Saturday, January 24, 2015

Oh yeah...ME TOO!

(I have no idea why my text is all messed up with white background on part of this post.  I'm done trying to figure it out.)

The other day I was scrolling through facebook when a friend of mine asked this question:

"Ok, just out of curiosity, has anyone had a home energy report that was efficient? Or close to your neighbors? Both our Questar and Rocky Mountain Power energy reports are like off the charts. It's like crazy bad."

I said, "ME TOO! This happens to us every month!"  This question caught my eye because every single month on our power bill it states that we have used the most energy of anyone in our neighborhood and tells us we need to do better at conserving energy.  It makes zero sense that we use the most, we have one of the smaller homes in our neighborhood.  But every month it makes me feel a little bit guilty.  However from the other comments on my friend's post, it seems like almost EVERYONE else also gets this notice that they use the most power in their neighborhood. Apparently the power company likes to make everyone feel bad about their power use too ;).  It sounds totally silly, but seeing others comment that they also get this notice made me feel 100 times better.

I have been thinking about this over the last couple of days.  Why did reading that other people get the notice too make me feel so much better?  I know it's because I realized I wasn't the only one, I felt validated. So if something as trivial as knowing others felt this way about  a power bill,  how much more impactful is it when we truly open ourselves up and share the hard stuff?

Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and other social media show us snapshots of everyone's highlight reel.  Rarely do we see the hard, messy, real part of life.  We don't open ourselves up to that, I for one am a bit afraid of what others might think if they see it or know about it, I don't open myself up to many people very often.

However,  vulnerability and  sharing the real stuff can not only help us, but it can help other people realize they aren't alone!  We don't have to be negative about life to do this, but we can share the reality of life with each other.

So I am about to get real here and share a few things that are going on with me.  If you feel so inclined, share some of your messy life as well.  

So here are a few things I am struggling with right now:

  • One of my children is not being included socially by his so called friends.   Deep down I think I  knew  it was happening but tonight I saw it with undeniable proof when I saw the entire group together and nobody had thought to include my son.  It breaks my Mommy heart and I don't know that there is anything I can do about it.
  • I have so much going on in my life and in my brain and  I have forgotten many things recently (it doesn't help that my phone loses appointments I have put in it).  I appear to be a total flake sometimes.
  • My house is disorganized and messy much of the time.  Our kitchen, closet space and bedrooms are a fraction of the size we came from in Vegas.  If someone shows up at my house unexpected I am embarrassed....when I know someone is coming I clean  like a crazy lady. 
  • Money is really tight, I am looking for a job or a way to earn some more money.  I want to find something to do from home so I don't have to leave my 4 year old with a babysitter.  Kids are more expensive the older they get and I see the future with missions, college and weddings and feel great anxiety.
  • I miss my community of friends in Vegas.  I miss them terribly.  It's been a year and I think I miss them more than I did a year ago.  I miss that my ward was my family.  I feel like those friends really know who I am, they love me and my family for who we really are.  I know it takes time to build those relationships (we lived in Vegas for 12 years), but it doesn't mean my heart doesn't ache for that even a year later. We went to visit last week and it was wonderful to see them, but it made all of us miss our "framily" even more.  

So there you go, some of the not so picturesque moments in my life that I don't open up and share with very many people.

 What are you worried about?  What plays over and over in your brain?  Do you ever feel like you aren't enough as a woman, wife or mother?  Do you worry for your kids (of course you do, we all do!)  Do you think your life isn't as good as others?  Do you worry what people will think of you if you are vulnerable?

I have been pondering this for a couple of days.  I don't have any answers but I do know when others share their heart with me it makes me feel so good... 1. that they would share with me and 2. it usually helps me feel better about my life as well.

So what do you say we share more of real life with other people?  


Sus said...

What are you worried about?
My children, my job, money.

What plays over and over in your brain?
How I could have worked at the same place for 25 years, given my heart and soul to it, and still don't feel respected.

Do you ever feel like you aren't enough as a woman, wife or mother?
All the time! Not so much as a wife, thank goodness, but definitely the others. I have a hard time spreading myself thin to be a wife, mother, and employee, as well as taking care of MYSELF.

Do you worry for your kids (of course you do, we all do!)
Yes, as a matter of fact. Two of my three children have Autoimmune diseases, which have left them disabled. I expect that both of them (ages 33 and 38) won't outlive me. My middle daughter is in a marriage with a man with Peter Pan Syndrome and has to shoulder all the responsibility alone, which stresses me out terribly.

Do you think your life isn't as good as others?
Actually, I think I have a pretty good life. I like it for the most part. It hasn't been easy to convince people they should let me live it the way I want, although I'm getting there.

Do you worry what people will think of you if you are vulnerable?
No so much if I'm vulnerable, just because I'm not good enough. Whatever I do, it's never enough . . .

Shannon Brown said...

Cheryl, thank you so much for this post!

Your opening comments reminded me of a POM podcast. April was speaking to John Acuff (?) and I love one of his quotes: "When you share, you give others the gift of going second." I love it! The thought that sometimes it is so difficult to break the ice, to introduce a hard subject, to share your thoughts . . . But if someone else has gone first, it is so much easier for others to follow. I have never thought of that as a gift, but it truly is!

My heart goes out to you as I read your list -- I am saying ME TOO!
*Worrying about my kids and being included with friends . . . but more so that they will HAVE the opportunity to experience great friends. They are unique personalities (smart, creative, dare I say nerdy?) and others don't always "get" them.

*You should come to my house right now. Mess!

*Missing a community of friends. Yep, yep, and yep! I really miss people truly knowing & caring about our kids. I miss the deep connections. I miss having girlfriends that I can just drop by their houses to hang out or that will show up at mine with a plate of cookies or hand me down clothes for my kids or a milkshake or flowers. You're right, it does take a while to build those things up (especially after living in one place for a long time). But when I realize I can EASILY go a whole week -- Sunday to Sunday-- and not see or talk to another person outside my family, that makes me feel pretty blah. And every time I visit my girlfriends - while I LOVE it! - I do go home with a little more ache for that former life.

*And the big one . . . I haven't blogged at all about this because I have to be careful about what I share publicly. But, my husband has been out of work for the past 7 months. Ya. Things *might* finally be happening this week - we'll see. But it has been a big trial of faith and patience. One that I don't/can't blog, Facebook, or instagram about because of the business world he is in.

And that is my vulnerable list. Phew. Thanks for letting me share and lift a load. I do want to share more of real life with other people -- I think we all want a little more real, but it is scary to go there.

You are so great at getting people to talk and share -- I can tell from the small breakout session I did with you at that POM retreat -- and that is a gift! I'm glad you're continuing with POM and doing great things with them.

cheryl cardall said...

I feel for you Shannon! My oldest sounds very similar to your kids and he just hasn't broken into the social
Network here. It's been hard for him but we are getting lots of time with him and he and my husband are spending lots of time together doing things he enjoys. I have felt more than ever that my home needs to be his soft place to fall where he feels loved and accepted no matter what.

It sounds like you have a network in Oregon similar to what I miss in vegas. I too miss so much of what you stated especially people that truly love my kids like their own.

And the husband out of sorry! Been there, done that and its so hard! Lots of prayers that something happens soon!

Thanks for commenting, I love your blog and think you are amazing!