Life is Good, Not Perfect

We live in an online era where friend’s and family’s lives are visual.  Where we once met other disheveled, sleep-deprived, and frazzled Moms in school hallways, we now focus on bright shiny pictures of kid’s first days of school: perfect hair, perfect clothing, and the beautiful Mom smiling proudly beside them.

There is nothing wrong with that, I love looking at my friend’s and family’s photos they post online. I feel connected to them when life gets busy or when miles keep us apart.  The trap lies within the perfect, because really…who’s life is perfect?

I’ve fallen into the trap of envying another’s seemingly flawless life who appears to be full of fun and adventure.  It’s not the type of envy where I wish I was them, but rather I wish I had life figured out a little more!  I struggle with keeping up with my kid’s homework, sports, housework, the mountain of laundry that grows daily, photography, bake sales, picture day, and at times I forget to brush my own hair…and then I get a glimpse of another’s “perfect” life and I wonder why I can’t get it all together.  What am I doing wrong!?

That has me wondering if I portray my life to be full of roses and lollipops…I assure you the roses are often neglected and the lollipops may have hit the crumb filled floor, but it’s OK…the 5 second rule dictates it’s still edible.

I do know that I’m far too awkward to hold onto a perfect-life illusion for any amount of time. The other day I parked my bike in the school parking lot and it tipped over in the wind. I had my mail stuffed into my bike basket and I had to run around catching it while it flew in the wind. This magical moment happened as the school bell rang so I was lucky to have an audience of many adults and kids. I would have aborted the mission after a few long minutes, but the mail had my name and address on it. Why must I be so awkward?

Anywhoooo, I’m focussing on gratitude these days, which means when I say “Life is Good”, it’s usually in the midst of dealing with something difficult and well…not so good. I’m trying to appreciate the beauty that lives within everyday life despite the trials and the heart-ache that goes along with it.  We wouldn’t appreciate the good without the bad.

So let me be real here.

Take for instance this photo:

I went for a bike ride that cold day in April because I was incredibly down, life’s “it’s not fair” moments had piled up. I was angry at God because my Dad has Cancer. Minutes before I took the shadow photos, I sat on a park bench and told myself not to cry. Despite my will to keep it bottled up, I cried anyway. I took this photo because photography makes me feel better, as does exercise. It’s an emotional release that is in my control, when life is out of control.

Or how about this photo:

This was the first day of school this past September. My oldest son almost missed the bus so I could take the 1st day photo which “I HAD TO HAVE” (I actually yelled that from behind my camera).  You obviously can’t see me in this photo, but if you could, you would have averted your eyes. I was sporting mis-matched ugly PJ’s, wild tatty hair, and my mascara had made a run for it.

And lastly this photo:

This was my last day of 34. I felt anxious that day because I hadn’t accomplished what I wanted to in 34 years. I chose that necklace, because it was a gift from a dear friend and it means a lot (thank you Tawn). I got over it and embraced 35 by the next day. But on this day, I was quite insecure which I covered with a smile.  🙂

So this post is for any woman who has looked at another with envy and thought to herself “why can’t I be as put together as she is.” or “why can’t I be as confident as her?”  Chances are, she isn’t as confident or put together as she seems.

And this post is for any Mother who wishes she could be better based on the outside view of another Mom.  I’m willing to bet, she too wishes she could be a better Mom and may even look the same way at you. There is no handbook for parenting, you just do your best from one day to the next.

I try to remember this when I see a horrified Mom standing in a grocery store line while her screaming kids flail around because they want candy.  It’s in my nature to look away so I don’t embarrass her, but if it was me…I would love another Mom to say “I’ve been there. I can relate.”  There is support and kindness within empathy.

Yes life is good, but it sure isn’t perfect.  Please remember that if you ever feel less than.  We are all perfectly imperfect.

From my heart to yours,

Christine

13 thoughts on “Life is Good, Not Perfect

  1. As usual Christine your words have absolutely struck a chord in me. Thanks for not only pointing out the fact that we often display only what we want others to see about our lives and the fact that our imperfection is something we should truly embrace and celebrate!

  2. You always hit the nail on the head. You just “get me” …and every other *normal women/mother out there. Again I am reminded of your wonderful sister, Roxanne, and her wonderful support/comment to me on a day I wanted to crawl under a table and die. I still cry over how incredible she made me feel that day.

    1. Teresa, you make me smile every time you mention that story about my sister. Thank you! You are always there with a supportive comment as well, which I really appreciate about you.

  3. We should never compare ourselves to anyone but ourself. An apple can’t be better than an orange because they are different and people are no different. We are all different and perfectly imperfect in our own ways. 🙂

    1. Tanya, thank you for your comment! So true! And isn’t it an amazing fact that we are so different…otherwise life would be pretty dull and predictable wouldn’t it!?

  4. I can completely relate. I have a loved one who is dying from cancer right now and most of my days are not good lately, but I have the biggest and brightest smile when someone is around. I have overwhelmed myself with taking photos for people to get away from it and left nothing but sunshine in my trail. The thing is, though, that when we need it, we do have real and great friends who will help us in the ways we need. I love that. If I saw you with your tipped bike, I would have mad scrambled for your things and helped you, or any other mom, at my kids school. XO

    1. Laura Jane my beautiful friend, I’m so sorry to hear that. I think of you often, and I’m here if you ever need an ear to listen. You are one of the most kind-hearted and authentic women I have had the pleasure of meeting.

  5. You never fail to leave me with tears trickling down my cheeks but always feeling so much better inside,very wise words ❤

  6. Wow Chrissy, you have tears running down my face right now. Nobody is perfect and will never be perfect, but we try so very hard. I too look at other Moms in envy that they have it all put together, I struggle everyday to keep my patience with my girls, and I too get caught up in the moment to make everything perfect! I too sometimes sit on my couch at the end of the day when everyone is asleep and cry, because today wasn’t what is was supposed to be, I didn’t get all the things done I wanted to!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it means more than you will ever know! xo

    1. Jackie, I respect you so much as a Mom. You are real and aren’t afraid to share your struggles in this crazy ride we call Motherhood. I am so thankful I met you and that we have gotten to know one another better over the years. Thank you for commenting ❤

  7. I know that I am not the only one who has these days or moments and I love that you say it out loud. There is comfort in knowing that someone else gets it. I have struggled many times with the woman around me who seem to get their kids to school looking like they stepped out of the salon with their beautifully dressed and well behaved children and their houses that look like showhomes . . . . they really do not help the days when I feel frumpy, unorganized, overwhelmed and really cannot cope with one more person asking something of me! BUT my family and I seem to survive somehow and come through each of these days relatively happy & healthy so we must be getting something right. There are days when I wish you weren’t so far away and I could hug you and thank you in person. I am so grateful that you continue to be “real” with us.

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