Some days I get everything right.
Yoga at 5 a.m.
Dinner in the crockpot at 6 a.m.
Poached eggs and berries for breakfast.
5 minutes early to my first meeting at 7:30 a.m.
School pickup on time, basketball practice at 5:30 p.m., dinner at the table with music playing and happy kids with bluebirds swirling around our heads…
Other days are not so Pinterest-worthy.
And by other days I mean most days.
These are the days of reality.
When I wake up late, trip over the dog, find the least dirty socks for my son to wear, serve Pop-Tarts with a side of banana and call it health food…and whip into the office at 8:19 a.m. looking frighteningly like Cruella Deville.
It ain’t pretty.
But let’s be honest.
Most of us are living life this way.
It isn’t what we post on social media.
But it’s real life, huh?
I am the first to admit that I am ultra careful about what I post on social media.
My reputation is important to me.
So you will see well-polished blog posts.
Photos that have been taken and re-taken and color adjusted and cropped 149 times to edit out flabby arms and double-chins.
Happy and celebratory moments with my favorite people at the hippest spots in my cutest clothes.
What you won’t see are the ugly times.
Locking myself in the bathroom for 10 minutes of solace from my autistic son, asking me for the 500th time today, “Mama, are you happy?”
Binge-eating cheese and olives in my yoga pants at 10pm. (That’s healthy-esque, am I right?)
The tears I’ve shed for not being able to make a relationship work for more than 5 minutes.
The unpaid medical bills.
Going back to therapy for the fourth time.
The dirty dishes piled to the ceiling.
Nobody wants to read about that stuff, much less see photos of it.
That’s a Facebook feed you would block like yesterday.
Friday afternoon I said goodbye to one of my favorite people.
And I wanted to have a photo of us to remember her by.
Please believe that I am not exaggerating when I say that we took that photograph 25 times.
That angle is horrible!
Nooooooo, you’re so close you can see nose hairs!
OMG, does my hair really look like that from the side?
Take another one so you can see my hippie pants!
Stand on a chair! Try standing on your head! Hang from the ceiling!
It’s exhausting, isn’t it?
Constantly changing the focus and the angle and the positioning to try to get the most flattering pose.
To impress hundreds of online “friends” that I rarely, if ever, see?
I thought about it long and hard yesterday.
And frankly, I’m tired.
Tired of facades.
I just want to be contented enough internally that I don’t feel the need to catalog perfectly worded posts and model-worthy photographs for the masses.
Just like everyone else, I long to be loved.
And as ugly as it is to admit, on some level, the admiration I receive from my blogging makes me feel important.
And every one of us needs that.
But what I’m realizing recently after a fair amount of therapy, is that for years I have received gratification from electronic relationships, because they are easier than actual relationships.
Social media isn’t real.
Messaging strangers and responding to blog fans on e-mail is not real life.
Having my heart ripped out 10 years ago was real life.
And I didn’t want to ever go through that again.
So I haven’t tried.
I have walled myself up with my kids and my village, and until this past year, I never even gave anyone else a chance to enter that scary place.
But herein lies the danger of making yourself gorgeous on social media, yet cynical and bitch-walled in person:
You begin to think that likes and shares and followers are love.
And they aren’t love.
Not even a little.
Love is personal.
Social media is cold.
Love involves servanthood and sacrifice and vulnerability.
Love isn’t limelight.
Love is details.
Love is someone bringing you toilet paper because they know you are out.
Love is someone trying to make new happy memories for you on a day they know typically brings you great sadness.
Love is someone taking you to an Irish restaurant because they know you have always wanted to go to Ireland.
Love pays attention.
Love puts you first.
Brings you little surprises.
Remembers the things you like.
Remembers your history.
Twitter is never going to bring you your favorite coffee early in the morning or send you flowers at work.
Facebook is never going to hold you while you’re sobbing about the way that one idiot all those years ago betrayed your innermost trust.
Instagram is never going to fall asleep in your nook or take you to an outdoor concert on a cool night or make the bed for you just because.
WordPress is never going to offer to pay your bills. Or wait until you’ve fallen asleep to go home. Or walk on the street-side of the sidewalk so you are more safe.
Love shows up.
Love puts actions behind words.
Love gets in the trenches and stays for the long-haul.
And that is never going to happen on an electronic device.
So I’m committing to being more personal.
Worrying less about perfect photos and image and reputation…
and concerning myself more with love and life and being open to vulnerability and experiences.
Because the moments that I remember the most fondly, are those moments of which I do not have a single photo.
Most of us need to face the fact that we are more connected to that stupid little rectangular device than we are to our own village.
Guilty, party of 1.
And just incase you’re wondering, yes I do in fact see the irony of me writing on a plugged in device while encouraging you to join me in unplugging.
Case in point, this is the way to reach folks these days.
And while I promise you that you will not be seeing any posts of me bonging Cabernet and cake frosting in my skivvies while sobbing and watching The Notebook any time soon, what you are going to see is less photoshopping…
and more living.
I’d rather have a weaker connection with my Wifi and a stronger connection with my peeps.