Deadline vs. Finish Line

“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.

“The only person I aspire to be is a better me. Making myself a little better every chance I get.” – Unknown

Always Wear Your Invisible Cape

I have a thing for capes. I like them. They make me feel invincible; like I can do anything I put my mind to.

I own more than one cape. Most of them I have borrowed (stolen?) from my two sons. They don’t seem to mind and they actually think it’s pretty cool when mom wears a cape. But the most important one, the one that started all of this cape business, is my “Super Sisters” cape. My sister, Rondi, and I signed up for the Muddy Buddy race (2010) and we left the costume part of it up to our mom. She did an amazing job at designing the perfect capes.

The morning of the race, Rondi and I (one on a bike, the other running beside) dressed in capes and matching outfits made our way through Stony Creek. As we met runners and bikers out for their Saturday morning workouts, we gave an excited wave and a hello. Odd, questioning looks is what we were greeted with in return. It was hilarious and we had a ball. After the race we both agreed that the most fun part of the day was the run over to the park before the race started.

And that, my friends, is why I have a thing for capes. No matter how crabby, sad, defeated, unmotivated, or just plain tired you are, a cape will make it better. Or at least more fun. And that is the goal, isn’t it? Why would you want to keep doing something that isn’t fun?

I remember talking to someone in my triathlon club about my first Ironman race. I was telling him how much fun it was and how much I loved it. He said, “You mean looking back on it, right? You didn’t actually have fun during the race.”  Ummmm…YES I did! Why else would I sign up for something like that?! I love all of it. And when I’m wearing a cape, I love it even more.

So why then is this blog titled “Always Wear Your INVISIBLE Cape?”  Well…even I’m not crazy enough to wear a cape around every day. However, I do try and wear the confidence that a cape gives me around every day.

Be confident. Be awesome. Be fun.