Measuring Up to the Carefully Curated Life
Wake up and before you get out of bed… check Facebook.
Right after (even during) your workout…Facebook.
Sitting in traffic…Facebook.
Over a conference call that’s going nowhere fast…Facebook.
In line to order lunch…Facebook.
Bathroom break…it’s so wrong, but yes…Facebook (you know it’s true)
On the couch watching TV before bed…Facebook.
And probably 5-10 more times in between…FACEBOOK.
I’m right there with you. On average, we check Facebook 14 times a day.
And it’s totally screwing with us.
Most of us get on to take a mental break, skim news, and keep tabs on people we know. What we’re confronted with, however, are all the ways we don’t measure up.
You see a post from a friend on an amazing vacation. You say to your lunch date, “Jane’s in Tuscany this week…must be nice to go wine tasting on a Tuesday…” as you like her photo.
Over dinner you see Bonnie just got a Range Rover…and you’re still driving your 10 year old Honda. You post “Congrats!” and say to your husband…”she’s ridiculous…that’s so excessive!”
Wednesday, Sara shows off her daily baking adventure with her kids. You comment “So precious” and think “Geez, wish I could afford to stay home and bake cookies with my kids all day.”
On the surface, it’s easy to write it off as petty jealousy. Sometimes maybe it is. But what’s usually going on beneath that is really insecurity, guilt, or regret.
That we didn’t pick a better career that would earn us more money.
That we’re a bad mom, leaving our kids with someone else to go to work.
Or that we’re just not capable of ever creating the lifestyle we really want.
The greatest tragedy is we allow these things to quietly infiltrate our daily lives and thoughts. We let them plant ideas that we’re somehow now measuring up. But the yardstick we’re using is incomplete. It’s just a tiny fraction of the story.
We share the moments that are special, really exciting or worth celebrating, because those are the ones we want to remember. We’re not capturing all the messiness in between that is real life. Take me for example. If you’re friends with me, in the last several weeks, you’d have seen me featured on a local talk show, eating an amazing dinner in Miami, and wine tasting in Sonoma, with a funny article, and shout out to my sorority and a friend or two mixed in for good measure. Tough life, right?!
It’s not lost on me that I’m incredibly fortunate to have opportunities to travel and experience things that a lot of people don’t. BUT, beyond the “glamor” of it (which isn’t entirely accurate), you don’t see the hours of prep and nerves for my first live TV appearance. Or the fact that the travel is paid for with frequent flyer miles from the 140,000+ ACTUAL miles my boyfriend flew SO FAR this year alone for work. His Diamond status on Delta has fun perks and all, but I’d rather have him home. Tagging along when I can is practically the only way I can see him right now. And it’s our silver lining for his 60-70 hour work weeks, being gone Sunday-Friday for months and having vacations interrupted for the last year.
If that doesn’t sound fun enough, in between that nice dinner and wine tasting, I’m still working…prepping for events in November, working through a group coaching program, building my strategy for how I’m going to grow Bold Dish. And having meltdowns…watching other people’s success on Facebook and wondering why I’m not further ahead and if I’ve actually got the chops to pull this off.
No matter how glossy the exterior looks, EVERYONE experiences doubt, guilt and jealousy sometimes. But, for the love of all things holy, please remember…
And here’s the kicker. I’ll bet, YOUR life is a lot better than you think.
Check out your own wall and consider how AMAZING your life might look to someone else like me.
I see you enjoying a casual dinner at home with your family on Wednesday, while I’m missing my boyfriend and eating alone. I see the adorable holiday pictures and realize you’ve gotten pregnant, had your baby and gotten your figure back and I still haven’t lost the extra 20 pounds from 2 foot surgeries. I see the day trips you take with your kids and how much fun they’re having and continue to grapple with whether I want kids of my own.
It’s easy to believe the grass is greener, but it’s really all a matter of perspective. What we take for granted is something someone else craves.
So, here’s what I’m doing to keep this sneaky monster at bay. Maybe you’ll find these helpful too.
- Remember you’re only seeing part of the picture. Think about what you’re not seeing and what feelings, events, accomplishments or obstacles might have motivated the other person to share in the first place. Chances are there’s something they want to feel or want to convey to the world by sharing.
- Shift your attention from everything you haven’t accomplished yet to ONE thing you can do today to move you a bit closer to where you want to be. All those little decisions add up.
- And if all else fails, ignore the people that trigger you most by hiding them from your feed for a while. Giving attention to things that drain your energy is no good.
Life’s a journey. Appreciate what you do have now and take the rest one step at a time. We’re all in this beautiful mess together.