Just Life

Choose | September 2021.

Hello friends! Thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post; it does seem like Autumn is a favorite and most-welcome season for many of us. This past week has been full of delightful blue skies and cooler temperatures. The photos spread throughout this post were captured on various morning walks (and yes, leaves have started changing, even this far south!) My week away (from this space … I still haven’t spent a night away from home in over a year!) was definitely much-needed. I’ve been looking forward to writing this post since yesterday, and that’s the surest sign it’s time to be back!

…just in time to share an update on my One Little Word (thank you Carolyn, for hosting this monthly check-in!) As much as I’d hoped the liminal space I wrote about last month would’ve passed into new (and exciting!!) places … I’m still betwixt and between, wondering what’s coming next. I joked (sort of) with a friend this past weekend about feeling like I’ve setup camp in this space, which is only supposed to be a doorway … and let me tell you, the threshold is pretty uncomfortable – can I get a more cushiony mattress? please?!

It was a wonderful conversation, and by the end I was ok with choosing to wait … for whatever is coming. and again, I was struck by the power of choice. Just for fun, I made a quick list of choices I’ve made this last month that have brought me joy:

  • spend the hour with my first cup of coffee (and the ice pack on my knee) reading a book, instead of scrolling Instagram.
  • knit another black sweater.
  • say “yes” to a new church leadership role.
  • brew a cup of bedtime tea instead of pouring another glass of wine.
  • watch re-runs of The Great British Baking Show (and refuse to remember who gets knocked off when or who wins).
  • dive into the Booker and NBA prize lists with whatever’s available to borrow.

I may not know what’s coming on the other side of this time, but I know I’ll have choices. and I trust I’ll be able to find joy in some of them. and honestly, that feels like a pretty good place to be, in spite of the uncomfortable threshold.

11 Comments

  • Carolyn

    What a beautiful walk you took us on with these photos!
    I kept hearing a powerful message in this post: That when we make a choice, when _we choose_, we’re giving ourselves the power. Your sentence “It was a wonderful conversation, and by the end I was ok with choosing to wait … for whatever is coming,” encapsulates that, for me. I’m also feeling that liminal space in my life (not pandemic related)(and I have hunch that it will be so for a while…)—but even minus that, just living(!) in these times can leave us feeling powerless. Making a choice sounds like it’s making some difference…even in your ‘doorway’.

  • Juliann

    Yes – I would like a comfy mattress and an extra pillow and a quilt for snuggling because it does feel like we are not yet ready to move from this luminal space. The photos in the post are wonderful.

  • Bonny

    Blossoms and changing leaves at the same time! We are indeed fortunate when we get to make choices, even if we feel our choices are limited. It’s still far better than feeling that we are simply victims of circumstance. And there are new episodes of GBBS. Only once/week on Fridays, but better to laugh with Noel once each week than not at all.

  • Debbie

    I’m so glad that you wrote about being in a liminal space, on a threshold because you have given me a name for what i have been feeling. I’m on the edge of things, neither here nor there and at times I feel paralyzed by it. This week I have been making an effort to make decisions and to live in this uncomfortable place, because it is where I am at the present and I don’t want to just age in place. Little by little I’m finding my way, and I’m hopeful we will all find out way through these times. Mary, thank you so much for writing about this because it has really helped me !

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    You captured so much of the “betwixt and between” in your photos – interesting angles of the sun and moon, the fading of hydrangeas. And the ducks in the sun’s reflection? Perfection. As you know, I’m in a similar strange place. I’m just trying to remember to accept where I am, choose joy (like you!), and look for lessons in the difficult moments.

    I love your list of choices that have brought you joy, especially the reading and bedtime tea. I’ve been devouring the Just Elderflower tea from Plum Deluxe this week and am looking forward to the arrival of my package of Pumpkin Spice. I’m hoping it will be here by Friday so that I can have my first sip on October 1st!

    Have you started the new season of the Baking Show? It always takes me an episode or two to get used to everyone’s accents and actually understand what they’re saying… but it’s as lovely as ever!

  • Sarah

    To me, this weird in-between space feels a lot like last March, when we didn’t know much and couldn’t anticipate what was coming next. But it’s also worse, I think, because we know a lot more now and know what we should be doing to make things better. Sigh. I think your focus on what you can choose is a good way of dealing with the low-level anxiety, especially for those of us who are made anxious by not being in control. Really all we can do is get as comfy as we can and hope for the best!

  • Carole

    Isn’t there an expression about even when you don’t make a choice . . . you are still making a choice? I think you are weighing and considering your choices carefully and that will serve you well.

  • Patty

    Not sure if I should acknowledge having to look up liminal space 🙂 but holy moly am I there or what! I was actually considering a blogging again as I begin my new adventure and this is so spot on. What choices will be made!?! Thank-you for a wonderful and thoughtful post as always Mary!

  • kym

    What a beautiful and thoughtful post, Mary. (Your changing leaves are actually more colorful than ours “up north!” We’re just beginning to get some color changes this week.) As for making choices? Sometimes it’s an active thing . . . and sometimes it’s passive. Either way . . . there are choices involved. (You’ve got an interesting word!) XO

  • karen

    I am walking daily in the new area and the trees are just start to turn, delightful! I love fall and being cold so I’m more than ready for the big change.