Last week I published a post about the people that drive me crazy on Facebook. These are the people who drip with conceit and try desperately to make the world jealous of their amazing life. The vain, the shallow and the super-superficial.
Believe it or not, I've had people send me messages saying that they envy my life. I know, it blew me away too! Here are a few things about my life that people have told me they envy:
1. My relationship with Gregg
2. My beautiful and happy family
3. My passion for writing and graphic design
4. My cleanliness and organization skills
5. My home
6. My hair
7. My ability to be home with Scarlett
8. My love for the holidays
Before I elaborate, I want to stress that I am so happy and grateful for all of these things in my life. However few things in life are effortless or without flaws. Let's take a closer look.
1. My relationship with Gregg. Yes, I have an amazing husband and a truly awesome relationship and marriage. I am so lucky to have crossed paths with him at a former workplace. We became best friends - for life. We never fight, we've never really even argued. But we don't have a lot of time together. Last night was the first night we've sat down for dinner as a family in a week. His job is exhausting, his hours are long. On the weekends, if he isn't doing yard work, he rests. We don't get to go many places together. He only sees Scarlett for an hour or so each day, right before bedtime. He drives for a living so those long drives we once enjoyed taking together have been banished. Who feels like taking a thirty mile ride for 'enjoyment' when you clock sixty grueling hours on the road every week? We enjoy being at home mostly, eating frozen yogurt and making each other laugh.
2. My beautiful and happy family. I can't argue with that. But I will say we have our ups and downs like any other family. Scarlett is smiling in almost every picture I post but she still cries every night at bedtime. She has tantrums like any other two year old. She tests the waters. She requires constant stimulation and lots and lots of attention. We waited a long time for her. Before she came along we had tried to conceive for a year and a half, finally became pregnant and had a miscarriage. Nothing comes easy. And most wonderful things aren't undeserved.
3. My passion for writing and graphic design. I've loved writing since I was a kid. I always loved making up stories - from as young as three years old. I have been blessed with a creative mind and I am really fortunate and grateful for that. I love the energy that "making things" gives me. It truly makes me happy. However, I'm a hack. Or so I believe. Nothing I create seems worthy of an audience. I feel inferior in every aspect. My blog is for me and I share it for my friends who enjoy it. I have no plans for it to ever become anything other than what it is. My art abilities are 'basic with a twist'. I never went to school for it. I know what I've taught and continue to teach myself and what I've picked up in my former jobs as a graphic artist. On paper, I'm nothing. You can doodle on a white piece of paper with a black pen and I'd treasure it more than a design I've spent twelve hours on. Which isn't to say that I'm never proud of anything that I do, because I am at times.
4. My cleanliness and organization skills. Again, nothing comes easy. I clean all the time because I take pride in having a super clean home. I like to sit comfortably and look around and enjoy what I see. I simply don't have a place for clutter in my life. I swiffer the floors every other day. I dust every room at least once each week. I read mail when it comes and file it appropriately. I hang up jackets. I put away boots. I clear the table and counters of items that don't belong. I clean as I go... all the time. There are some people who just enjoy being organized and I am one of those people. I am always looking at small boxes with a glimmer in my eye - just imagining what little items they can neatly house - like paper clips, receipts or post-it notes. I like for everything to have a place to go. It does take effort and time but I enjoy it.
5. My home. People always tell me that my home is so "cozy" and I feel that's the best compliment a homeowner can get. Being clean and organized does make it easier for people to see the house for what it is. They notice the decor rather than the clutter. Again, it takes time and effort to make a house a home and you get out of it what you put into it. You should also know that our yard may be large but it's a mess - mostly from Brody. Our home may be roomy but our mortgage is outrageous. It appears that we live on a nice cul-de-sac but we only speak to one out of ten neighbors - and they are in their seventies. There are always pros and cons.
6. My hair. This one makes me giggle. I've always been told that I have lovely shiny, silky hair. Yes it is normally shiny (although my thirties are giving shine a run for its money) and it is very easy to run your fingers through. It straightens easily with the use of the right products - thank you Argan oil! However, I could never wear barrettes, clips, scarves or headbands of any kind - they slip right out. It's a million bobbie pins, an elastic or nothing. Hence my signature long, straight, boring 'do'.
7. My ability to be home with Scarlett. Most of you know me enough to know that I haven't worked since I was pregnant with Scarlett. I've been very fortunate to be home with her. Let me assure you, it's not because we are "well-off." We are not that family who can make it through life on one income. We have a gazillion bills just like the lot of you. We live paycheck to paycheck just like most of you. We can't afford extras. We don't frivolously spend. We haven't been on a trip since our honeymoon - nine years ago this coming December. We don't go to the movies. We rarely go out to dinner. We don't go to shows. Our entertainment is mostly television or movies from our collection. We go to places that are free, like state parks. We live a no-frills life. We have had to skip parties because we simply can't afford another gift. (November is the only month in which we have no birthdays to buy for). I don't publicly complain about these things because I am okay with making a lot of sacrifices to be home with Scarlett right now. I will work again one day. My life with my family comes first and I am doing what I am doing because I have chosen to. Not because it makes the most sense. And not because it's "doable."
8. My love for the holidays. Many people have told me how they wish they could get into the holiday spirit the way that I do. I credit my mom for this one. My mom always made the holidays festive and fun when I was a kid. We always decorated the house together. We baked Christmas cookies together. And we always listened to Christmas music. We had great big Christmas trees and tons of ornaments to enjoy. We watched all the holiday specials on television together. We looked forward to it all. My mother spent countless hours shopping for what seemed like hundreds of gifts for everyone. She worked so hard to cook huge, delicious meals. She did it all for us to enjoy. And it stuck with me. And that's where I get my love for the holiday season. But the actual holiday is complicated. As kids, we stayed home in our pajamas playing with our toys all day until it was time to dress for dinner. As adults, we are running from house to house, flying through morning gift-opening to get showered and ready to head out for the day. We enjoy spending time with our families but all-the-while we're looking at the clock to see what time we have to be at the next house. I miss some of the slow-paced enjoyment, being home in jammies, enjoying each others' company. The spirit of the day gets us through each time.
So there you have it. My tell-all. I hope it reads the way I intend it to. I LOVE my life. I think part of the reason I am a happy person is because I appreciate every single thing I have. I am grateful everyday. We all need to appreciate the things that we are good at, the places we go, where we hang our hat, what our situation is. Be grateful.
And ladies, wear your hair accessories with pride ;)