Yesterday, I had the honor of publishing a piece on Studio30 Plus. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s an amazing social media site that provides a welcoming place for writers to meet with other writers, push themselves to grow, and share their writing with others.
Just in case you didn’t see my post over there, I thought I’d share it here.
I Stood Up
I was extended a play date invitation for this past Friday from my lovely new friend, Melissa, who blogs over at Confessions of a Dr. Mom.
She invited us over for a morning of fun, time for our three-year old daughters to get to know one another while playing dollhouse, blocks, and Strawberry Shortcake.
They played for a while and as I watched them together, I couldn’t help but think what a cute picture they would make, standing close so together, offering each other an occasional hug and tender smile.
I was consumed by the thought that I needed to write about the joy that I saw in my daughter’s eyes as they played. My mind was spinning over all of the things that I wanted to write. It took every ounce of self restraint I could muster to keep myself from pulling out a notepad to jot my thoughts down before they slipped through my fingers, as they too often do.
Melissa offered our girls a snack of fresh strawberries, juicy raspberries, and cookies that were simply perfection, hearts with pink and white icing and drizzled chocolate. The colors were so vibrant. I thought about how gorgeous they’d look in a photo if I just placed a glass of milk in the background and used a shallow depth of field to capture the plate of cookies. I wanted so badly to photograph the cookies and I had to keep reeling my brain in from framing the playdate as a blog post.
Our girls were adorable in their hair bows and coincidentally matching polka-dotted outfits, with smiles that reflected their joy.
But, I couldn’t help but think that I was missing out on a blogging opportunity.
I thought about Melissa and just knew that I should write about how nice it has been to meet her, how much I enjoy her company, and just how amazing a mother she is.
I catch myself doing this so often now. When the kids and I go to the park, I force myself to put away the camera, to enjoy the moments for what they are rather than as blog fodder. My brain seems to be consistently in writing overdrive, always looking for the next post, afraid to relax, lest perfect post will pass me by.
At a recent blogger get together, my fellow bloggers and I spent a great deal of time tweeting about how much fun we were having. When I looked at the photos of the event, I realized that so many of us (myself included) were hunched over our phones, telling the Twitterverse the details of our day. Looking back, there’s a part of me that wishes that we had put our phones away and spent more time squeezing every last bit of joy out of our time together.
Henry David Thoreau so astutely wrote, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live,” and I think he was onto something.
Part of why I write everything down is because I live in constant fear that one day I will lose my memories. I want to document every moment of this life in case one day it isn’t all clear … in case I need a nudge to bring it all back.
But, in that moment, in my lovely friend’s home, I made a conscious effort to keep myself in the present…there with the beautiful girls, the fabulous cookies, and the gesture of friendship. I enjoyed Melissa’s stories and our laughter. I focused on learning more about her and sharing bits of who I am.
I stood up to live and I don’t regret it for a moment.
(Thank you, Melissa, for helping me to enjoy such a lovely small moment.)
I can’t say enough about how wonderful they’ve been to me.