Cresting Heartbreak Hill

Since I was about 18, I’ve been a keen runner for training and exercise, though seldom for any competitive purposes. But at times I’ve trained with other people, and in particular on a visit to a friend and fellow runner, T., who was doing a postdoc in Boston, Massachusetts, he introduced me to the concept of Heartbreak Hill. Boston has a particularly famous one, only a few miles away from the end of the Boston Marathon.

Apparently the point of Boston’s Heartbreak Hill was to throw a gruelling obstacle in the way of runners who had done the major part of the race and believed the end was in sight.

This is how Grace and I have felt these last few weeks. For better or worse, we opted to do our own house painting instead of having a professional painter come and do it, in a move that probably saved us several thousand dollars in labour. But the process has been challenging and at times demoralising, as we have been under the pump, trying to fit painting around work, caring for children, helping Grace’s parents with their own house, and so forth. Sleep flees away, work suffers, tempers flare.

But at last there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our final inspection is booked for Friday. If the final inspection passes, our house will be deemed fit for occupation.

My brief reflection on the whole thing is that building a house requires flexibility, patience, and no small amount of faith. Otherwise, one ends up with considerably less hair than one started with, and what remains becoming greyer than it needs to be.

We may also be able to celebrate Christmas having moved into our new house.

While Thanksgiving is not celebrated here, more and more retailers are starting to introduce Black Friday. “A consumer and his money are soon parted,” seems to be the thinking of the day. But as pointed out by fellow blogger Weka, it’s good to put aside these distractions, and remember that this is Advent, a time of year when we can look forward to the fulfilment of God’s promises.

And the little ones enjoy their daily chocolates in their Advent calendars.

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