This was not the post I was supposed to write. Today’s post was supposed to be an inspiring collection of charming and poignant photographs telling the triumphant-yet-funny story of my harrowing Highlander 3 Mud Run saga over the weekend. In my mind I had it all planned out; all I needed was the pictures. Oh, and to actually participate in the run.
But it was not to be. I’l spare you the details of my excuses because at the end of the day, there is only one reason I dropped out: I am a big fat chicken.
The ups and downs of this thing called “blogging” never cease to amaze me. One moment I am feeling on top of the world, like things are going great and I’ve got it all under control. Things are scheduled on time, the creativity is flowing, & I’ve got plenty to write about. The next minute someone or something throws me for a loop, life gets all hectic and crazy, and all my insecurities get the best of me.
Part of the problem with putting it all out there is that there are some moments where I feel entirely too exposed and it is then difficult to retreat because it feels like there is no place to hide. There are also many moments where I feel that I have presented only a Pollyanna version of my life, and that feels inauthentic too. Let me assure you that my life is not perfect. My children are not perfect. Our days do not always go smoothly.
So in the interest of keeping it real, I have a few confessions to make:
I can be terribly insecure
There, I said it. And now that I’ve admitted it, I’m feeling a little self conscious. What will you think of me? The truth is that while I shouldn’t care what y’all think of me, I do. I pour my heart and soul into what I write and what I do, and often the only measure I have of whether it was liked is the feedback I get. While I know I shouldn’t measure my self-worth in the number of blog comments I receive, I admit that sometimes I do.
But I can be insecure even without the help of others. I spend too much time comparing myself to the bloggers around me, to women who are better mothers, better home-schoolers, better cooks, better crafters, better bloggers, better Christians, better people. I think it is important to have role models, people who inspire you to stretch and grow and to do more and to be more, and much of the time, that is what happens. But I also have days where it really feels like everyone has it together except me.
My children do not always look as cute as they do in pictures
We spend most of our time at home, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t have the time or energy to bother fighting with the girls over what they will wear. And believe me, on the days we don’t stay in our pajamas all day, they come up with some very creative and interesting–and not really in a cute way–ensembles. Half the time the little one runs around with nothing on at all, and there are often days where I forget to brush their hair or wipe the breakfast residue off their face.
I still fight with my husband
Just because we don’t fight as much about money doesn’t mean we don’t fight at all. My husband and I are both two very opinionated and strong-willed people with different ideas about many things. Conflict is inevitable, especially when we both hate to admit we are wrong. When we butt heads, we really butt heads, and it really ain’t pretty. At the end of the day, though, he is the butter to my bread and the love of my life.
I do NOT have this whole homeschool thing figured out yet. Not even close.
Lest you have some misguided impression that our days are always well structured and productive, filled with crafts and learning and quality time, let me just shatter that myth. Homeschooling is hard. I love it, I have very clear reasons for why we are doing it, but it is hard. It is especially hard for someone like me who constantly has about 40 projects I want to be working on. I have yet to start our homeschool day before 10am, and often it is closer to 11 or noon. I struggle with teaching math, even thought it is only first grade and shouldn’t intimidate me. I struggle with figuring out how to juggle the needs of a 3 year old with that of a 6 year old, struggle with the conflict of wanting to push her and wanting to let her just be a kid.
I have been trying to lose the same 10 pounds for the last year. Or maybe two.
Seriously, what is UP with that? How hard can it be to lose TEN FREAKIN’ POUNDS? Half my clothes don’t fit, which is just annoying and to make matters worse I have to see myself on TV twice a month and it never fails to make me cringe. I know I really shouldn’t be so vain, that I should just accept myself where I am, tummy rolls, muffin top, & all, but I’m not quite ready to give up. AND yet I obviously have NO willpower whatsoever, because the minute I lose a few pounds, I immediately start eating like I have never seen food before and gain it all back. So frustrating.
I spend too much time on the computer
Between Pinterest, Facebook, email, blog-writing, & editing photographs, I could probably be on the computer 24 hours a day and still not be “done.” It really is an endless time suck. As much as I try to limit myself, that type-A driven part of my personality often gets caught up in needing to do just “one more thing.” I sold two of my sites so I wouldn’t spend so much time on the computer, but then got so excited at the prospect of having more time for this site that nothing changed. Lord help me find a balance soon!
I want another baby so bad it hurts
This really doesn’t have anything to do with blogging except that despite everything else I do, that ache is always there in the background. Perhaps now that I’ve finally said it out loud my heart can heal and I can move on. My husband and I are not on the same page when it comes to this subject–the major pitfall of a nearly 20 year age gap–and it has been a source of serious tension more than once. I love kids, love babies, love, love, LOVE being a mom. I would fill my house with a dozen of them if I could. I honestly don’t care if I birth them or adopt them, I just want more. Husband thinks, at 53, he is too old to start again. And honestly, he might be right, but that doesn’t stop the longing.
So there you have it.
I apologize if it sounded like a whine fest, because it wasn’t meant to be. I don’t feel sorry for myself, and this post wasn’t meant to illicit sympathy, but to clear up any misperception that I’ve got it all together all the time, lest I ever make someone else feel inadequate. Because I don’t. Not even close. And quite frankly, no one does. As my friend Melissa so wisely told me one time, “Everyone has the same 24 hours.”
But here’s the thing: the reason most of my posts are so positive, so happy and upbeat and yes, sometimes Pollyana-ish, is that despite the things that are going wrong in my life at any given moment, I like focusing on the positive, the good, the pretty, the creative. the JOY in life instead of the pitfalls and disappointments. I have been to the dark side, have wallowed in it and let it consume me and swallow me up, and I don’t ever want to go back.
So I will acknowledge and accept my imperfections. I will continue to strive to be better. And I will pray for wisdom and thank God for his Grace, remembering always that life without the bitter wouldn’t be nearly as sweet.
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