One of my favorite things on the planet right now is experiencing Olivia learning to walk.
Have you ever done it? Watching a baby try to walk? It’s this hilariously endearing combination of wobbling and leaning and bouncing on bums that just paints something as second-nature-to-us as walking in a whole new light.
Liv will stand up, then teeter anywhere from half a step to a whopping eight or nine before getting too excited or tripping over her own two feet. Now, girlfriend is a feisty one, so she’ll even grumble in discontent or huff and puff if she falls prematurely.
But she stands back up.
It’s not even a second thought, really – she just stands back up.
And watching her do it again and again on the kitchen floor last night before bedtime got me thinking + reflecting on my own willingness to stand back up, especially in discouraged seasons (which I just so happen to be in at present myself). Because maybe you’re in a discouraged season, too? Or maybe you can just relate to the pangs of frustration that inevitably arise with LIFE, where you’re left feeling like you’ve fallen one too many times to get back up again.
For as simple or naive or cliche as it may sound, I say it because it’s true:
Stand back up.
Maybe you want to do what I did last week and just lay on the living room floor staring at the ceiling for a hot sec to regroup.
Or maybe you’re thinking about quitting altogether.
And maybe, you’ve felt beaten down by this or that or work or love or life where you’re unsure if you’re ready or able to get back in the saddle just yet. And that’s OK. You don’t have to have start riding right away again, so to speak – you don’t have to start running the race or fighting the fight.
You just have to stand back up.
#RealTalk: I spent most of this weekend frustrated. Sure, we had some GREAT family time that I wouldn’t trade for the world, but in the back of my brain were a lot of the BS annoyances + frustrations from this or that at work, like I’m sure many of us mentally grapple with in our “off” time in the hopes of figuring it out by Monday morning.
I found myself word vomit-venting to J in the car about things I can’t control and don’t understand, and I was met with a lot of the same inspired thoughts that I know to be true and that I try to share with YOU just like he was sharing with me.
And it was frustrating.
It was frustrating because I’m an Enneagram 3 and a mover and a shaker and a doer, and I can’t sit still without doing something “productive” about it, and I admittedly don’t always fair well when faced with total unknowns or uncontrollable circumstances.
Watching Olivia and having that birdseye view perspective on her life made me really think harder about my own.
She tries and falls and tries and falls and just has this routine on repeat, and one day – it’s going to click for her, and she’s not going to fall down anymore.
One day she takes not even one full step before faceplanting on the carpet – the next day she’s toddling across the entire kitchen floor to chase a cat. Some days it’s an outside circumstance that knocks her down, like socks that are too-slippy, and other days it’s her own doing, like being waaaaay too excited to run to daddy and not planting feet first before going. 😉 She’s probably not actively aware of which circumstance is which – she’s not overthinking it like we do as grown-ups. She’s just doing what she knows to do to stand back up again and try one more time.
Maybe your thing just needs you to stand back up and try one more time, too.
Maybe it doesn’t – maybe it’s just not going to happen. I don’t say that to be a total buzzkill on a Monday morning – I say it because life is real and that’s reality.
But if you don’t stand back up and try again, you won’t know one way or the other, ever.
So if you’ve found yourself in a similar boat recently, girl I FEEL YOU. You can overthink yourself to death on that one, and there ain’t no easy answer in sight. But we’re not going to have all the answers – we’re not meant to. Really, we think we have more control or insight or power than we do oftentimes, as well. At the end of the day, we have the moment in front of us – nothing more. One of my best friend’s husband’s friend’s dad (wow say that 10 times fast) was in a tragic car accident last week after suffering two cardiac arrests behind the wheel, leaving him brain dead (from the arrests, not even the accident). No one saw it coming. No one could prepare for it – it just happened, and life was forever changed. We assume that we have a fight to fight, when we might not even make it to the first punch. It’s not about having the entire journey mapped out or even knowing the next step.
It’s about showing up. Standing up. Bravely looking Life in her face and accepting the invitation to meet with Fear, Doubt, Anger, and all of the other not-so-nice feelings, to just acknowledge their existence before telling them who and Whose you are.
When you’re tempted to plan out every potential path and strategize every single step, take a hot sec to appreciate the spontaneity of life – for better or worse.
And when you’re tempted to wave the white flag in life and call it quits altogether, appreciate the fact that you don’t have to have it all together all the time.
You don’t have to have all of the answers, or a secret sauce to success.
You don’t have to have control to have courage.
You don’t have to have superpowers to have strength.
Sometimes, it really does just take one choice to carry on. One choice to stand back up and try again.