I often feel like I should’ve been born in a different time. I’m not that fussed by technology (she writes on an online blog via laptop). I’ve only got one regularly used social media account and I don’t really know how to “brand” myself most of the time. Telling Siri, Alexa, or any other voice in the box/ether feels odd and unnecessary. Despite reading I never got a kindle, and the latest gadget doesn’t hold my attention long enough to bother buying one. I don’t like to be connected to my phone, and even the baby monitor makes me feel a bit 1984-style uneasy. I like paper, books, wooden spoons, fresh air, and the unknown horizon.
This weird little confession, aside from the above being a few reasons my ex will put down as his reasons for divorce (joking!), is leading to something bigger: social media for me is rarely something describing my perfect life (HA!), baking successes, or beach-body-ready-put-my-face-on selfies. If it was I would expect someone to claim alien abduction and come to rescue the kids.
And yet, I was called out fairly recently as having a reputation for my lists. No, not the shopping list, planning list, to do list, birthday list, or anything remotely useful; instead I have become better known for what I thought were relatively rare, tongue-in-cheek, “super-woman” posts on Facebook. I say rare because I pretty much never feel super-productive, and it takes a special kind of day to go just right. I haven’t had one of those in awhile but it still stuck in my head as potentially one of those things that slips into portraying a fake persona, the perfect life, the productive streaks, and I’ve otherwise tried very hard to be more honest than that.
For me those posts were mostly telling myself I could do things, that I could get stuff done, that life could go well. From my point of view, one of a lot of pressure and struggle and work, to have a good day was like celebrating a birthday… in fact as I’m not good at celebrating my birthday, it was bigger than a birthday. It was giving myself credit for the stuff I had done, however little lots of it seemed at the time. Even so, from the public point of view it probably look like a lot of false-modesty wrapped up in exaggeration and over-zealous pride.
Just for the sake of equaling it all out a bit I thought I would give you all a new list; this one is based on the amount of rubbish within this week. Mostly minor stuff is included, but probably all relatable, I hope fairly normal, and maybe a little amusing:
- My eldest decided defiance is her new game and will giggle whilst yelling “No” and fleeing the scene of the crime. Her adorable little sister is mimicking this but has normally not really done anything at all, so is just fleeing and giggling on a regular basis expecting someone to chase her. In December she also added grabbing the nearest tree decoration to run with for a jolly twist on parental torture.
- I proudly walked down the drive struggling to carry all the recycling for pick-up that morning, only to find it was the wrong bits of recycling, struggled back with it, dumped it outside the front door, realised I no longer had time to sort the right bits out, and so missed collection day again.
- I mostly tidied my room thinking I could finally have a room that was primarily mine in which to chill out.. except this will be the 5th night in a row that the girls have been in my bed for at least 2/3rds of the night. I’m seriously considering building a bunk above my head so I’d be sharing with at least one less little person to kick me. Update: I have been informed that I do not have the surrounding structural integrity for such a plan. Night 7 continues sleep-deprived.
- Eldest was drawing with a black pen. This is not unusual. What was slightly more unusual is finding out this black pen is actually a black permanent marker intended for writing on CD/DVDs. What is annoying is that I found this out after and not before eldest had decided to draw pictures on her own face as well as her sisters. Two days before school/nursery restarts. I was thrilled as you can imagine!
- Despite the above bedtime issues, when smallest is asleep I will still attempt to tuck he up into her own bed. One evening that looked like a massive success as she stirred a little, settled herself in bed, pulling the duvet up across her. With a glimmer of triumph in my eyes I must have thought too many happy thoughts for she then looked around, saw me, decided I had clearly tricked her, and screamed instead. Back to my bed it was, to repeat my attempt later.
- There is then the one situation that even me, honest-above-sense, thought better of typing out on this occasion. Trust me, you didn’t really want to know. Trust me it would’ve changed your perceptions of goodness and grace (if you had such flawed ideas – ha)!
My point is to remind you all that social media is largely fake. We don’t tend to share our worst selfies, we don’t tell everyone (or shouldn’t) the most mundane things that come to our minds, and ideally speaking we present “our best selves”. In doing so, we are branding ourselves professionally but we are not being authentic personally. That is OK in some ways, but for me I needed a reality check.
Reality is full of the annoying, boring, and awkward. It is also full of joy, and love, and celebration.
The key is maybe to show a bit of both, and find people who are willing to share their real side too, so we don’t all become little robotic barbie dolls… the thing of nightmares!
Be true to yourself. Those who love you will be glad of more of what they love! Bonus!