The Finish Line

Encouragement for when the road is long and hard and you just want to be finished.

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        Imagine you’re running a marathon and just as you see the finish line and dream of resting your weary feet, someone moves the ribbon another mile down the road.

        This is how I felt during my husband’s last year in residency. I remember thinking he would NEVER get done with his medical training. Then we finally hit his chief year of residency. The clouds were parting, angels were singing , and I could see the finish line. And then he applied to do an additional year of training called a fellowship, in trauma and critical care, at the University of Cincinnati. I didn’t think I could face it. I cried. I whined. I wanted to quit. The finish line got pushed another year out. A normal, maybe a little less stressful life, settling down in a home and community would all have to wait. We moved one more time and plodded on.

      Our farmhouse  also has a finish line that keeps being moved out. It has been a long two and a half years of remodeling this 1897 farmhouse, but we can see the ribbon getting closer. We are both tired and ready to put our feet up and start the next phase of enjoy our new old home.

      Some landscaping has started on the outside but unfortunately with July coming and 90-100 degree temperatures hitting here in Kansas, we will have to wait until fall or next Spring to put in some beautiful plants. 

       The limestone being used to make beds around the front porch are the original stones used to create the foundation of the house 120 years ago.  So glad we could repurpose them.

      I can’t wait to share with you our farmhouse kitchen.  Sometimes when I see a room in my head, it doesn’t always turn out the way I had imagined.  I took what I consider a big risk with color in our kitchen, but I love the way it is turning out.  But our move is almost here so I am going to take a break for a month or so this summer to get us packed, moved, and settled into our farmhouse. 

       Here’s a little peek at our wood burning stove in the dining room.

        I have never forgotten the words Tom Hanks said in the  movie “ A League of Their Own.” He played the role of  the coach to a professional women’s baseball team during World War II.  One of the female players  was whining about how difficult it was being on the  team. His reply?  
If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.
It’s the hard that makes it great. 


         Looking back, that extra year of training my husband did was one of the best decisions he ever made. It gave him the ability to choose between doing general surgery or trauma surgery. It turns out he is truly gifted at  handling life and death crisis situations. He says time even slows down and he can think more clearly when someone is crashing before him in the ER.  Even though it was a sacrifice, it was worth it all.

       We’ve all heard words like “the joy is in the journey and not reaching the destination.” Sometimes this is hard to hear when we’re in the middle of the race and just want it to end.   But we do grow and change during our journey and that is often just as important as  reaching our goal.  Frodo was not the same Hobbit when he ended his journey and neither am I.

     I have learned to have more patience,  less anxiety, and to accept things out of my control. Problems will always come in life.  Accepting this truth and not letting them tweak me out comes a little easier.   Usually any project we tackle will take longer than we think, cost more than we want, and leave us  exhausted.  As we finish one goal, or climb one hill, another one always appears. 

Emotion might drive us to make a decision,
      but character, or discipline,
 is what keeps us going when the journey gets hard.
                                                                             -John Maxwell 

        Would I want to go through medical school, internship, residency and a fellowship again with my husband?  No way!  Nor would I want to start remodeling this old farmhouse over again, but I am glad we did both.   

        Wherever you are on your journey, plod on dear friends, one step at a time.   You can always do more than you think you can.    The goal is reachable and what happens within you is the true treasure.


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