By this time of the year it can feel like you have been running a marathon and you are at the last mile before the finish line. You have resolve and find the inner strength to push through to get that final project finished, get the last item checked off the 2017 “to do” list and to find your closure to the year.

Sometimes it is striking how we put ourselves in this mind set—the state of mind that we (per the Merriam-Webster definition of “finish”) have to come to an end or come to the end of a task or undertaking.

For many, this mind set is perpetuated by the work or school schedule, social norms and arbitrary expectations that get ingrained in our psyche. It seems that the years of our lives are approached as if we are in some race. But a race for what? A meaningful relationship, a career, a promotion; to take time off and rest; to be somewhere else, to be someone else? It is time to ask yourself what are you rushing from and what are you rushing toward—and why?

We tend to lose sight of the continuum of our existence. We get caught up in looking well beyond the horizon. We have this constant inner voice telling us that once something is done or checked off the list, once we go through a series of milestones, once we get to the next level that we will have time to rest, be content, try something different or be ready for what is next for us. winter nite bird

But we do so in the mind set of endings—that something has to end before something else can begin. I think as most of us have experienced life is just not that neat and tidy and there is more of evolution then revolution. Life for the most part flows and blends, and often when we are so laser-focused on finishing something or getting to the next thing, we miss the beauty of that flow and the blending.

I recently got back from an intense week of meetings—full of wonderful opportunities. The week was full of preparing for the immediate next session and rushing from point A to point B. As I boarded my flight homeward bound, and sat in my seat and exhaled, there was a sense of relief and calm. I told myself that when I get home I will relax and take some time off—but then I quickly went into making a mental list of the things I will do to relax.

In reflecting on this, I realized all the planning leading up to the event and the intense schedule while at the event was worthwhile, but in running my marathon I missed out on enjoying just being there and meeting some amazing people; and admittedly was probably a bit cranky at times. While at the event, I drew hard lines between one session to the next and actually was checking the sessions off the master list as the days passed. I did not take the time to inhale what I had created and what I was part of, and I did not take time to exhale the stress or pace I put myself at.

This one week sums up how many of us function (at times or generally)—putting ourselves in the mindset of a race with an arbitrary finish line that we drew. Life is a continuum—with many paths for us full of new people and experiences. So as 2017 blends into 2018, remember to inhale what you have created and exhale so you can let your life flow.