Fence sitting

Have you ever sat on a fence? Maybe in a paddock, or as a child chatting to a neighbourhood friend, or waiting for the school bus.

It’s nice sitting there, higher than everyone else, able to see what’s going on with a 360 degree view, watching what’s happening on either side. As a kid, I remember feeling cool because I was sitting on the fence.

Have you ever noticed though, how sitting on a fence for too long gives you a numb bum? So you shuffle about, trying to find a more comfortable position without much success. Eventually, you jump down, pretending, of course, that jumping down was exactly what you meant to do at that exact time, and had nothing at all to do with how uncomfortable it had become.

You can guess where I’m going with this, can’t you? 😉

All the above applies to sitting on the fence metaphorically, too.

We feel somehow better about ourselves because we’re not taking sides. We’re impartial, we like to tell ourselves. In reality, we are enjoying a small (or large!) sense of superiority when we refuse to align with one side or the other. It can be handy to sit on the fence for a bit, assess the situation going on, on either side, but really, all we can do is watch. Oh sure, we can yell out comments, pass judgement, criticise peoples actions, but we can’t actually DO anything. We are ineffectual while we are sitting on the fence.

Once we make a decision, jump down and plant our feet on the ground, we can really make a difference. We can ‘get amongst it’, as young people are wont to say at the moment :).

Are you sitting on the fence about an issue that you really need to make a decision about? Don’t wait for your proverbial bum to get numb! Jump off and start making a difference 🙂

4 thoughts on “Fence sitting

  1. Usually, when I find myself sitting on a fence, it’s because I’m investigating and trying to find out which way is the right way, or at least the right way for me. And no, the numb bums of my childhood were no fun.


  2. Susannah, I’ll never metaphorically sit on the fence again without thinking about a “numb bum.” To answer your question – yes, I’ve been sitting here for a while. It’s about my writing … always about my writing. Sometimes it takes a song or a quote or a phrase to talk me down from the fence and move me forward. Numb bum might just do it. Thanks, my friend.


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