I’m so close I can taste it. The finish line is within site and I am sprinting toward it, looking for that last kick, the rush of adrenaline to propel me forward and declare victory! Is that the crowd I hear cheering me on, raising their voices, clapping their hands, pushing me to reach the finish line in a blare of glory. Nope, it’s just my kids whining about super not being on the table and the laundry stacking up, but wait I do hear a cheer in the background, it’s my husband, excited about the prospect of me finally finishing my schooling so I can get out and earn some money.
I am almost there, another two weeks and this year of educating myself at the ripe old age of forty-five will be complete. I can’t believe I did it (almost). It has been a challenge balancing family, home and school. There were many a day when I wish I hadn’t started this journey, but the stubborn side of me was not going to start something without finishing. I was not about to show my kids that failing or quitting was an option.
So here I am facing the finish line in this most challenging journey. Believe it or not I think I might miss it when I’m done. It has been a constant companion and has allowed me the opportunity to realize that I am still an intelligent person with the ability to learn new things. Being a stay at home mom made me feel like my mind was turning into a bowl full of jelly but now I realize I didn’t lose anything. Instead, I see that the years I dedicated myself to my family taught me to be patient, determined, organized and creative, all traits that allowed me to be successful in my studies.
With the finish line in site I am racing forward, propelled by the pride in my accomplishment. My arms stretched in front of me reaching for the ribbon, preparing myself to throw up my hands in victory, I catch something out of the corner of my eye. Far in the distance I see yet another black and white banner stretched across the path. In celebrating my victory for this grand accomplishment I realize that the finish line of this journey is merely the starting line to my next great challenge!
Much like a runner, I look forward to my next race. Instead of fearing it, my year of training has given me the tools and confidence I need to take my place in the starting blocks with the expectation of running a personal best. I look to the stands and see my husband and children. In their faces I see the reflections of the past year and I realize that when I was tired or discouraged it was their support that lifted me back to my feet. It was their hands that put the laundry into the machine or the dinner on the table when I was unable to. This next race I will run for them as well as for myself.
Thank you for the support and I can only hope in return I have made you proud and taught you a few things. From my example I hope you see that you are never too old to start something new, with hard work and determination you can accomplish anything and most importantly, never give up!