Just Airing My Clean Laundry

[originally posted this in May 2014. Someone mentioned it to me this week and it made me laugh when I looked back at it. Hope you enjoy the pics at the end ;)]

(Alternate Title: Stop Comparing your Behind-the-Scenes with everyone else’s Highlight Reel!)

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…

photo

 

… 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.

At this moment, 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 orangutangs monkeys. (That word just looked strange.)

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 post by one of my favorite bloggers, Kristen Howerton, and it was 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, so I wouldn’t be tempted to compare her awesomeness with my awesomeness (haha). 😉 Now I’ll have to go back and finish reading her post. And I’ll even link you to it…cuz even the small part I’ve already read, is awesome: “I’ve Got Your Lifestyle Blog Right Here.

So, 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. (When I first wrote that, I wrote ‘shizzle.’ Then I deleted that and wrote ‘s#%t.’ Then I decided that was dumb and I used the real word…cuz it works.) 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 already did. Here’s a blog post I wrote about it.

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.

Crap.

“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.)

 

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.)
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!

 

Even if this started out as fun, you know there was screaming within seconds... Fighting. Even if this started out as fun, you know there was screaming within seconds...
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, most of the time.

 

I was the one who applied the sunscreen. (or didn't)
I was the one who applied the sunscreen. (or didn’t)

 

What happens any time I don't use a timer. Take that, Pinterest!
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!!!
IN FEBRUARY!!! Bam!
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It’s all Good

My dear friends,

So I’m going to give a little clarification for yesterday’s Honest Post. I am truly okay. While I shared with you the empty, dry place I’m in, I should tell you that I see it as a good thing. Because I recognize that I need to allow God to heal the broken parts of me and I’m ready for that. I haven’t been. I’ve been in a place where I didn’t know what to feel. A place where I didn’t feel free to share what I was going through and that made me feel like I was trapped and not being real. And you probably know me well enough to know that I hate not real.

When I wrote that prayer in my journal yesterday I just had an overwhelming urge to share it with you all. And I’m glad I did. Because my heart for this blog is to be an encouragement for people…even when I’m not having a great day…or week…or year. Here’s the first of many comments and emails that came in:

“Rebekah your honesty is what keeps me reading your posts. I love how you just put it all out there. Also you may not know this but most of your posts I feel like are God using you to speak to me. So thank you for being God’s instrument in my life.”

I’m willing to be honest and vulnerable because I’ve learned that if I’m going through something, someone else can probably relate and may just need to hear they are not alone. So, if you are one of the people who said I struck a chord with you, stay in touch. Let me know how you’re doing. And I promise I’ll do the same here. I know God has great things in store and I can’t wait to tell you what he’s teaching me.

I appreciate all of you who have told me you’re praying for me. I’ll take that! But I also don’t want you to worry about me. I’m on my way back. I promise. It’s all good.

Photo credit: GreenLakeBlue Photography on Creative Commons

 

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