Start to Finish

By Stanley Arumugam

Today is my grandniece’s first day at big school. This week was a new start for many children – a new grade, a new school and a new way of being in school. At the start of the year, parents and family have big dreams for their children – seeing the finishing line already in their minds. For their children, especially the little ones – getting through the day is a big enough challenge. 

In a world of work consumed with results, deliverables and outcomes, we can easily be fixated on the end product and lose the joy of the moment. As a manager myself, I am socialised to look out for milestones, progress reports and board submissions—the measure of my work and sometimes my worth tied up in my place at the finish line.  

Finish lines are essential as a destination point, as a beacon of direction providing a sense of purpose. But getting to the finish line first, as if life was a sprint, is foolish. It steals the joy of being in the present. One of my trauma clients reminded me that the Covid-related death of both her parents, within a month, has slowed her down. Now she is being intentional about stopping and smelling the roses that her parents planted in her garden.

  • What roses are you missing when you are so focused on the finish line? 

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