“The difference between a goal and a dream, is a deadline.” -Unknown
This week I had a daunting deadline for work looming over me. It stole hours of my sleep as I worked on it each night after the boys went to bed, and it left me feeling pretty stinkin’ crabby. This “deadline” got me thinking about the difference between a deadline and a finish line.
I LOVE finish lines. They are such a happy place. Even if someone is lying on the ground in agony, or being helped to a chair to sit down because they are in so much pain, or crying uncontrollably; all of those things are still a reason to celebrate. You made it to the finish line. The victory is yours.
I remember when I was preparing for my first Ironman. The fear of something stopping me from making it to that finish line made me lose sleep at night. Numerous dreams filled my head, leading me to question whether or not I could cross that line. Youtube videos of previous Iromman Lousiville races brought me to tears because I wanted to feel that same glory and satisfaction, and I was so scared that I might not reach that goal.
Deadlines are different for me. If someone had told me on Tuesday that I wasn’t going to have to finish that project after all, I would have given them a big hug, and moved on with my week feeling much more cheerful. (And much more rested.) The sense of accomplishment that comes from meeting a deadling doesn’t hold a candle to the pure joy that fills me when I cross a finish line.
Why is that? My answer is that a finish line is for me. A deadline is for someone else. It’s a “goal” that someone else gave me. I didn’t get to pick it out and choose when I would do it. A finish line, on the other hand, is a goal that I have chosen to tackle because I know it will help me be a better me. It will help me be more present in each moment of my life. When I am working towards a finish line, I am a better mom, wife, sister, friend, teacher, aunt, cousin…EVERYTHING. I am a better me.