Sunday, September 9, 2012
Feeling melancholy today. Autumn usually does it to me. A few reminders of my childhood (a shake of black pepper, of all things) had me longing for simpler days. Was life simpler before computers and cell phones and jobs that expect 60 hours while paying for 40? Or was it just my lack of concern about where the money was going to come from to pay for the car repair that has been put off for far too many months? Did my parents lives feel this busy? Was I just along for the ride? Will my kids look back and feel wistful for the simpler days of their childhood? Or will they remember it as being as hectic as it feels to me? Is it just the changing times? Some things can't be rolled back. Cell phones aren't going away (and I don't want them to--I enjoy the security of knowing that if the car breaks down on 131, I can make a phone call), nor are computers (I'm a little more open on this one), but there is a price to pay for all of their conveniences (did you know that the company paid cell phone and laptop meant that you are virtually on call 24/7?). I'm not one who has ever felt the need to wring every moment out of life. I prefer to just sit down with a good book or share a meal with friends. I like simple. But complicated has a way of sneaking into our lives and taking up space until you are driving on 131 and notice the autumn clouds, dark and flat on the bottom, blindingly bright and fluffy on the top, and remember a time from your childhood when you just sat and watched those clouds from your front lawn, and you wonder....when was the last time I just looked at the sky? If I am actually at home, I'm likely too busy looking for information...a better recipe or which paint stripping product will be the most effective, or maybe I'll actually be using that information. Keeping up with the Joneses has been blown way out of proportion. We don't have lots of "stuff". It's not that we are stuck in the consumerism rut. But that doesn't stop me from trying. If I can't buy everything that I want and "need", then surely I can make it! The Joneses used to be your next door neighbor. Now, through the miracle of the internet, the Joneses are every blogger and pinner on the globe. And we look at the very carefully staged pictures and read the choice words and we think that we are not doing enough. Because if Chloe from myperfecthome.com has time to make all of her food from fresh locally sourced ingredients, make artful vocabulary flashcards for her children, renovate 8 rooms, keep her house spotless (have YOU ever seen a speck of dust in those pictures?) AND take twice yearly fabulous trips with her husband and kids, then WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! But I would speculate that the table in that picture just got a fresh swipe of the Swiffer, and that Chloe was super proud of those flashcards....because it's not like she makes them everyday. How easy it is to look at a few pictures from someone's life and imagine that they represent that person. I'm not berating bloggers....I would like to become one, at some point. The onus is on me. It's my interpretation of the pictures and stories that is at fault. I allow myself to imagine that the few things that someone chooses to put out there for the world to see (that is, the impressive things) are what define them. And from that, I draw the conclusion that I am a failure. And because of that, I keep trying. And trying. And failing. And failing. No wonder I feel so busy. Pinterest is great (though I have purposely not allowed myself to spend much time there), and so are blogs. The internet is filled with so many great ideas. I just need to be careful not to measure myself by how many of them I manage to put into practice. I can't be so busy trying to make my family's lives so much better with this idea or that, that I forget to actually live. To enjoy. To look at the sky, on my back, in a pile of dead leaves. Because, let's face it: God's pinterest board would blow Chloe's out of the water. And there's no pressure to replicate clouds.
To anyone who bothered to get this far in my rant, sorry. What can I say? I'm not one to pick up a phone.....