As I thought of this month's Blog, I thought I would share some words that have been resonating within me recently. Actually a story...
Several weeks back I was listening to an encouraging talk on not quitting. Getting a "stick with it" type of attitude even in rough patches of life. In the talk, a story was shared that I had heard before BUT this time it just stuck with me. The story was about a runner in a race. It was something like the Olympics (not quite sure the exact type of race). The guy had traveled to a country that was not his own to compete in a long distance race. Hours after all the runners (but this guy) had crossed the finish line, this runner comes into the arena and crosses the finish line. He is clearly hurt and limping as he finishes his race. When he was asked why he had not quit like others had who were hurt, he simply stated, "My country sent me here to finish a race, not start a race."
Wow! It's not about 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc place...it's about having the gumption-the grit-to FINISH when everything (and everybody) says go ahead and quit!
I reflected on myself. When I figuratively fall down and scrape my knee; when I get slapped across the face with words of others; when I stumble on a stump of self-doubt and stub my toe--OUCH!!; when my heart sinks as I realize I just ran in the wrong direction for the last 20 minutes (or 20 years--oops!); when my breath gets knocked out of me as I trip on my own failures and fall flat on my face. What is my reaction...QUIT!!
IT'S JUST NOT WORTH IT!!
Oh BUT it IS worth it! I realize the FINISH of the race is more important than the START of the race. Everyone starts the race but not everyone will finish the race. The prize and the satisfaction is in the finish. Getting back up and moving forward...staying in the race until the race is done...until the Finish Line is crossed.
So I have started saying...I AM A FINISHER!
How about you? What do you say?
Life can be full of challenges! Can I hear anyone say...Ya! That's Right!!
One of those challenges is how quickly people move in and out of my life in expat living. I have to say, I have had my times of moving, and I definitely understand it! But in expat living, I seem to experience the loss in an unique way. It's like, "No! Don't go and leave me behind!"
One thing this experience has done is make me more grateful for my long-term friendships. It has also made me more in tune with maintaining connections and contact over the miles.(Technology definitely helps with this!!) I think I value these connections more today than I have at any other time in life.
As I am reflecting on a New Year, I anticipate amazing things AND I anticipate more changes...more people moving in and out of my life. So, in the midst of it all I say...
There maybe the momentary sense of loss and some level of grief BUT there will always be JOY coming around the corner if I keep my focus on the right things! Life is short...make each moment count!
The season of celebration is here again!
We just finished the Thanksgiving holiday and now we are winding up for the Christmas festivities! Holiday traditions abound at this time!! And I join in with the holiday activities...at least what I hold dear to my heart.
I live in a world now that does not celebrate the holidays like I have experienced for so many years of my life. I think being in an environment where I am less saturated with all the traditions of the holidays, I have come face to face with the question, "Why do I do this anyway?" Being in the flow of a river where you flow with the current causes your journey to be effortless and even automatic. Living in America during this holiday season is like being in a huge river with a strong current carrying you through the season with many, "it's suppose to be", "it's just what we do", and so many other automatic and traditional thoughts.
So what is all of the hype of the season about? I would like to share some of my reflections with you as I have grappled with this since living abroad.
First let me share...
Where I have lived, these cultures also have their festivities and celebrations that are focused around their beliefs and cultural/religious traditions.These celebrations connect generations. They pass on beliefs and traditions from generation to generation. They are part of the fabric or substance of a society and an individual's life. These celebrations become a touch point for a family to gather together over the year or at least to send well wishes to each other and friends. So in light of these reflections, I have continued to celebrate the holidays that are dear to my heart, namely, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now, the WAY this happens has changed. Some things are the same but many things change to fit where I am now. But keeping the footprint of these celebrations in my life and family are of great importance to me.
If you find yourself grappling with the question,"Why do I do this anyway?", here are some of my reasons. Maybe you will find a light of understanding for yourself as you read these. And at this time of year let me say to you...
(Click Read More for Cindy's Holiday List)
John and Cindy write about their adventures, observations, and other nuggets from living in another nation. Their residence is in SE Asia.