OK, we all know them: Those people online whose blogs, tweets, pins and posts we follow for fun or inspiration. Complete strangers who feel like friends…they’re fashionable or healthy or wise, or maybe they live on a farm surrounded by chickens, green grass and fresh air. Maybe they travel to exotic places like Egypt or Paris, or are entrepreneurs growing a business from the ground up. Whoever they are, we follow them, in hopes that they’re online escapades will somehow inspire or entertain us, in one way or another.
And then one day – the stories and photos creep into your subconscious, bringing you fear and doubt, shame and disappointment. You find yourself comparing yourself to them, your life to theirs, your children to their children. Your house isn’t as clean, your clothes aren’t as new, and the dinner you just made your family isn’t as fresh. You don’t change out your living room drapes every season and you don’t lead craft projects at the dining room table. Suddenly, as a result of someone else’s public proclamations of “Life is Good!,” yours is less meaningful.
Sound familiar? Maybe it’s just me. But if I see one more picture of “my second grader’s lunch today” online, with the flower-shaped cantaloupe, homemade banana bread and the magic-marker on cardstock note from Mom, I’m going to lose it. Sure, I care about my kids’ lunch. I care a whole lot. But, the reality is, I leave the house at 6 am, and put my trust in my partner to pack the best lunch he can for our second grader. Occasionally I bake – but you’d be hard-pressed to find me at the kitchen counter, carving a piece of fruit into a kid-sized work of art. Once in a while, when I think of it, I scribble a note on a post-it for each of my school-aged kids, and hope their dad will remember to include it when he zips up their lunch bags hours after I’ve kissed their sleepy faces goodbye. But dazzling them with a hand-crafted love note in five different colors probably isn’t happening anytime soon. It just isn’t.
The funny thing about these people — these anonymous bloggers and pinners and posters, — is that we only see the good stuff. No one ever posts a picture of the lunch that leaked or the workout that never quite fit in to the busy day. You never hear about the meal that was a flop because someone forgot to peel the shrimp before stir-frying it in sauce, or see a picture of the patio herb garden that fried in the summer sun. But those things happen to all of us – including the perfect bloggers and tweeters.
So for today’s post, I thought I’d share with you my failures in the working out and eating healthy department. Just because they happen, and because, I don’t want to be that online girl whose blog is about perfection. Here goes:
1. I fell off the caffeine-free wagon three times this week…so sue me. I get up at 5 am and have a 2-year-old who screams half the night. Sometimes it’s a necessity.
2. Gluten has found its way into my diet in a big way this week, partly because I’ve been so busy on weekends, I haven’t planned ahead and prepped my meals for the week; and partly because there’s a Cosi in my building. Anyone who has ever had Cosi’s bread will know what I mean.
3. Cardio….I’ve been loving my fast and effective lunchtime boot camp, strength and yoga classes…so much so that the boring treadmill across the room sits ignored.
4. Two words: Cadbury Mini-eggs.
5. Wine. Well, this one isn’t exactly my fault – my husband MAKES wine IN MY HOUSE. And occasionally, he needs someone to taste test. Seeing as I’m the only one over the age of 21 in my house, that someone is usually me.
So yeah, despite all good intentions to eat gluten-free, exercise daily and forever forsake caffeine – there are weeks where deadlines get in the way of the lunch hour gym routine, little ones don’t sleep and temptations get the best of us. This is life…REAL life. And just because social media doesn’t always encourage us to admit it, we are real people. Imperfect and beautiful.
So fess up….what are your failures this week? How can you learn from them?