Social media has a way of making everyone’s life look so perfect. Photos of friends laying on the beach of some exotic locale, the latest reward or recognition of a loved one, the pictures of the new house or new additions to your existing home. These moments of temporary fame all flash on my screen before another achievement takes its place. Don’t get me wrong, I find these tidbits of other people’s lives fascinating and enjoyable to view. But I do question the unrealistic, and often perfect view of life we get.
If you are going to post the idyllic photo of the Disney family vacation, then please post the photo of your child on the plane kicking the seat in front of them and crying non-stop from Portland to Los Angeles. Or the temper tantrum your two year old had while waiting in line for 45 minutes to ride Pirates of the Caribbean for the third time. Or a photo of you at the chiropractor getting your spine realigned after carrying the dead weight of your sleeping four year old from Toon Town all the way back to the bus loading area.
If you are posting photos of your European vacation please post the number of hours it took to book the trip and the number of compromises you made to fit the trip into your budget. The photos of the happy couple standing in front of the Eiffel Tower should also come with a manuscript of the argument they had deciding on which excursion they would take. Because we all know there is no such thing as a perfect life. At least not mine.
As much as I love my husband, I often look forward to an evening to myself when he heads to a meeting. I am quite sure the reverse is true as well. We argue over stupid stuff and have an actual yelling match every now and then. We worry about our health and those of our family members. We budget our funds so that we can splurge every now and then on something we have on our wish list. We argue over when my husband will actually finish the wall trim in our bedroom and if we really need to plant fifty grape plants. (Update-$250 later, we have fifty grape starts planted that the deer promptly ate the first night they were in).
Our two daughters are perfectly imperfect, and I love them for that. They have kept us on our toes and have made for a very interesting life. And to be honest, I will take interesting and a little flawed over perfect any day. My life has character. It’s all wrinkly and sprinkled with the highs and lows, as well as the twists and turns of a rocky road. I am no longer afraid to let the real me be seen. I no longer feel the need to hide my true self so that others can see a reflection of a perfect life. My daughters have taught me that even though I do care what others think, I will no longer allow their opinions to define my life. I need to accept my life as it is, flawed and yet spattered with moments of perfection.
The other night I sat on the porch with my husband. The night air was warm and the sun was just setting. The sky was ablaze with colors of orange, pink, and red. I had spoken with both my daughters that day and they were doing well. I looked at the man I have been married to for over 30 years and thought, what a perfect moment! And it was just that. A perfect moment. Not a perfect life. Not a perfect day. But a perfect moment. And for me, that is enough.