When we run a race, do we start at the finish line?
Of course not. We begin at the starting line, run every step (maybe walk a few), and cover all the ground in between.
Why do we want to start at the finish line in other areas of our lives? And why do we expect other people to be standing at the finish line before they have run the race?
Parents do this all the time. Children pass through difficult phase after difficult phase, with parents wishing each phase away:
- “When will this baby ever (take a bottle . . . sleep through the night . . . wean from the breast . . .)?”
- “When will my toddler ever (potty train . . . stop throwing temper tantrums . . . give up the soother . . .)?”
- “When will my child ever (stop crying every day at school . . . learn to read . . . stop sucking her thumb . . .)?”
- “When will my teenager ever (do his homework on time . . . clean up that pigsty of a room . . . stop doing drugs . . .)?”
We want our children to be perfect, fully formed people without letting them run the race.
We adults have unrealistic expectations of ourselves too. We want to be in some other better place instead of where we are.
Whether it’s losing ten pounds, playing “Moonlight Sonata” on the piano, finishing a jigsaw puzzle, or writing a book, we can’t start at the finish line. We have to run the race, go through the process.
I’m thinking about this on Groundhog Day.
This is a picture of a groundhog in summer – not in winter in Ottawa, Canada, where I live.
No respectable groundhog is showing his face around here any time soon.
I LOVE the movie (it might be my favourite of all time), but the day? What a ridiculous idea. We can’t skip over winter to get to spring. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER NO MATTER WHAT! This is Canada, for goodness sake. Nature has to run the race.
We can’t start at finish line. That’s the theme of the movie. Settle in. Take steps over and over. You’ll get there.