When I was about 12 or 13, I made myself an “Achievements Book”. It had things in it like “managed to flip a pancake by throwing it in the air” (trying to emulate my dad, I eventually got pretty good at this trick), and “got to the end of the street on my unicycle, and turned around to come back” (trying to emulate a family friend, I eventually let my unicycling lapse).

A few years later, I came across The Desiderata at just the right (impressionable) time of adolescence, and it basically became my life philosophy. One of its stanzas is “Enjoy your achievements, as well as your plans.” But, Achievement Book not-with-standing, this is one I’m having some trouble masteringpracticing.

Which is why, when the other day I had astonished myself by actually managing to specify, and test, a whole structural equation model, all on my own, in R, I wanted to come here and write about it. Not because there is anything so difficult about SEM, or R (hah), but because getting there required a fair amount of perseverance and trust that I would, in fact, get there, in the end – and that felt worth celebrating, in some minor way.

Then I logged in, discovered I had another “achievement unlocked” on Twitter (as the cool kids say these days) and ended up just #restingonmylaurels instead.

The feeling of wanting to celebrate faded (instead, I started thinking about what else I could use my new-found super-minor superpowers for), but then yesterday I read this: Rose Hendricks keeping “only one eye on the prize“. It’s clearly related, and so this is just to put two and two together and say: remember rest with one eye on your laurels while enjoying your prizes. You’ve earned it.


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