It Is Finished

It is finished.

The report, that is, which I’ve been fretting over these last few weeks at work. Following a final big push, it will be submitted today to they who must be obeyed. I can sit back, relax for 11.6 seconds, and then find something else to panic about, for that is who I am and that is what I do. I used to joke that I don’t meet deadlines, I beat them. Well, this one has left me feeling half dead, as well as pretty beat up.

I’m celebrating by taking a half day and going to watch Adam play a cup match against my old school, Omagh Academy. Today, though, I will be cheering on Lurgan College. Adam is returning to the team after a bout of illness. Part of me doesn’t want him to play in such a big match as he might not be 100% recovered, but I don’t think wild horses could keep him off the pitch today.

Watching my son play rugby is one of my favourite pastimes. Yes, I’ve become a ‘Rugby Dad,’ and I rarely miss a match. It’s nerve wracking watching him out there competing in such a tough, physical sport against boys two years older (and bigger) than him; but that’s the level he’s playing at now and he gives as good as he gets. He has no fear and a level of composure and concentration that I can only aspire to.

His position is tight head prop, one of the most technical and important roles in the team. He is the base of the scrum, the lynchpin if you will. If he is having an off day, then the pack cannot function as a unit, and it all starts to fall apart. I think that’s why the coaches are so keen for him to play today, in such a big match. They need him, in order for the team to perform to its full potential.

I’ve been feeling demotivated and a little jaded in work of late. Unappreciated and frustrated. But the report deadline, stressful as it was, has succeeded in making me realise, I still have a role to play in my 9-5 world. I contributed and know my boss valued my efforts. I surprised even myself with my knowledge of the subject matter and performed under pressure in order to hit the submission time on time.

I’m fortunate to have the job I do, and should never take it for granted. My family come first obviously, but publishing books and running marathons won’t happen unless the bills are paid. The job is the foundation, upon which the other dreams are built. I should be grateful for my job, not griping that it takes me away from the fun things I would rather be spending my time at. The two go hand in hand.

So, today, as I stand on the touchline, trying desperately not to embarrass my son by haranguing the referee, I will realise I’m only there because of the job. It’s a grind, it’s a pain, but it’s a blessing as well. I contribute, I make a difference, and this report is part of that. Like with Adam, the team I work in cannot function to its full potential, without my input. I’m a cog, but a crucial cog.

This deadline has breathed new life into me. It’s another corner turned, another obstacle overcome. Another step in the right direction, to where I want to be. To where I need to be. I have a plan, and I’m totally focused on getting there. I’m not going to give up now, not when I’m so close. Wild horses couldn’t keep me from playing in the games coming up. Yes, it is finished. But, in other ways, it’s only just begun.

Do you ever feel undervalued at work?

How do you handle pressure and deadlines?

Are you where you want to be in life?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

37 thoughts on “It Is Finished

  1. Well done sir! I suspect this has been weighing rather heavily on your shoulders of late, so enjoy the freedom and the match. You must be very proud and rightly so, both of your son and also of yourself. You have fought a lengthy battle and won in the end. Well done.


  2. Thanks for reminding me what a blessing it is to have gainful employment. I need to realize that instead of my job preventing me from doing the things I like, it actually provides for them. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the states. I have much to be grateful for. Including the job. Congrats on crushing your deadline and getting to spend some fun time with family.


  3. Enjoy the game, family, and the works. We did a rather interesting exercise at Church this last weekend. They handed out cards with Psalm 136, 1-4 printed on one side, nothing on the other except the word “Savor”. We were to write down things we were thankful to God for this year. Had about a minute to do it in, so there wasn’t a lot of time to stop and think about it. Amazing the list you can come up with when you’re free associating. I can appreciate your comment about being under the gun at work. Until a few months ago, I was working as a consultant (indeed, this is the first full time gig I’ve had in almost six years). Money was great as a consultant, but it was one of those feast or famine things. Now with a full time gig, here I am, tomorrow is a holiday. I get to keep it with my family, and get paid for it. What a concept.
    So, be thankful in all things.


  4. I don’t really know if I am where I want to be in life. That changes for me almost daily. But, in my retiring years, I accept where I am in life and rest in that contentment. Enjoy your life, Stephen, as a nurturer and provider.


  5. Yes, I am where I want to be in life at this moment for I believe this is where God has put me. But no, I’m not where I want to be in this life for there’s more ahead I want to experience with Him.


  6. Our son here in Texas played soccer… football I guess you would call it… for many years and while I don’t know much about rugby I can imagine myself on the sideline just like you are. Enjoy.


  7. Congratulation on meeting your deadline. Never forget that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you so there is no need to panic. Have blessed Thanksgiving day to you and your family.


  8. The line where you said, ‘I don’t meet deadlines, I beat them’, I’ve honestly never related to anything more.
    Just last week I handed in a 200+ paged assignment which I had to complete in one day.
    It left my hand aching the whole of next day 😂.
    Oh well, I guess procrastination is excusable just as long as we eventually get the work done, Eh? 😋


  9. Two of my daughters played rugby. It was a little nerve-racking, but it made me so proud to see them fight to the end, get dirty, be strong in the face of bigger girls with more experience, endure pain, overcome fear to play their part–all the things needed to meet life’s deadlines and accomplish what must be accomplished


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