I’m ashamed to admit that I just did it. Again. I can’t believe it. After all the self-discipline. After all the personal research invested to rewire my brain. After all my prior life experiences. It’s still happening.
The journey from conception to birth is filled with planning of all kinds–as if a life depended on it. My wife was–and remains–so chill throughout, like the tinsel intersecting each Christmas tree needle on every single limb, and especially entangling the most complex ornaments all along the way. My mind, on the other hand, still seems to naturally segment life experiences into carefully-wrapped gifts in symmetrically-aligned boxes below the celebratory decorations. I try not to do this–but it keeps happening–so what’s going on?
The birthing journey is so unique, so personal, and so special that once our baby was born, I thought that we had crossed an imaginary finish line! I thought we were celebrating the ending of a long journey, and now that it was finished, we were guaranteed a nice long break, right? Who wants to know about our #MyalsMoments journey? Would the press be awaiting our comments outside the hospital doors?
Grateful to celebrate another new starting line! Grateful to live the experience with one amazing woman, best friend, wife, and mother of our child. Grateful to celebrate precious #MyalsMoments. #HamstraHighlights #LittleH1 pic.twitter.com/MU6eove6AW
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) November 20, 2017
The not-so-funny thing is that I can recall several other #lifelonglearning moments in which I thought time would literally stand still–or at least come to a baby crawl–in my honor to celebrate one of my finish lines.
Have you ever felt the same way? C’mon–Be honest.
How about these journeys from:
- engagement to “I do”
- best friend to first date to serious commitment
- selling a property to buying a property to moving in
- baby birth to baby feeding
- baby feeding to baby sleeping longer segments
- baby sleeping longer segments to baby sleeping the whole night
- baby cooing to baby speaking with real words
- baby diapers to potty-trained
- baby daycare to kindergarten
- driving your child everywhere to teenager getting license
- elementary school to middle school to high school to college
- beginning grad school to interviewing to landing the big job
- filling up gas tank from empty to full
- pouring concrete foundational footings to nailing the last shingle
- preparing ground to planting seeds to growing a crop to harvesting
- buying ingredients to cooking meal to cleaning dishes
- investing time, effort, and energy into practice to finally winning
Finally, through much reflection, soul-searching, and perseverance, I am still learning to embrace each moment as another new starting line. Because really?
There are NO finish lines.
We never reach this imaginary peak. We are continuously improving. We are forever-emerging. We are #lifelonglearners doing #lifelonglearning.
— Kyle Hamstra (@KyleHamstra) July 11, 2017
What’s even more interesting is that billions of humans on this third rock from the sun do believe in a Deity–a supernatural force that guarantees the gift of everlasting life and eternity upon acceptance–living life without finish lines.