Sometimes I lose sight of what’s important. Sometimes I let the outside world creep into my little slice of happiness, and I find myself obsessing over things that I have no control over. And sometimes I lose my way.
With the birth of social media came the decline of personal, face to face interactions. Texting trumped phone conversations. A simple “like” became a means of staying in touch with friends and family. Impersonal. But somehow completely relevant. Completely necessary to our existence.
We have become used to instant gratification. No more watching boring t.v. commercials. You can fast forward right through them. No more missing your favorite show, you can watch it On Demand. You don’t have to write a letter with pen and paper…simply send an IM or email. Don’t want to wait for the email to send and wait for them to read it, send a text. Don’t feel like typing that text, simply send an emoji to convey what you’re feeling.
Birthday parties? Who needs invitations when you can create an event on Facebook or another social media outlet. Thank you cards? No need to write one out. Nobody does that anymore, right?
We stay in touch with hundreds of “friends” and we convince ourselves that we really know them. We put our best selves out on social media. We crop, we filter, we fake.
I’m guilty of it too – especially around the holidays. I try to get a perfect picture of my kids. I line them up by age, fix my little’s hair, and straighten middle’s tie, only to have them battling it out for position, and ending with a series of forced smiles, angry glances and disappointment. Not perfect. Not even close.
I sometimes find myself comparing my life those on social media. My friends are traveling from Paris to Palm Beach. Their kids are brilliant, talented and well-behaved. The husbands are full of romantic gestures. The women are weekending with the girls, drinking mojitos and smiling big toothy smiles.
And for a second, I feel less than. Less than them. Less than the dream I set out for myself. Less than…
I get wrapped up in the chaos, the self-inflicted competition,
that I lose sight of what is real.
Real is the love I have for this life I’ve been blessed with. It has not always been easy. I was a runner. I ran from everything. I ran from every relationship I’ve ever had. I ran from jobs, I ran from boredom, I ran from just about everything. My life isn’t glamorous. I own a boutique and I spend the rest of my time with my family. There are no girl’s weekends. No mojitos.
My family is the most important thing in my life, and while it does seem that my life consists of constant cooking, baking, cleaning and caring for…every member of this household, including the chickens and the dog — yes, that’s a blog for another day…I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Real is this house that we’ve turned into a home, for the past 15 years. The stairs are too steep, and I fall down them regularly…there is literally no closet space, and for a girl with 50 pairs of shoes, that’s quite tragic, but it’s where my son learned to crawl. It’s where my daughter said, “Mama” – it’s where memories have been made. That is real.
So, while I do get wrapped up in taking the perfect “selfie” or showing off my latest culinary creation, I know that just feeds my narcissistic side. I know that’s not real.
And tonight, as my daughter is snuggled next to me, I realize that it doesn’t matter what I post on social media. It doesn’t matter who reads it. It doesn’t matter how many “likes” I get.
The only thing that matters is that I have the love of my family. I have children that I would lay down my life for. And I have a few great, true and real friends, that I can be my authentic self around.
And oh yes…I have 50 pair of shoes.