I’ve found myself staring longingly at facebook and other social media this summer along with the dozens of blogs I subscribe to via feedly and bloglovin and I’ve determined one thing:
we’re making life look too pretty for our kids
We post these beautiful photos of food, scenery, family, and our vacations but never the stack of dirty dishes, crying children, the photo where our finger was in the field of the photo, or the 2847 hours it took to plan, book, and organize for the ‘perfect’ vacation.
As I’ve gone on my own journey this summer, I’ve had to stop looking so longingly at these photos and put things into perspective.Behind that beautiful peach cobbler is a stack of pits, containers of ingredients, and likely some food props. Behind the scenery is probably some jerk who littered, behind those family photos are probably some tears (we won’t know from who-the parents orthe kids or both), and behind that vacation photo set is a large headache as someone planned it trying to offer their family a maximum experience in only a few short days. I’m not trying to rain on everyone’s parade, but I see larger implications for our future.
I’m an “adult.” I use the ” because I’m mostly fully formed but always a work in progress. I can think about that perfect situation, like a wedding, and know that it took an army of people to get that bride and groom or bride and bride or groom and groom down that aisle and onto their life. It did not happen in the ‘best 100 photos’ that they purchased from a photography service. If we don’t like it, we simply delete it, but that’s not how life works. We make mistakes, big and small, and instead of erasing it from our mind-we have to deal with it in order to grow.
I found myself super tired last week after personal and professional obligations had me burning life at both ends and last night: I crashed. I wanted nothing more than to veg out on my couch, watch some Netflix, and talk to my dad on the phone, since I’d been too busy to do it all week.
And then, I checked my phone. I’d been ‘invited’ to an event on facebook. I liked the people hosting it, it looked fun, and I knew I’d probably have a good time.
But I didn’t go.
I was just too pooped.
I’m taking the time to write this post and share it because I think our culture has trained us and more importantly, our children, that unless something is always perfect, fun, or shiny- it’s not worth sharing. We’ve been conditioned to always feel like we need to live a life competing against the “jones” but they’ve gone from our neighbors next door to 1,000 friends, connections, and otherwise virtual humans. Every time I log into a social media outlet, I see people having fun (which is great) and when I see someone who’s having a bad day, I don’t want to see it. It’s happened to me too! I’m so guilty!
This busy week I’m referring to involved doing something really unpleasant, I had to get police involved, and it’s not something that I would deem ‘fridge worthy’ for the public to see, but it is part of my life and it did happen.
As bloggers and humans, it’s ok to share some of the ‘messy stuff’ from time-to-time as long as it doesn’t violate your personal/private space. People who read you will appreciate it because it probably happened to more than half of your audience due to this thing I call “being human” which none of us seem to have the ability to escape. If we choose our words carefully, others can learn and grow.
I’ll still be posting photos, recipes, and the like, but I might take a post a month and discuss things that DON’T make for the perfect pie because let’s face it:
it’s the messy stuff that makes a life too.
ps: all the photos are of my ‘life’ AKA: my mostly organized but somewhat disorganized house–my unmade bed, my tools, and my closet–the photos are mostly blurry, poor quality and not that great, but they show me one thing: LIFE!