The older I get, the more I realize just how much life is a marathon. The miles, the wear and tear, the exhaustion. I’ve never run a real marathon, but I think before it’s over, we all have.

Every year I’ve lived has been different, but patterns of sameness have emerged. The years of grief or overwork or stress become familiar. With time and repetition, we learn that we will survive this, too. Sometimes the discomfort is enough to make us change our circumstances, but mostly we just learn to endure.

Endure. That’s the key to a marathon and to life. The silver lining to it all is the love and the beauty which we encounter along the way. There is never enough of either, but their powers are so great that only small glimpses along our path – a lone daffodil, the silvered outline of a cloud, the warm smile of a familiar face – are generally enough to sustain us. Without them, it would be only a long and brutal journey.

I have learned that I need to continue to hone my ability to notice these blessings, as I find it far too easy to focus on the exhaustion and the stress. But the beauty and love are there, if we only remember to look for them and remember that we, too, have the amazing power of bringing them to others on their own, long journeys.

“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.”  –Walter Elliott


About Kelly J. McCleary

Wife and mother of three, author, financial professional View all posts by Kelly J. McCleary

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