So normally, Caroline writes the majority of our posts, followed by the rest of the crew . . . And I round out the bottom of the barrel. Yep, that’s right. Being everything from my own janitor to my own bookkeeper to running my own small business (oh yeah, being a mother to a #threenager and a wife to a husband in tax season, too) has my writing time few and far between. But it’s a rainy day, I’ve actually done a good job with my bookkeeping for the morning, and before the tsunami of work (and, apparently, rain) piles up I thought I’d hijack the Monday Mantra post because there was something I felt needed to be shared for a number of reasons.
I’ll never forget how the women in my life seemed to all be in cahoots in their chorus of advice: WELL DON’T JUST STAND THERE. (Implied: do something.) Every woman I’ve ever looked up to was never just standing around. Whether professionally, personally, ideologically, ethically, or physically. Nobody just stood around and let life happen. Carpe diem, right?
There’s so much to this loaded phrase that has carried me through life.
Seeing another student being called names on the playground in elementary school? Well don’t just stand there.
Seeing another student struggling with high school math (who doesn’t)? Well don’t just stand there.
Want to get into the college / graduate school / job of your dreams? Well don’t just stand there.
Want to pursue a dream you’ve had for a long time, yet lack the self-confidence to pursue it? Well don’t just stand there.
Standing around is easy. Letting life happen to you is easy (whether the good, the bad, or the ugly). Staying in that boring job is easy. Not standing up for what is right is easy. Saying unkind things is easy. (Just to name a few.) None of those aforementioned situations take any thought. In fact, it takes literally ZERO thought and actually no action.
What does take thought, though? Not standing there, not just letting life happen to you, going for it, standing up for what is right, saying kind things, doing what is right, actively being present. You get the drift. It’s so much harder, and takes way more thought and deliberation, to say and do the right thing (by yourself and by others). But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.
When I started DFSCC, I didn’t just stand there. It was extremely difficult to put myself, my name, my time, and all of my heart on the line to pursue a dream (not to mention the sacrifices that had to be made across the board). Were there those who doubted my ability to succeed? Of course. Were there those who, due to their own insecurities, questioned how I could be a working mother? You bet. I still get those side comments. “You’re so lucky you are a weekend mom,” someone once said. Hello, uncensored.
But as one of my favorite quotes from a great lifelong girlfriend goes, “We may stand out, but we never stand alone.” Read: just find the right tribe to stand with you. Tribes don’t have to be big. Just the right people are needed.
So let’s start fresh this week and challenge ourselves not to “just stand there.” Go do something. Pursue a dream, pursue a passion. Be kind to someone who needs it, and even kinder to someone who you think might not need it one single bit.
After all, nobody ever crossed the finish line in life by just standing around.
Also a good pair of shoes makes all the difference. Cinderella proved that a long time ago.