When are you going to settle?

When are you going to settle?

The question was recently asked…

‘Is Jane settling in to being at home full time now?’

What’s that you say? Does this person know me at all? Why yes! Do they know about the blog? Never mentioned but yes, yes and yes I can hear you laughing from here.

Why would someone ask that of me? Why indeed. What does it mean anyway do you think? To settle…

I always think it means to accept less, to give up, retire from your life in a sense. I think it’s an ugly negative word like guilt, jealousy or death.

Do you remember the Laura Ingalls Wilder books? Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, By the Shores of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake to name a few…or did you think it was just a programme on tv? I loved those books so much. I still do.

Little House

The true story of a frontier family. Every time a place became too ‘settled’ they’d load up the wagon and be gone again. Always moving west across incredible terrain.

If I’d lived at that time that would have been me.

While ma’s ‘children should be seen and not heard’ ways are not relatable today Laura’s pioneering spirit very like that of her pa shines through.

Charles Ingalls. Original artwork by Garth Williams
Charles Ingalls, probably one of the best dads ever written. Original artwork by Garth Williams

Charles Ingalls

And while I don’t hanker for the primitive nature of this life the deep family love and devotion, Laura’s descriptions of the landscape and their self sufficiency from building each new home to growing, trapping, curing and making everything they need is inspiring to me.

Above all it’s the restlessness of Pa and Laura that I love. Their inability to settle

Original artwork by Garth Williams

I don’t need to move and keep moving in the geographical sense. I just think the spirit that makes one person do that and keeps anyone from ‘settling‘ is the same.

I don’t think anyone should ever ‘settle’.

We should all keep moving.

So what’s your view? I’d love to hear what you think : )

5 thoughts on “When are you going to settle?”

  • Oh, I love this post, maybe it is just the mere mention of those books, which I ADORED!!! And still do! I never thought about it and the negative connotation around the word “settle”, and I see exactly where you are coming from. I don’t think “settling” is healthy: we need to keep moving; being content in where we are right now, but never to settle for less than your highest dream, and to always have greater things to move towards. Loved looking at the old illustrations, I must root out those books and re-read them again 🙂

    • Thank you Emily : ) They never get old do they? I always read the Christmas chapter here- can’t remember which of the books it’s in but it’s the one when they think Santy won’t get to them because of the flood : )

  • What a beautiful post Jane. I never thought of “settle” in a negative way. I’ve always thought of it as a comfortable, cosy & safe word, meaning to rest. They used to call an old fashioned farmhouse bench, a settle. I like to picture those farmers & their wives earning a rest at night on their settle nursing their mugs of tea.

    My favourite books as a child were the Anne of Green Gables books, poor orphaned Anne with an E dying to stay with Marilla & Matthew at Green Gables and stop being passed around awful families. She just wanted to be settled.

    Settle, to me, means still having the possibility
    of moving again, Like tumble weed, not as permanent as stopping, just taking a rest.

    Another brilliant post on your blog, which certainly gave me something to think about! 😉

  • I understand your feathers being ruffled as mine would be too if I heard that word. I like to think I’ve settled into my role and am recreating a new definition of Mammy.
    And you are dear with your love of little girl memories. Something I’ll be reawakenig as Fiona grows.

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