I stopped blogging for a long time, and even before I stopped, I went from frequent blogging to sporadic to not at all. A big reason for this was that I began to feel like blogging had turned into some adult version of show-n-tell. Suddenly, I didn’t need to flip through magazines filled with pages of beautiful people in beautiful homes living beautiful “perfect” lives to feel inadequate – all I had to do was read blogs. Blogging – where we get to share the good, good and good of our day but none of the bad or ugly. I felt by reading and participating and having a blog of my own all I was doing was contributing to this growing phenomenon of moms who stay home and blog and make other moms who read blogs feel bad about themselves. Of course, this was never the intention of my blogging. I didn’t share my life and journey, projects and wonderful times with my kids and the transformation of my home to make anyone feel less than. I actually hoped the opposite – that by sharing this simple little life of ours and what we’ve made with very little, I could show that life doesn’t have to be all about big houses and lots of money and beautiful people. That life can be beautiful despite (and maybe because of) not having a lot of any of the above.
But the feelings continued to grow inside me – I’d hear comments and feel resentment or judging and instead of keeping doing what was me and being true to myself, I quit. I silenced my voice and stopped sharing. And you know what happened? I became unhappy. Sharing the good stuff, the beautiful little slivers of everyday and seeing in front of me on my blog screen that life really is pretty good even when it’s not is what helped me through 6 long years of renovating a home with 2 little kids under foot, a husband struggling with depression, and the ups and downs of everyday life. I realized that sharing was my way of letting myself reflect on and appreciate what was good each day. Without that, I dwelled more on the negative than I would’ve liked.
I am not perfect, my life is not perfect, my kids are not perfect, my marriage is not perfect, my home is not perfect, my job is not perfect.
I have frizzy hair and coffee splattered on me today. I judge people and say mean things about people. I forget to call friends back. I yell at my kids. There are cobwebs around my house. My husband and I argue and many days I don’t like him, but I always love him. I don’t appreciate him as much as I should. I am ungrateful and selfish. I am a walking contradiction. I sometimes put my kids to bed early just so I can lay on my couch and drink wine and check out. I can’t do a graceful cartwheel. I yell at other drivers. My kids fight and talk back. I burn dinner sometimes. I see things other people have and am jealous. I let myself believe that everyone else is happier than I am and has it all together. I make mistakes – a lot of them. I am clumsy. I talk too much. I never know what to say when someone needs me to say something uplifting or helpful. I stumble over my words and think of something later and am much better at writing things down than speaking. I have stolen, I have lied, I have hurt people who never deserved it.
This is why it is hard for me to put forth one version of me online while there is this other bad version of me. The version of me that is more than worthy of hiding from the world. But by celebrating the good parts of myself, my family, my life – I am reminded that there is more to me than those things and so I can go on and work through another day, trying to be better than before. I don’t want anyone to ever have the impression of me that I always look put together, that I am always nice, that I never do bad things, that I have it all figured out. I am learning each and every day that we all struggle with these things when we see other people’s lives. Is it just what we do – stuff down the bad stuff and put on a happy face? At least focusing on the happy face and the good stuff at the end of each day reminds that in the middle of all the bad, imperfect parts of me and my life, there is good to celebrate. The moments when the kids are happy and kind, the moments that I don’t burn dinner and look nice doing it, when I choose grace instead of nagging my husband, when I found the good.
By sharing my happy I found happy again.