Thursday, January 8, 2009

No Finish Line

My whole life, I have rushed to achieve the finish line. I finish almost everything quickly: I was the first person to finish the test in school; the first person to finish her ice cream cone; the first off the bus, etc. Recently though, I have realized that there is no finish line when it comes to business or health or, indeed, life.
  • I will never have a business that sustains itself so perfectly that I don't have to continue putting my energy into it (look at Steve Jobs).

  • I will never not have to take care of myself and my health (look at Oprah).

  • I know that for as long as I live, I will never not be a mother to my child; I also know that in order to continue being a wife to my husband, we will have to continuously work together on our relationship.
This realization is profound for me - how does an overachiever "achieve" if there is no finish line? How do I know when I have reached success? Indeed, it doesn't seem as if there is anything at all to reach - since the very next day I will need to get up and do it all over again.

I don't think there are any answers to these questions, but I do think that just seeing this is having a vast impact on how I live my life, and I'm liking it a lot more already! Somehow, the absence of a finish line has given me a little more freedom in the most meaningful parts of my life.

To practice this new concept, I recently started to knit a scarf. This time, though, instead of knitting madly into the night to finish the darn thing, I'm approaching the project in a leisurely manner, sometimes making just a few stitches at a time.

Tonight, though, I found myself getting into the mode - having thoughts of "I'm almost done! Just a few more hours of this and I'll have my new scarf! Hooray! I am so quick!" Then, suddenly, I ran out of wool. It was pretty funny.

Now I have to go get some more wool and try to finish the scarf without getting wrapped up in the concept of finishing it. Hmmm ... we'll see how it goes ...

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