The new year has come and gone. Last week I found myself with a head cold, my car was out of gas, there was no coffee in the house. If I didn’t have auto pay I probably would be without lights or heat. Adulting can be challenging. And then this . . .
A true metaphor for my life. The holidays, the snowstorm, and did I mention, the head cold? Yes, it did feel like the garbage had truly piled up in my life. I can’t write about that! What would people think? Must look good after all. Then two things happened.
The first was I looked up. You do know that is the thing you must do when down in the muck is to look up, don’t you? From exactly the same perch only lifting my eyes a little higher was this:
There, see it? Sunshine. Trees. Nature. Just lift your eyes and get out of the muck. Simple, isn’t it? NO, emphatically not. It is not that simple but it is a start. I knew I had a message there to share. But would I? You see, I have gotten caught up in this be positive mode. Only convey the positive. What utter nonsense. No one is positive 100% of the time. No one.
When I am going through the muck, I also start noticing how perfect other people’s lives are. You know — the life we see on Facebook — the spaces in between. I had another aha moment (right after the look up at the horizon aha). I came across some images in another person’s facebook feed. The Christmas, the kids, the positive family life. Only I happened to know better. This person had just spent a tearful two hours with me telling me how miserable her family life was and she was heading to divorce. She was in a lot of pain. That was not something we saw in her public image. In no way am I suggesting that this person should reveal the deeply personal pain she was going through. Not at all. This is just a reminder that what you see is not all there is.
Then there are the “how to” posts. Eleven things you must do before 7 a.m. if you are going to be successful. Five things you must never do. Seven wardrobe essentials you absolutely must have. What all of these had in common, was there was no point of view. The person behind the post did not come through. They were mere laundry lists.
But then how much should you reveal? I started looking at examples of blogs that offered a point of view. What I found was that some self revelation makes the point more believable. The woe is me post vs the everything is beautiful post– both are lacking. Something in between.
The lesson to me is to look for that balance.
Yes, the garbage does sometimes pile up. Yes, do look to the horizon.
What lessons are you learning in this new month of the year?