“Just show up.” In the parenting world, there’s recently been a lot of talk about showing up, about how sometimes, that’s all that matters, the act of being there, of coming, of being present where you’re needed. How sometimes, the rest will happen on its own, as long as you just show up.
I’ve thought about that a lot in the last few months. I’ve thought about it as I tear myself away from my computer to stand by my husband outside the school gates at the end of the day. He could go on his own. I could go on mine. But we’re showing up.
I’ve thought about it when I go in to kiss my girls good night and feel crushed by the thought of the million ways I could have been more present during the day. I shut down that train of thought and show up in that moment. Those three minutes when a few tender words of love and support are exchanged.
I’ve thought about it on nights when I haven’t read the book club book and wonder if maybe I should just skip it this month. Or when a girl friend texts to say she wants/needs to meet for coffee.
A million times it would be easier to stay put, miss out, not go. A million times I choose to not overthink it and just show up. A million times I’m grateful I did.
There’s another phrase that pops up in my Pinterest feed distressingly often, proving just how much it must resonate with others. “Live, don’t just exist.” How many others sit there and stare at that phrase, wondering if they’re living enough or if they’re just going through the motions? How many feel exhausted by the mere thought?
But here’s the thought that hit me today as I was driving home from a meeting so dull I swear the dust motes in the room all left in protest. It’s not about doing more, it’s about doing it all with intent.
It’s about showing up and doing the dishes and the laundry.
It’s about showing up to pack the lunches and check the homework.
It’s about showing up to get the groceries and put them away.
It’s about showing up and making the beds and walking the dog.
It’s about showing up at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It’s about showing up and doing the work your family needs you to do.
It’s about showing up and listening and then saying what needs to be heard.
It’s about showing up again and again and again, even when you’re bone tired and don’t remember why you’re doing it all in the first place.
And it’s about doing it all with intent. Choosing to show up.
It’s about realizing that not everyone does, and that the fact that you do is a choice that you make every single time you do what you do.
It’s incredibly easy to meander through life without ever really making any conscious choices. When you show up with intent to your every day life, you’re not existing, you’re living. And even if it doesn’t look any different to any observer, the difference you feel inside is all that matters.
Show up. Be intentional. Live your life. You only get the one.
I’ve written a lot of posts sharing my truths. You can find them all here: