Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why Not Just Do What Makes You Happy?

As soon as I saw the New York Times article, "Mommy Blog or a Glossy Fashion Magazine?", I knew it was prime for the response article which quickly followed. That response was on Boston.com in the form of "Glamorous Chaos: The Tiring Pursuit of Art-Directed Motherhood." And both articles feed into dueling anxieties that probably most of America has: "OMG, look at that, I'm not good enough" vs. "screw it all, I'm not perfect and not going to compete to be perfect." But those are just the end points on a very long spectrum, and most of life isn't lived in the extremes. Most of us are muddling through somehow, having our good moments and our bad.

If you're reading this, you've probably noticed that I don't have a problem sharing things on the Internet, but I am very conscious of the things that work *for me* in this vast forum. I obviously like the written word, with my most thought-out moments appearing here on the blog, the high- and low- light reel of life appearing on Facebook, and the minutia appearing on Twitter. I post pictures on all three forums, but I'm not on Instagram, as adding a filter doesn't appeal to me. I've played around with Pinterest, but it's too visually stimulating for me, and I keep wanting to just get back to the content. I'm not artistic, and the efforts I've expended on PicMonkey to make a cute graphic here, while seriously easy, and not all that enjoyable for me.

Well, most of the time. Because the other day I made a seriously cute collage of photos I'd been squirreling away to mark the end of Max's daycare experience (it'll be up on the blog tomorrow). I'd seen other collages recently and thought to myself, "gee, that's cute, I could do that." What I didn't think was, "wow, that must have been really difficult - I can't ever be that creative - I'm just going to sit here and feel bad about myself instead." Yes, I'm probably naive, but I believe that no one is posting anything like this - be it about their vacation, their gourmet dinner, their laundry pile - to make someone else feel bad. I don't think they're doing it to brag, either. I think they're doing it because of a need to connect, to make a day a little less lonely, because they're proud of something. I think they're sharing it because it makes them happy. Even if it's something stressful or sad, having shared it makes their life a little better somehow.

So why not give them the benefit of the doubt when you come across a post that's outside of your comfort zone? Instead of finding a way to let it tear your down, look instead to find some inspiration, or a way you can feel happy for the other person. And if it's your own finger hovering over the "upload" or "send" or "pin it" button, why not just do what makes you happy? Because I'm always looking for that next thing to connect over, to make my day a little less lonely, to feel proud and happy for you.

And now, a picture of my laundry pile that I tweeted a couple months ago. You know you wanted it.


  1. I was JUST reading through my FB feed and saw someone who always posts pictures/comments of a certain thing. I was thinking, "Why do they always post stuff like this?" I think you're right - it makes them happy. I should just accept that and move on. I don't need to love it or do it but I can respect that they do. I know it's not the takeaway from your post you probably intended but it definitely had good timing for me!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. You are so right. We often talk about being respectful of others opinions, the golden rule and all, but sometimes we forget that even super-skinny-bikini-wearing-while-8-months-pregnant-fashion-bloggers are still mainly posting "what makes them happy." If we don't like it, we can skip it.