During the Olympics, I read an interview with a coach who said: “I respect the athlete most of all at the start line.” That is, “showing up,” ambitiously putting yourself out there time after time, merits as much respect as audacious results do.
I was thinking of this the other day when my friend Grace, who recently relocated her life to Charleston, wrote on Instagram: “If you are thinking of taking a big chance, or making a big change in your life, but stepping out of your comfort zone scares you…DO IT! A wise person once told me that fear is the only thing that gets smaller as you get closer to it. Run towards the fear.”
I have found that it has become increasingly difficult to make big changes in my life as I get older. I am more entrenched in routines, carry more responsibilities, and have been on this earth long enough to be circumspect about the lure of “ease” in any pursuit. It is harrowing to begin again, to resume the posture of the novitiate, to abandon what’s comfortable. But I sit here and implore myself not to let my age and episodic curmudgeonliness stymie my aspirations.
I have so many friends on the starting blocks right now — awaiting first or second or third babies, starting new careers, easing back into the working world after maternity leave, leaving hometowns, returning to hometowns, contemplating career moves, enduring IVF —
And I just want to say that if you are among them, and waking up in sweats, or throttling yourself through all of the possible permutations of failure ahead, or wondering if you shouldn’t pack up your running shoes —
I respect you, the athlete at the start line.
+This post simultaneously reminds me of this F. Scott Fitzgerald quote — which I have just learned to be an apocryphal attribution?!: “It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.’
+It also reminded me of this quote from Teddy Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming…”
+And on that note: the critics are never quite as loud as you think they are.
+Things must end to begin again.
+This $22 lumbar pillow is amazing.
+If you’re looking for fall-appropriate nap dress-like pieces: consider this Anthro, or check out this new-to-me brand, Neve and Noor: I love this dress and this one, both of which would look amazing with clogs.
+These gingham hair clips are too cute for a little lady.
+Hunter finally released a good milk pink color boot for little ones! This color was so hard to find — I remember searching high and low for it for mini when she was younger. (Look for less with these $22 pairs in great matte pastel colors.)
+Love this corduroy ballcap for Mr. Magpie.
+I am swooning over these personalized wreath sashes!!! Must buy one for my holiday wreath this year!
+Speaking of sweaters, I did buy this chic cardigan and it arrived and it totally consumed me — way too enormous/oversized. The collar was bigger than my head! Wah. I think I may have to downgrade to something a bit more demure in proportion, like this or this.
+Dog bowl goals.
+I’m not normally a beige person, but I super love the details on this rug.
+Speaking of prayer, I still turn to this book of novenas when I have a particular intention in mind.
+This scalloped green baby mat…swoon!!! I would have been all over this!
+Oo this sleeveless turtleneck sweater tunic!
+I have found super simple block typeface stationery extremely helpful over the years for condolences, more serious/professional/formal thank you notes, etc. This one is classic.
+More great affordable personalized stationery options.
+I think I have to buy this needlepoint pillow for my children.
+A perfect tall boot for fall, miraculously on sale.
+S&L-inspired bistro bench for $160.