It’s been a heck of a year in our house. As we wrap up 2019, I can’t help but think, Hey 2019, I’m glad you came but I’m not too terribly sad to see you go.
We have lots to celebrate as we look forward to 2020 because we have had some big finishes in 2019. We finished strong! It’s always been one of the values we’ve tried to instill in our boys and try ourselves to live by. As they have complained about finals or the end of a sports season (because they’re usually worn slap out.) they’ll get a text from me saying those same words. Finish strong! You’ve made it this far, you can make it a few more steps to be done.
Now the Sheriff often takes this too far by doing things like running the last half mile of an 8 mile hike. That’s seriously a little much but you get the idea.
This year our family has had some trying times with our youngest son being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma. We have had to helplessly sit back and watch chemo treatments, radiation treatments, and scan after scan, not knowing where that finish line would be. We watched with tears as he finished chemo and radiation strong mentally because he just wasn’t that strong physically.
We’ve also celebrated finishing strong with our Quarterback. He finished his college football career and finished his degree with a 4.0 to end his college years.
Our oldest son “says” he’s finished adding to his sweet little family. Our million dollar girl added to our rambunctious fiveasaurus has made their family unit complete. We are still trying to talk them out of this. I mean look how cute these kids are! Other than being spoiled rotten by somebody (and by somebody, I mean me.), they’re perfect.
These kids of ours completed great feats this year. They have overcome adversity, been physically and mentally maxed out but finished BIG, which makes our finishes seem small in comparison. We finished our 52 hike challenge. We exceeded our goal this year with a few extra hikes because we need the exercise, needed to walk off some stress, needed the vastness of our surroundings and needed to remind ourselves that there was something bigger than all of the challenges we were facing. Our finished challenge pales in comparison to what other’s have done but nevertheless, we finished what we started and we are better for it.
Finishing strong doesn’t always mean finishing happily or finishing enthusiastically. It might mean you can barely ring the bell at your last chemo treatment. It might mean you grit your teeth, smile and shake hands as you go. Maybe you literally stomp your feet as you cross whatever finish line you’re facing. You might have to stretch and reach just to get your hand over your finish line. Maybe, just maybe whatever has troubled you will propel you over the finish line in leaps and bounds. However it happens, revel in the fact that it happened. You made it! You finished and you’re stronger for it.
Finishing big also means that you’ve met goals you set for yourself or you’ve perfected something you’ve created. Stand proud of your accomplishment. Relish in finishing what you started.
The real take away from finishing strong is that you are ready for something else. Once you have finished, it’ll be time for a fresh start on something new. You may have a newly healed body. You may have a new exciting career to jump into after finishing a degree. You may have a new stage of development or all kinds of new things to teach your kids. But you get to set a new goal, look for fresh ways to start something big for your life.
So we have a new year, some big finishes we have celebrated and are ready to face a new year of challenges and goals that we will set for ourselves. We can look back on what we’ve accomplished and be proud that we made it through the good times and bad. We can check something off our list and put something else in its place. We are stronger for what we have faced and conquered. So finish big, celebrate big and start new!
We celebrated BIG! On a big ol’ boat in the Caribbean!
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