Do you remember…a long time ago, when I used to write about my feelings and/or thoughts (mostly random) and post it on the blog?
I have gotten away from doing that here — or anywhere else. It’s a rare occasion that I just ‘go off’ on all my random, long winded thoughts/words/ideas. There have been VERY quiet times, over the past few years, in this blog space. Sometimes, it would go so long (with no posts, no pictures, no updates) and Joe would bring it up – I would always say that I just had TOO much to say/share – so I was ‘waiting’ for a time to sit down and DO IT! He said “you don’t always HAVE to write words – you can just post pictures” — eek!!
I am not sure I can actually do that. No words? No explainations? Just a title and pictures. Yeah – no. I am pretty sure I can’t do that.
There have been a few things, over the last few months, that have been weighing heavy on my heart and stolen time in my brain (sometimes during my ‘sleep hours’). Let’s see if I can put the words down – and get it out of my head (at least for a little break).
One of the first is actually: social media. It’s the idea that people create amazing/wonderful lives on social media – in a effort to appear untouched by pain/hurt/hardship. Or to prove their life is better than most. To give the illusion of happiness and joy. Or maybe it’s just to make people feel really jealous. I am not sure if this ‘hype’ still exists – but it’s certainly been on my mind lately.
As you may or may not know, I am a total creeper of my own Instagram pictures, my old Facebook videos of the kids, and scrolling through all the photos on the blog. I wonder if I have, unintentionally, done this very thing that I have internally said was SO ridiculous? I mean, it’s not like I profess my bad days, hurt feelings, exhausted work days, struggles with family & friends, tempter tantrums with kids, or any other super frustrating moments, in my status update regularly (maybe never?) I don’t air ‘dirty laundry’ on social media…..but, I wonder if that creates this false-perfect picture of life? As I scroll through my camera roll, at the 2,000+ current photos, there is SO much joy and fun. It’s not like I pull my phone out and snap a selfie at the moment I have been near tears due to being completely overwhelmed. (There IS a terrible picture of me from the 1/2 marathon though. I looked near death. Felt that way, too)
I am not sure there is a ‘gray/normal’ area when it comes to social media. I actually don’t really care much about the hype of ‘creating a picture perfect world’ – if that is what others are doing. It doesn’t really affect me. I also don’t spend a ton of time comparing my life to all the other ‘perfect’ lives out there. I think it’s been proven many times – but human interaction, face-to-face chats, simple 1:1 time, go A LONG way in relationship building. There is nothing better than getting the opportunity to SEE an old friend and catch up in person. That is when you can REALLY air the dirty laundry – and you can SEE and FEEL their emotions/reactions. Emojis only go so far in conveying reality (I still love them though. Makes me feel like I am getting my point/excitement/frustration across in less key strokes).
In the absence of SEEING all the people I would love to hug and catch up with – I actually think there is something great that social media has provided us. We can reach our ‘networks’ with one post – asking questions, getting advice – we can update our family & friends on what is going on – real time, with still shots AND video clips. I love that part.
Over the last few years, I have seriously considered abandoning social media, all together (even my blog). Especially when I have had many conversations with people that feel like they are completely overwhelmed with everyone else’s business, life interactions, meal choices, political stances, multi-level marketing campaigns, etc. As you can see, I have never followed through with that idea. I always think about it – and work through the concerns – the pros and the cons.
Sure, there are people that annoy me (on social media) for many different reasons. It’s pretty simple though. You don’t have to look at anything they post or read anything they say. It’s all up to me. I am just not willing to shut down the whole thing – because I have family & friends that are so far away. I want them to see pictures (if they want to) of the kids and what we are up to. And I want to see what THEY are doing with their families. Babies are born, birthdays are celebrated, holidays are shared. I love seeing that stuff and feeling like I am a little part in someone’s life (at least staying up-to-date on the latest haircuts, the number of teeth lost and the best amusement park rides for 8 year olds). I will stick with my love of Instagram (for now, anyway). It’s so simple – just pictures. I love it. And Facebook will stay – too many important people on there that I want to stay in touch with while we are apart. No Twitter for me (I don’t get it…at all). And Pinterest is super, duper scary to me (that would be a whole separate post on my ‘craftiness weakness’)..
That brings me to my second topic – probably the ONE that has weighed the most on my heart lately.
