Airing My Clean Laundry (aka…Stop Comparing your Behind the Scenes with their Highlight Reel!)
(One of my favorite posts from my original blog. First posted 11/5/14)
So, I’ve been collecting pictures for months for this particular blog post. Some time around Christmas, a friend told me she wasn't going on Facebook anymore because seeing everyone else’s perfect kids and perfect husbands and Pinterest-worthy one-year-old birthday parties and Hawaiian vacations, etc., etc., was making her feel bad about her life.
I thought, but you know that’s just people’s highlight reel, right? It’s not their every day. It’s where they post the things they are happy about, excited for...you know...the highlights.
Then, I remembered when I posted some family pictures (I actually don’t post many pictures of my kids. Not because I’m against it or anything. No, I just forget to take them). So we hired an incredible photographer (shameless plug here for Sj Bridgeman) to take some family photos and I shared some of them on Facebook...mostly so extended family could have access to them. (Because you know, I'm probably never going to actually get around to having prints made. Yeah, it's been on my ToDo list for six months.) And also, cuz it’s probably the only time I’ve ever looked half decent in my photos.
When I posted this pic…
… a sweet young friend commented that she hopes she and her baby girl have a relationship like me and my daughter. I remember looking at that comment and actually laughing out loud. Not because it’s not a sweet sentiment. It is. And not because I don’t want her and her little one to have a great relationship. I do. But because the assumption appeared to be, because we look happy in the photo, that we have a great relationship.
Um...I can say now, that we really do, but that's very recent. After nineteen years, we are finally starting to get each other. But at the time, we were really struggling to like each other. And being her mom has always been hard … because she’s amazingly smart and strong-willed.
These days, I couldn’t be more proud of the young lady she’s become. As a matter of fact, yesterday was probably one of my favorite days ever, with her. I think she's pretty brilliant. But she will tell you, there were times we didn’t know if she would make it out of childhood alive! (Settle down...it’s hyperbole. I wouldn’t actually have killed her. On purpose.)
Anywho … it struck me then, as it did again when my friend went on her Facebook fast, that so many people are comparing other people’s Highlight-Reel with their own Behind-the-Scenes.
Friends, that doesn’t work. Stop doing it.
It’s unhealthy for you and for those around you. You’ve probably heard it said, “Comparison is the death of contentment.” That’s true. And that’s when you’re comparing apples to apples. But this comparing your life to what you see online? That’s not even apples to oranges. It’s like apples to monkeys.
Most people don’t post the bad stuff on Facebook. Cuz that would just be weird:
“Here’s the picture of Tommy writhing on the floor after his brother kicked him in the balls.”
“Oh, and here’s a great one of my teenager giving me the finger.”
“And this one...can’t forget this one. Little Suzy had just puked and decided to rest her head on the toilet. So sweet.”
“And this is a selfie of me, giving my husband the silent treatment cuz I’m pissed at him.”
People! All this stuff is happening to other people, too. It’s just not socially acceptable to share it. So settle down. Relax. You’re not the only one who's a hot mess.
As a matter of fact, as I said, I’ve been trying to remember to take pics for months for this blog post. I was looking for behind-the-scenes kinds of moments. I got several.
And then I forgot about it. Cuz I do that. A lot.
But this morning, I saw a blog post about this exact thing!! I mean...exactly what I wanted to talk about. She even used the word "highlight reel" (this is the second time this week that I've been pretty sure someone has been spying on my brain.)
At first, I thought … Dang! Now I can’t write my post!
But then I remembered I’m not comparing myself to anyone else so I can write about it, too. I stopped reading immediately, and got down to business, writing what I've been wanting to write.
I wanted to let you know, if you ever feel like you can't get your shit together, feel free to send me an email. I can list so many things that I fail at. I'll be happy to give you a list so you can feel better. Actually, I wrote a post listing all my faults. I can try to dig that up for you. ;)
And to make you feel even better, here’s a fun story. Just this weekend, I broke Nine’s little heart when I got him to the baseball field at 7:30 pm for his 8 pm game … that actually started at … 6pm.
“But I was supposed to be the starting pitcher and I was going to get to play first base and shortstop!” (I heard that sentence over and over and over for the next two days.)
I felt HORRIBLE. Seriously, wanted to throw up cuz I felt so bad. But, it happens. I had to let it go. (I even sang the song to myself. Really. "Let it go...let it go...")
So, now, for your viewing pleasure...I have some Behind-the-Scenes family pics for ya. Enjoy! (and I really did take a pic of my youngest, sitting on the bathroom floor, just after he threw up. But, I can't find it. So you (and he) have been spared :))
The contents of my linen closet. Pretty much how they looked when they were still in the closet. (At least it's clean.) I still can't fold a fitted sheet!
Fighting. Even if this started out as fun, you know there was screaming within seconds...
This was a fun day. When Twelve broke his arm the day before basketball season started. It was awesome:
This one has a story. This is a picture of my very favorite tea cup. My friend, Marissa, knew I loved this little tea cup so one day, she stopped by and gave me a matching one. I was thrilled. So, I took it to the sink to wash it, and proceeded to drop it. CRASH! I don't think my friend was even out of the driveway yet. FAIL!
What my dining room table looks like, much of the time:
I was the one who applied the sunscreen. (or didn't):
What happens any time I don't use a timer. Take that, Pinterest:
And last, but certainly not least, this picture was taken ...
IN FEBRUARY!!! Bam!
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