Small Success: Will it until you welcome it


This past week, summer ended, in that the Nationals lost game five of the playoffs, and became off-season players. We’d cheered them to victory the prior Saturday night in a great come-from-behind win, but all the stomping and shouting until 1 AM last Thursday night wasn’t enough to get them to win over the Chicago Cubs, and they lost 9-8. I lost my voice, sleep, and bragging rights the next day, but had no time to lick my wounds, as we hosted 17 kids for a soccer birthday party Friday night.

The weekend sped by, as my daughter returned from college, we took one son to a track meet, two to music lessons, and made pumpkin pie, ordered a Homecoming dress for my daughter, took two girls on a gift-card shopping spree at Barnes and Noble, and made it to Mass.

I looked back at the weekend, and what meant the most to me? Getting ready to get in the car, my nine-year-old son Paul ran back up the stairs. “Paul, we’re going to church. I need you to come down,” I shouted.

Paul came back, his fist filled with coins. He’d opened his bank to bring money for the offertory, 87 cents in all, in dimes, nickels and pennies. He’d come ready for the feast.

Small Success Thursday is about cultivating the habit of gratitude even when we don’t feel like it: exercising those emotional muscles when it’s hard because we’re tired, or we would like to have a big victory, or things haven’t been easy. I look around and there’s still a to-do list I need to tackle, which makes it harder to be to be grateful. I admit, I want to hold onto being annoyed.

I can’t explain why, except sin makes you stupid. Being ungrateful won’t help one bit. It won’t help the chore list get done. It won’t help my family. It sure won’t help me. So why am I holding onto this ingratitude like it’s some kind of a prize? I have to give it willingly up, like Paul’s 87 cents. Thinking of his gift lets me surrender my grudge and remember all the blessings of the past week, even the ones that didn’t turn out how we hoped. Better luck next year, Nats! Go Astros!

Happy Small Success Thursday … and this week, will it until you welcome it.

What small successes are you celebrating this week?

Copyright 2017 Sherry Antonetti


About Author

Sherry Antonetti is a mother of ten children, published author of The Book of Helen and a freelance writer of humor and family life columns. You can read additional pieces from her blog,


  1. Today I had a few small successes! I received a compliment at work that meant a lot, because it related to a task I wasn’t sure I was doing well. I kept my cool with my teenager when his failure to follow directions landed him in a bit of hot water (actually keeping my cool is a BIG success). And I had my holy hour at Adoration, despite all sorts of distractions. I’m not letting it discourage me but I do want to make a plan for how to better handle distractions in the future.

    • I struggle with distraction at adoration all the time. Adoration is hard for a whole myriad of reasons, including our own physical, moral, psychological, emotional and spiritual state.

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