Thursday, April 1, 2010

On Things That Are Broken, and Finishing Strong


I count on having balance in my life
Not too many cloudy days without a sunny break
Not too many rich meals without a plain bowl of oatmeal
Not too many problem students without a real, authentic breakthrough

And not coming home from a long day at work,
only to find that Curtis is in the same funk that I am.

It just doesn’t work.

One of us needs to be able to fix dinner while the other wallows in self-pity on the couch.
One of us needs to tidy up the house while the other crashes in bed early in the evening.
One of us needs to assure the other
that life will not always look this gloomy,
that it will get better,
that we are (thankfully) nearing the finish.

But both of us were feeling pretty broken down.

As we near our move, stressing ourselves as we finish the school year and preparing for what lies ahead, we have been finding signs all around us of things that, like us, “have reached the end of the line.”

Case 1: Our laptop, purchased for Curtis’s medical school career has been on and off the fritz for about fifteen months now. We’re planning on purchasing a new one…this summer. But I’m not sure our old Dell is going to make it that long.

Case 2: Our microwave, purchased for $5 ($5!) at a garage sale before we were married, has served us well. And for no reason at all turned off with no explanation when I tried to heat up a bowl of chili...and never turned back on. Since purchasing a microwave before a cross country move makes zero sense, we have been making good use of the stove and the oven, both of which very effectively heat things—in ten times more time.

I know we will make it to the end of the school year, across the country, and back to a rhythm of normalcy. But in the mean time I find myself repeating the same things in my head that I say to my athletes at track practice: “Keep going. You’re almost there. DON’T stop before the finish line.” Because in track, just as in life, the end is often the most challenging, but it truly defines the results of the entire race.

Thank goodness spring break starts tomorrow.


  1. I loved the way you wrote this post. Your writer's "voice" was amazing!

  2. You'll make it through the end of the race lady! Moving cross country is a big one (been there, done that! :)) but once you are there it will be a big sigh of relief!