) have their personal standards up so high, make wins that much more difficult to find. I have had so many little wins over the past 12 months after coming home from my six month traveling sabbatical. Mostly personal wins, which is actually a nice change. 🙂

    • Sally Pewhairangi says:

      Woop!! Wins, whether they are big or little deserve to be celebrated because they help you learn, grow and shine brighter each day.

  • >