I know that it’s become sort of fashionable to bemoan the way social media is ruining our society, but honestly, I love social media. (Okay, I don’t “get” twitter, can’t be bothered with Linked In, but… I’m a Facebook addict, and I’m feeling the Pinterest love, too.) The biggest problem I do see with it is the fact that it fuels the whole idea that the grass really is greener. It’s easy to convince yourself that you are the only one who struggles. It’s easy to look at everyone else’s photo albums and think how bad your life looks in comparison and to forget that what you are seeing is CURATED.
Seriously, it’s not that these things aren’t real. They are real, and that’s part of the insidiousness of it all. You know everything I post here is real. (And I am using myself as an example because I am not trying to criticize anyone else, and not out of any illusion that you should, for some reason, be jealous of how I have it all together. Particularly since I tell on myself often enough that I’m not about to pretend that I believe that.)
I’m a real person, this is my real family, these are real, crappy cell phone photos of food I actually prepared and we really ate or of us really doing the goofy things that we really do. And I’m showing you REAL photos of my REAL progress. But do I choose to show you a photo of me realizing that my tee shirt is too short in the middle of kickboxing, or of me coming in from the rain with wet pant legs, feeling sorry for myself? NO, of course not. And it’s not because I’m trying to pretend that my life is perfect and those moments don’t exist. It’s because, like you, I don’t enjoy those moments and I’d prefer they go away as quickly as possible. There is nothing wrong with this. It’s just that we all need to agree to regard the internet as a visit to the Museum of Us, filled with selected items we want to preserve. It’s not a bus trip through real life. That’s also why it’s so important to leave sometimes. Because museums are fun, but they are no place to live.
In some ways this is nothing new. Picture June Cleaver running the vacuum cleaner in heels and pearls. And… there we are. There is a reason the Stepford Wives were robots. (Spoiler, sorry.) Because being a real person is messy. There are things you are good at and things you are not so good at. You require inspiration. Balance between passion and necessity is not easy.
So let’s all love Pinterest in a little corner of our world, and keep it where it belongs. Don’t let it creep out of that corner and make you think your storage closet needs perfectly aligned bins with decorative labels made of scrapbook paper. (No, I’m not making that up. I contemplated that detour into frou-frou overload for about 11 seconds and then I pulled myself back from the brink.) If that’s your THING, then… well, go you, but it’s not for me. Labelled cardboard boxes from the recycling bin will work just fine. In some ways, the more we try to pretty things up, the more bland and boring they become. We are robbing our children of the charm of going through old boxes dated in Grandma’s not-so-perfect handwriting and discovering treasures. Much like the men of Stepford robbed themselves of the joy of having their wives surprise them by being so much more amazing than a cleaning service with pretty hair.
Join me on this bus trip. We’ll stop at coffee shops (that aren’t part of a chain); we’ll write post cards. We will lose things and be elated to find them again. We will triumph over bad habits and we will have crazy jokes about that one time when something ridiculous happened. We will meet people and tell stories. We will grow old and wear red and purple together. We will have quirks and get on each others’ nerves, and WE WILL LIVE. We will love. We will sing, even if we don’t do it very well. We’ll try new things. We will remember that as much as others annoy us is how much we sometimes annoy others. We will teach our kids to know the words to things, and we will somehow rub along together very well. And we will all be stronger. Yes, we can!
Monday Progress Report
I have now completed three weeks of the 10 lb slimdown xtreme. In some ways, I am not surprised because this is part of how things are supposed to progress, but in other ways I am amazed at how quickly I worked my way up to having this feel normal. Yes, we can! If you’re not ready for “Xtreme,” find a 10 minute total body routine you like and start working it into your day. If that’s too much, find a 10 minute Yoga routine. Or go for a walk. I’m not trying to boss you around, but I know you can do it. I believe in you!
The scale has moved: -16 lbs
The inches have changed: -17.25 inches
I feel: like wearing purple.
I’ve walked: 93.87 miles and counting!