When You Don't Have Time To Sit Down

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” – Henry David Thoreau 

I’ve not sat down to write in a long while now. There’s been too much standing up to live in these last weeks.

These weeks have seen transitioning our wee girl to a whole new school reality with a number of challenges, but also blessings like a great teacher and a good school (and encountering mean girls – since when do mean girls start at age four?). There was gathering in with Canadian women in Toronto, Ontario and women from all over in Springfield, Missouri; remarkably divergent experiences, yet beautifully unified in purpose, all in the same week-long period. I received the gift of unexpected, precious time with dear friends who live too far away.

In these past weeks I landed in the next decade of my life, celebrating the gift of 40 years of growing, shifting, changing, and finding my heart’s true home. It was so good that it started with a surprise party and lasted for a full week of chocolate and friends and joy. There’s a lot to unpack in looking back at the last decade of stretching and growth, and looking ahead with real hope and expectation to this new decade.

There was a happy, soggy visit to my beloved Island, and bringing Mom home to Mennonite country for a couple of months. Life’s better with my Mama and her fruit salad and helping me get two vegetables for every meal. I so love the woman who launched me. 

There was marking my Dad’s first birthday in heaven, which was harder than I expected. It was coupled with the grief of losing of a cousin, the first of my generation – those first friends I spent much of my first decade with – to no longer walk on this soil.

There was the letting go of things that I love deeply but no longer fit in this season, and the embracing of present over perfect for weeks and months to come. It was good and full of peace to open my hands.

Those days have been filled with many meals, jokes, laughs, quiet mornings, and full calendar pages. With milestones and memories and the mundane. With frustration and joy and tears and laughter and lost sleep (because, well, I’m the Mama of a four year-old, you know?). They’ve also given me lots to write about, because this mind of mine never does stop whirring with ideas and the creative. It’s just the way I’m wired.

Now I’m lighting candles in the evening more often, pulling out the winter decorations and looking ahead to the start of Advent next weekend. This winter nesting is so deliciously comfortable.

There can be a lot of life in a couple of months, friends, and not much sitting down.

Here’s what I want to whisper to you today, Dear One – if your days are full, and you feel like you’re not able to sit down and do the things you thought you were supposed to do (like writing a post every Wednesday) – you’re okay. Live these days standing up, so that when you sit down, you have precious things to reflect on. Things that you may not have space to ponder yet.

Your sitting down time will come, and when it does, you’ll have so much more to share. Be richer for it, friend.

Holley Gerth Linkup

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