This has been on my mind for a while...one of those things that I start obsessing about and really let bug me until I think it through and figure out a way to make it go away.
I think it was probably only subconscious (because the myth was bothering me) but I was really drawn to the idea of opening myself to questions, any questions, and committing myself to answering those questions right out here for the whole world to see. OK, maybe not the whole world, but certainly my small audience in the bloggy world would see my answers.
Bear with me. I'm not the best writer in the world, but I have to get all these thoughts that are running around like crazy in my mind at least semi-organized. You know me. I'm organized. :-)
I've said many times I started this blog almost as a game, a way to have fun with my niece and my sister, on line. Soon the rest of the family jumped in and the fun got bigger. At one point, I think just about all the women in our family were blogging and going back and forth with each other. Enough have dropped out now that it's back to my sister and my niece and me.
I'm so naive. It honestly didn't occur to me at first that you're visible to absolutely everyone in the world when you blog. No one was more surprised than I was when I realized I had a bigger audience than my family. Sometimes, I'm just slow to catch on, you know?
I floundered around like every new blogger does, at first. My very first post was a rather smarmy know-it-all post about how to clean your house and keep your dog smelling like something besides a dog.
As soon as I found my rhythm, I found myself posting about what I do. I raise children and grandchildren. I cook. I clean. I organize. I make stuff, cute and sometimes detailed and complicated, and sometimes not, stuff.
All these things come naturally to me. Honestly, I'm not sure why, but they do, and for most of my life, I've found myself more in the role of mentor and teacher, rather than student. I'm pretty much self-taught in most areas of my life. One of my biggest struggles is to avoid becoming so pedantic I'm disgusting to even be around.
The interesting thing is, I woke up a year later and realized a lot of people out here take my posts very seriously and actually learn something from them.
I suddenly found myself in the role of mentor and teacher, out here in public. You know what? It makes me uncomfortable.
I get a lot of email from people behind the scenes telling me how awesome they think I am, how much they look up to me. I see myself referred to in other blogs as the perfect homemaker.
People. That's making me crazy.
I've been trying to get all these uncomfortable feelings organized into something I can live with, for weeks now.
I was SO relieved when I read Wonder Woman Is Just a Chick In Tights over at Shannon's place earlier this week.
In her gracious way, she said exactly what I was trying to tell myself but couldn't articulate. If you're not one of the so-far 126 people who have read this post, you should, because it says exactly what I'm struggling to say here.
I think I dispelled a lot of myths, or at least misperceptions about myself, when I started answering the questions you asked me. Some of them were uncomfortable for me and took a lot of courage to answer.
The bottom line is, I never meant to give people the wrong idea but by keeping my posts, for the most part, upbeat and positive, by not posting about the more negative things that happen, I did give the impression I live a crazy perfect life and have endless energy and know how to do absolutely everything between the front and back doors of a home.
I thought I'd share this week with you. Here's what I've done this week.
OK, I did do one load of laundry but only because I needed clean underwear. I haven't cleaned a single thing. I haven't worked on a single Christmas ornament. I hope you're sitting down because guess what? Since last Sunday, I haven't cooked a single meal. I did make a pan of magic cookie bars and they were a disaster, so much so that Rob won't even eat them. I don't know how you can mess up a pre-packaged magic cookie bar kit, but I managed to do it.
I've spent this entire week sitting around reading books. My husband has lived on sandwiches he made himself and I've been eating such crap that I have a headache. If I don't eat a vegetable soon, I think my body is going to make me wish I had.
I'm reading really dumb books right now too. Dean Koontz. Please. I stopped reading Dean Koontz about six or seven years ago, but Krissy discovered a ton of his later books in her office when she was cleaning it out to turn it into Cameron's new room and she brought them down here for her Dad to read. I got hooked again. The truth is, Dean Koontz is an outstanding writer and if I pick up one of his books, I can't put it down. Still, it's not what I'd normally read.
Even I know it's very strange to spend a week rereading the entire Little House on the Prairie series and then jump head first into Dean Koontz.
Just for the record, there's hope because I bought The Friday Night Knitting Club today.
Anyway, I just thought I'd go a step farther than the questions I've been answering and share this week with you so you'd see that I'm exactly like every other blogging woman in the world. I wish my life were as perfect as my blog probably makes it seem sometimes.
I definitely wish I had all the energy everyone thinks I have! I've been beyond lazy this week. Cameron will be here tomorrow so the luxury of being lazy will end there, but except for breathing in and out, I accomplished absolutely nothing at all this week. And I've enjoyed every single worthless, non-productive moment of it.
It's true that I could teach you to crochet. I've taught a lot of people to crochet. It's also true I could guide you through making jalapeno garlic tilapia that tastes exactly like what you'd get at Carino's. If you don't know how to get that awful coffee stain out of your light-colored carpet, I do.
But I could also tell you how to buy groceries for a month with the same amount of money you used to spend in a week. I could tell you how to deal with migraine headaches that are happening more and more often. I could even tell you how to keep your shih tzu's hair from matting until you can afford to get her groomed.
I think the most profound thing I could tell you is that absolutely no one leads a perfect life and if reading her blog makes you think she does, then somehow she's not showing her real self to you.
Each of us chooses what to share with everyone out here. And each of us has the right to share just exactly what we want to share and not one thing more. And I'm surely not saying there's a right or wrong way to blog. But for me personally, I think I'll enjoy this more if I can figure out a way to present a more honest blog personna. You'd think being perfect is fun, but it's not. It's waaay too hard to live up to.
I'm certainly not saying I'll stop posting recipes and crafts and showing you how I do them because honestly, I enjoy doing that. But I'd remind you that my way isn't necessarily the perfect way to do everything I share with you.
There, I feel all better now. Just for the record, I DO have a few secrets you'll never read about on this blog, but I'd sure like for you to stop thinking I wear tights.
As a matter of fact, you have no idea how close I came to buying a pair of sweats today. I haven't worn sweats in years but people, it's cold here and I'm sick of being cold and sweats are the warmest thing you can wear, indoors. And I don't care if they're sloppy.
If both our local super Wal-Marts weren't closed right now because of bomb threats, I'd so be sitting here in sweats. They don't sell sweats at City Market and that's where I had to shop today because the world is full of crazy people and some of them are calling in bomb threats to Wal-Marts all across the nation.
I just thought I'd get this off my chest. I hope it comes across the way I meant it to. Now I'm going back to my comfortable chair to finish reading this Dean Koontz book in plenty of time to watch Survivor tonight because I'm all about quality TV.