Friday, November 28, 2008

Stepping out of the Sidelines

I'm decorating my home and tree today for Christmas. I know many of you do it too right after Thanksgiving. I can't wait to pop the tops off my bins and discover what's been stored in them--for three years.

That's right. I haven't decorated for Christmas since my daughter got married and moved to the west coast. No--before you wonder if I'm morbid or something, I did spend Christmas one year in Seattle and another year in PA but the days leading up to my travel, I kept the house bare.

Why bother? I thought. No one's going to see it. All our family lives far away and it's just my husband and I. We can enjoy the decorations at Christmas in the homes we visit without the effort.

My misguided decision now reminds me of when my daughter played softball. She'd often suit up and have to sit the bench as second string. But we encouraged her to play anyways because we told her she never knew when she would be called in to pinch hit.

A couple of posts ago, a blogger left this comment: After receiving too many rejection letters, I decided that I just don't have it in me any more to be told no thanks.

It broke my heart to read the words but at the same time made me think. My decision to not fully enjoy the holidays because my daughter isn't here anymore is actually living on the sidelines of life.

Choosing not to exercise a writing gift for fear of failure and rejection is living on the sidelines of writing. And that is as sad as my not dealing with my new empty nest.

The day will come when like the coach who finally put my daughter on first base and discovered her gift for catching, an editor will discover an article or manuscript that crosses his desk and send the email every writer hopes for. But unless we play--we'll miss that blessing.

So I'm going to decorate my table with a candy cane centerpiece and wrap garland around my dining room post. But the best news is I said yes to hosting our Sunday School party on Friday night here.

Are you suiting up and getting off the sidelines with not only your writing but life too? I hope so!


Janna Qualman said...

I try, by golly, I try. And I'm not willing to give up!

There's something special about digging through Christmas decorations (we've been doing it, too), and I'm so glad you'll be doing it this year.

Laura said...

I think you were referring to my response about giving up on sending out manuscripts and inquiries. But I have not stopped writing, I am committed to writing on my blog and reaching out to people there. Perhaps I have decided to change the game that I play;instead of softball, I am now playing tennis.

Enjoy your celebration and your decorations.

MichaƩle said...

I'm glad you are decorating this year!!! I think it is important to celebrate among yourself and your husband, even if no one else sees your decorations.

I suit up each and everyday for my life's journey. Most days I play the entire game but most days, its not the game I want to be playing or thought I would be suiting up for. Translation: I give 100 percent to my life because I know that is what God would have me do...bloom where I am planted...but I pray for a different life, different circumstances, while I'm trudging along in the outfield.

PS Thank you for the tip! I haven't tried it yet but will later today!

Angie Ledbetter said...

I'm suiting up for all the games I can. (Bahonkus too big to "ride the pine" -- sit on the bench.) :)

As the old ladies say on the way to the casino, "Can't win if ya don't play!"

Renee Collins said...

I haven't decorated for Christmas in four years! Of course, it's because we've always been traveling back home for the holidays, but still, I miss it. I love putting on good Christmas music, maybe starting a fire, and decorating the house with people I love.

Have fun!

Melissa Marsh said...

I am so glad you're decorating your house for Christmas! You deserve to enjoy the holidays and decorating only reminds us of the true Reason for the Season! :-)

Have fun decorating! My daughter and I decorated our little home last night. It looks so warm and cozy. Now I just need some snow!

Kasie West said...

I would be scared to find out what was in my Christmas bins after three years of not being opened. I'm scared after one year to find if my kids left me any surprises in there from the year before. So any surprises, Terri? :)

As far as sitting on the sidelines, I'd say I'm right in the middle of the game. Thanks for that idea on sending a story to Chicken Soup, I wrote it right away and it is on its way. We'll see if anything happens with it. Either way, it was fun to write and try my hand at something different.

Pat's Place said...

Good for you! You will enjoy the decorations and reminders of the season.

Ann said...

I've decided to embrace the holidays this year, too!