Feb 252011

The Fabulous – Facebook – Fasade

Have you ever taken a photo of yourself and saw all the flaws and thought . . .  I wish I could photoshop that?  But it’s real life, right?  The Fabulous Life of Facebook works the same way.  We take our ordinary life, flaws and all, and write a fabulous post – minus the mundane – and thus, tweak our “picture of life.”

Who wants to hear that you can’t think of another way to make “Chicken” for dinner?  Who wants to hear that you have 9 more loads of laundry and you haven’t washed your hair since Wednesday? or that you ran out of gas on the way to soccer, and you feel like a dummy.

My life is pretty average.  I have 4 kids, and like most, I spend my days doing laundry, cooking dinner, making school lunches, running kids to and from soccer practice, art, music lessons, help with school projects, throw in a daily workout, write articles and try to scratch off the “To Do List” faster than items HOP on it.

In between all the laughter, the tears, the 2 year old hollering “EAT” EAT” EAT” & the 3 boys running in the house with new “tree house” ideas & school projects, something out of the ordinary will happen, that I need to post to Facebook; something fabulous, something worthy of celebration, that’s outside the realm of my laundry-piling, meal-cooking, diaper-changing day.

It reminds me of planning our Annual Family Photo;  it takes a couple of weeks to figure out what everyone is wearing; we have to match colors on some level,  organize outfits, have backups in case there are food spills and . . . you know the drill.

We typically do outdoor shots, and though the picture turns out fabulous, because our photographer, Crissy, is so talented, what I remember most are the gnats swarming around our heads, the dog spotting a duck across the pond and racing like a grey hound to catch it, the kids begging to play at the park and the baby crying because we had placed her in a red wagon, where she thought we were leaving her forever.

I remember after arranging all the clothes, loading everything in the car and arriving at our location, we had forgotten the babies’ pants.  Oh Dear God.  A turtle neck and a diaper, NICE!  And yet, the picture you see, is the Great American family, well put together – Living the Dream.  That’s right . . . Livin’ the Dream!

We get our kids all dressed to see Santa Claus.  They’re in red and plaid; the older kids are posing because you want them to – and the baby is screaming like mad, while the Santa Helper is clanging a bell to get their attention.  It’s all about the “Money Shot.”  Getting the kids to smile at the camera, all the while your upper lip is sweating.  It’s craziness.  This isn’t real life.  But we need to get the “Facebook” moment.

I have a friend that sends Christmas pictures of what REALLY happens when their family photo is taken.  It’s hilarious.   There’s always someone crying, one kid is goofing off and it’s AWESOME.  To be honest, it makes for a better story.  It makes me laugh so hard and the memory of that day is more precious.

So instead of “photo shopping” your life for the “Facebook” Moment, post the good, the bad and the mundane.  Just as “Chicken Soup” is Good for the Soul, posting “Real Life” is Good for the Spirit.    We’re all in This Together.  Here’s to truly living your life, inside out!

 Posted by at 2:22 pm
Feb 012011

Live Your Best Life

I’ll be 40 this year.  I know, I can’t believe it myself.  I use to say:  Yes, Ma’am to those people.  My heart tells me I’m younger, but the lines on my face and the amount of energy, tell me otherwise.  I’ve been mulling it over for about a year, what to do for my 40th birthday.  Something radical? Out of this world? Never been done? I need to scrape together a bucket list, and FAST! I’m gonna be 40 people!

I could jump from a plane, learn a new language.  Maybe climb the Himilayas . . . Heck, I’m not even sure how to spell Himilayas.

Then I realized if 39 is anything like 40, it should feel like 38 or 37 for that matter.  It’s just a number and I didn’t need a number designating what “Crazy Act” to perform, at least not in the next 30 days.  Whether I learn to Salsa Dance or ride a Gondola in Venice, I have lived a great life, full of stories, adventures and friendships.

I don’t need a red convertible or seats to the U.S. Open, to tell me I’ve lived life.  Everything I have, (my kids, my family, my hobbies, my friends, my journey in this life) is right where I want it to be.

I don’t need to fly with Virgin Air on their first outer space mission, to know I’ve lived life to its fullest.  As I struggled with this concept, (Have I truly embraced all life has to offer?  Am I missing out on the excitement that’s out there?) I took a stroll one evening.

As I entered the house from the back porch, I looked through the window and saw my kids running around in the living room, jumping on my husband like a jungle gym; they were so happy, giggling about nothing and everything at the same time; the baby was dragging her blanket in one hand, while holding a baby doll in the other; the dog was barking, trying to get-in on the action; and that’s when I realized, my Bucket List was being checked off the entire time.

While it’s important to integrate some of those crazy “bucket list” adventures into your life, you don’t have to crunch them into a couple of months to prove your youth or vitality.

40 is the new 30.  But even if wasn’t, I have happiness, joy and love all around me, and if that’s not a goal to achieve, then what else is there?  Embrace today’s moments, and be thankful for all the Goodness in your Life.  Here’s to 40 and Beyond!

 Posted by at 5:34 pm