In my last post, I mentioned trying to catch some of the elusive “perspective.” Even though I recognize how important this is, I definitely struggle to do it (as evidenced by my “I’m so over this” theme in other posts).
I think part of what makes me “so over this” is the immediate gratification world we live in. I absolutely play into it, and I knew that about myself before we bought the house; I love to start and finish a project quickly, to have everything perfect immediately. Unfortunately, this particular quality is supported through social media. Look at those Pinterest-perfect homes! Look at that fantastic Instagram vacation! Look at that happy Facebook announcement! If you only went by social media, you’d believe that nothing difficult ever happened to anyone. Life is never messy.
I think that’s why I’ve been so willing to invite you all in on our messiness. As much I fall victim to Pinterest-perfection, I also resent it. We should all feel comfortable to be honest about life’s challenges; it isn’t perfect, and we aren’t doing anyone any favors by pretending it is.
I talked to my grandma yesterday. It was, by far, the best decision I could have made in my current mental and emotional state. That’s because my grandmother is hilarious and strong and generally wonderful, but also because she can always give me a dose of perspective.
She is so excited for me and David. She wanted to know all about what projects we’re working on (“I watch all those Home and Garden shows, you know.”) She told me that we’ve accomplished so much in such a short time (Wasn’t I just complaining about how long it’s been?) and that we shouldn’t worry about things not being perfect (“You’re a young couple. You’re just starting out!”) And, most of all, she continued to emphasize the magnitude of blessings we’ve recently experienced. I used to be pretty good about doing this, too – it was once part of my bedtime routine – but I somehow lost track of it. I think it got buried under “Why isn’t this finished yet?” and “How will we make this work?” and “Why don’t we have more money?” It’s embarrassing, really, how much I’ve forgotten to be thankful.
It’s disconcerting to feel opposing emotions. I know the dichotomy can be too much for some people, leading us to create a “black and white” image of the human experience. Again, super harmful to mental and emotional health – don’t do this. Instead, remember that life can simultaneously stink and be beautiful. Stinky, beautiful, sometimes perfect, most of the time not, life.
So, to sum up:
1. If you are so fortunate as to have a grandmother, call her
2. Don’t be ashamed of the messy, and definitely make sure you talk about it
3. Remember the beauty, too, and definitely make sure you talk about it
I bet that’s probably more than you bargained for when you starting reading a fixer upper blog. Well, I never intended for this to be a “how to” kind of situation anyway. But, I think my next post might feature a before-and-after spread of our kitchen. VERY MUCH EXCITEMENT! Look forward to that soon, guys.