I am reminded, nearly everyday, that marriages all over — are fragile. There are people all around me – that are really struggling….and I may have NO idea that there is anything wrong (maybe because their ‘social media life’ looks amazing & happy?). And to be honest, even if I DID know all the details, I am not equipped or educated enough to help 😕
As more and more couples chose to end their marriage (for so many different reasons), I can’t help but be worried! I feel like I ask Joe all the time “are we ok?” – “that’s not going to happen to us, right?”
He always looks at me like I am crazy. Like…WHY in the world would I ask him that? Or think that anything was wrong. I think maybe we are really weird for always talking about this – but with all that is going around in our circles of friends – I don’t want to blindly live life, pretending everything is peachy – and miss something really big. Again, Joe looks at me like I am crazy. Ha ha. (You know the look I am talking about, right? The “Woman, seriously? Where do you come up with this stuff? Look“)
I feel like I have to say it…especially after my 1st rant on social media above. I actually feel like I am living in a fairy tale. And sometimes, I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming. I mean, not that everything is ‘perfect’ – but as Joe says, “our life is pretty much as close to perfect as it can get”. What a sweet thing to say, huh? (And you know he means it, otherwise, he would NOT say it).
I love being married. That is no lie. It’s not an exaggeration. I am not putting on a social media front. What I type, is what you can hear me saying in the bathroom at work, to a co-worker complaining about her husband. You would hear me say it at a family holiday gathering, as I am scolding the boys or changing a poopy diaper. You would hear me say it to Joe, with people around. Even, during tax time…for as much as I DESPISE doing our taxes…I would still profess my love of being a wife. (And yes, in case you are wondering – we DO have things that drive us BONKERS with each other. That is a list/post for another time…but I swear, we are somewhat ‘normal’)
We have friends that are getting divorced. Quite a number of them very recently. Different things going on, and I certainly do NOT know all the details. But I always wonder what went wrong? I think about the time Joe & I were engaged, planning our wedding. I remember our wedding day like it was just last week. I am sure nearly everyone else felt those feelings during those times, and on that BIG day, right?
So, what went wrong? How can I prevent it…the unknown evil that crushes marriages? The boys are more aware of divorce and have asked us if we would ever get divorced. They have friends who’s parents are getting divorced or are already living separate lives. They know my parents (their grandparents) are divorced and they have asked why that happened.
In all this, I have to keep my focus. I have to stick to what I know and what I can control. I can ALWAYS work on my marriage. Continuous improvement. Joe would say (and does say) “I am perfectly happy. We get along great. I have no problems with marriage” It’s very black or white for guys, I think (not that I disagree with him). But, I am always thinking of ways to make things better. Do a marriage devotional/study. Read articles on marriages (the good and the bad). Ask friends for advice/ideas. Take a class together or plan some kind of a retreat. Book a sitter and have a date night (our beloved 1:1 time together….where I drag Joe around a store to shop for the kids — probably NOT the best way to improve a marriage, huh?? 😳) Watch other couples interact with each other – and then talk to each other about what we like & can’t stand. Find married couples that have YEARS on us – I am talking 30, 40, 50+ years of marriage – and pick their brain & their experiences for ‘what works’.
I can TELL Joe that I love him and I love being married. (And he is probably tired of hearing this– but I can keep beggimg him to marry me, again). I can THANK him. For anything & everything. I can do nice things, whenever I want — like: bring home an Almond Joy for him from the candy bin at work or send him out for a beer with a friend. The list goes on…and on. The possibilities really are endless, right?
It’s true. I am worried about ‘marriage’. It’s getting a pretty dim reputation these days….or maybe it’s just as it’s always been, but I am in a ‘circle of unhappy fiends, getting separated/divorced – rut’? Or maybe the fact that BOTH of my sisters are engaged now and both are planning weddings — has got me thinking even more.
There isn’t much I can do about everyone else (although, I try and I pray and I ask), but I CAN do something for me, for Joe, for our kids and for our marriage. I can keep my eyes open, and LISTEN to what happening around us and try to learn from it. I will not turn a cheek on the ‘hard stuff’. I can be INCREDIBLY thankful for….literally, everything. I can stay on the ‘home team cheer squad’ when it comes to marriage. I can keep trying and not take ‘time’ for granted.
Well, there you go. Waaaaay more WORDS than anyone has time for, huh? If you made it this far, you definitely deserve a hug from me — and you are officially, inside my head. See, I have a LOT to say. It took me 3 nights to get this out….and I could keep going with random topics & thoughts….but I am begging myself to shut up – I can only imagine what you are saying! 😳
I will get back to ‘kid-picture-posts’ ASAP! 😀