Why is it so difficult to both count your blessings and be “real” about life? While I wholeheartedly believe it’s important to be grateful for what one has, I also believe there are times when it may be equally as important to acknowledge the stages and seasons we all go through, even the unhappy and trying ones.
My husband and I grumble about this pretty frequently when discussing one particular set of “couple friends.” For this family, everything is always perfect. Now, this is a very Christ-centered family, so I understand they are simply trying to express their gratitude for all they have (for what it’s worth, my NY’s resolution was to put a little Phil. 4:11 in my life). But I often wonder what kind of help they could be to other families if they would simply acknowledge life’s little (or big) imperfections? For instance, when my husband and I ask them questions about life experiences they’ve had and we haven’t, it could probably do us a lot of good to hear an in-depth “real” answer instead of “it’s all good!” Or maybe for this family things really are all good?
I’m thinking of this today both because of the blog post going around—Stop Instagramming Your Perfect Life—and because today is a root canal day.
I woke up to a beautifully clear sky. As I poured my coffee, I took in the view of the Bay and the San Francisco skyline that I am blessed enough to have in not only my living room, but in my playroom and breakfast nook as well. I also woke to Rachel screaming bloody murder at the top of her lungs.
This was not a real scream, but instead the scream she uses when she wants “Mama, not Daddy,” to get her out of bed in the morning. The second I walk through her door, she immediately smiles and says “good morning!” But nonetheless, it is very difficult to wake up to, especially when the baby is still soundly sleeping across the hall from her, and her screams could wake him at any second.
Then I check my husband’s schedule: he’s gone today from 9:15am to 9:15pm, which means another night of putting two little ones to bed solo.
And I’m sick. After a full month+ of the baby having RSV and being stuck in the house because of that, I get hit by the cold of all colds and can’t even go out and enjoy the sunshine. At least we were all healthy for Easter… If I didn’t know better, I would swear it was the egg hunt in the rain that did me in.
So I’m grumpy. And snappy. And ticked off that my world is less than perfect and especially that I couldn’t enjoy my coffee in peace, but instead had to cut yarn into a million pieces so that Rachel could decorate for Unicorn’s birthday (again).
Yesterday morning I didn’t feel this way. In fact, my oldest son had a life victory over something we’ve been worried about for 6 months. It was a glorious time of thankfulness and rejoicing. I was on a high I thought would last for days—it lasted until roughly 2pm, at which point my living room was “decorated” with toilet paper, my daughter was yelling at the dog from her undies-only position atop the dining room table, and my husband was still feeling frustrated by his job situation.
How can I put all that on FB? And should I? Probably not. Although it isn’t the 140-characters-or-less world of Twitter, it’s definitely not the place to bemoan all my first-world problems for close friends and old co-workers alike to take in. But there is (or should be) a place for it. Why? I guess it’s because I feel a mom duty to express mom truths to counter the Instagram/Facebook perfection myth. Also, it feels really good to take a break and write down the thoughts in my head, although I’m still terrible at journaling (too much pressure). And although I would much rather count my blessings, sometimes it’s a blessing to others to hear the nitty-gritty, Unicorn-party truth, so that they can think how lucky they are that their living room isn’t covered in toilet paper.