Monday, July 9, 2012

Airing some laundry... and things like that.

 I'm sure someone out there can relate to this.  The other day I got sucked into a blogging comparison trap.  I didn't mean to, honestly.  I do my best to be a comparison free zone when it comes to blogging.   I don't keep track of subscriber numbers, I almost never check my sitemeter, and I try to enjoy each person and what they bring here and not get caught up in a blog building frenzy.  I focus on my thing and let others focus on theirs. But every once in a great while, (and thankfully it is really, really rare for me) I get snagged in the comparisons of the blogosphere because obviously the collective talent out there is mind-blowing.
 I had stumbled upon a really fantastic and well known blog that I seldom visit but always enjoy whenever I stop. Inspiring, and filled with encouragement and great tips, this blog has exploded in the span of time I've also been blogging.  Every photo is worthy of magazine space.  And as I read all of the places this blog had been featured and or promoted and everything that goes along with that, I began swimming in the sea of self-defeat. 
  As I continued to read, she shared some great tips on how to stage all of your photos to look magazine perfect and such, and gave a run down of photography advice that had me cringing since I do a lot of her "dont's" in the name of artistic liberty and personal preference.  Oops.  While her intent was to help, (and I can easily see where she was headed with this advice on making all things lovely, and following certain rules of photography) I began to swirl a little bit, into the abyss of I'm-not-ever-going-to-be-a-rock-star-like-her-and-why-in-the--heck-do-I-even-try-for-Pete's-sake?? 

You want to know something... nobody ever felt better about themselves by comparing anything with anybody.  Oh sure if you're better than the person you're comparing yourself too, you might puff up and feel great for a minute... but deep in your heart, you know what's really making you feel great (pride) won't last and you'll feel crummy the second someone else bests you.  That's because pride is a liar and self-defeat is lousy company.

I want to make you a promise.  Here on my blog, I'm not ever going to pretend that it's better, more perfect, and lovelier than it is but I will celebrate (and probably photograph it according to my own rules) when it's close to any of those things.  

The truth is... life is pretty freaking awesome all on it's own... but:
Sometimes my husband and I argue on occasion and frankly don't like one another very well until things are settled. And I don't always advertise that in my blog.
Sometimes my kids throw bikes into bushes when they get mad at me while I'm running because I'm not handling a pesky sibling the way they'd like and I have to stop and do some on-the-trail disciplining.  And I don't always post about it in my blog.
Sometimes cake is dry and frosting looks crappy and I don't photograph it for my blog.
Sometimes I put my laundry on the couch and ignore it for half a day.  And I don't tell anyone on my blog.
Sometimes my photos suck and nothing can be done about it.  So I don't blog that day.
Sometimes parties and gatherings aren't a big success.  And I don't splash them all over my blog.
Sometimes misunderstandings happen.  And you can't always talk about every detail (or even want to) on a blog.
Sometimes I don't pray and I ignore God.  And I don't listen to my own advice and encouragement from this blog.
Sometimes I say or think the wrong thing.  And sometimes I say it wrong on my blog.

I want to encourage you in case you've ever looked around the blog world, like I did in that little moment, and felt small or sub-par compared to other people.  Yes, there are places that stage and photo shop every single photo they put out there and that makes it seems like they never have a bad hair day and life is perfect and polished... but it's not.  I know it's not.  And so do you.  If I'm honest I'd love to live a magazine-perfect and consistently staged life every now and then... (who wouldn't sometimes?) But I don't.  I can't. and I won't.  Sometimes I make it pretty for pretty's sake but we all know that's not real life all. the. time.  I promise that I'll never pretend it is.  I may not show every nasty detail of my life, but I also won't lie and say I don't have them.  Oh boy, do I have them!  I want you to be encouraged every time you come here knowing that if you see a photo of my spotlessly looking kitchen, I'm probably not showing you the laundry all over my couch (or my closet- like daily) and I might have just yelled at my kids in a bad-mommy-101 moment.  Not. Perfect. I never want anyone who reads LMM to think I've got it all together.  Every one of my girlfriends would nod their heads and agree wholeheartedly when I tell you that I don't.

I said all of that, not to squeeze compliments out of you guys, but to remind us ALL that comparing the perceived perfection and what works for another person to our own situations will always twist the reality, steal our joy and make us feel worse.  We have value and worth and we can rest in the fact that though all of us are far from perfect, we've been redeemed by One who is.  And we can play by our own rules. 

Tell me... have you ever fallen into this blog comparison trap? 

 


62 comments:

  1. wow. timing was perfect for this post. i had a blog (or tried to) for about a year. i checked my page views daily (not smart) and kept wondering how i'd ever make a go of it, even though i simply enjoyed writing and posting my non-photoshopped pictures that probably had nothing to do with anything i was writing. then my computer broke and i took it as a sign from God that i needed to NOT blog.
    i do miss it, and now that i have a shiny new computer, i think i may take it up again just for me...and maybe someone else out there in the blogosphere will see my totally un-magazine-worth life and enjoy the craziness of my family. ...because i adore your blog- your creativity, honesty and your super duper pictures. :)

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  2. Comparison is the thief of joy. I strive to remember that all the time. I don't always...but you don't see that on my blog;) Love your honesty.

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  3. every single day.... Thank you for putting some perspective on it....I am never going to be a rock star either!! But that is ok! ;)

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  4. THANK YOU! It's not just me. I never understood the whole "follow me" thing and I don't look at that either. You know that saying that we're comparing our "Behind the scenes" with everyone else's "Highlight reel"? Yeah, so true. Off track here but that's why I love Marie Osmond, too. She says things like that - at the end of the day, we're all just women who want to do a good job and do the best we can. Some days we're good at it and some days we're not. We should all be encouragers of each other - on both kinds of days. Please keep doing what you're doing. ♥

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  5. well said! i'm not really into blogging for the attention. i've just said, Lord, if you want to touch someone through it, then yay! but if the only people who ever read it are my family members, i'm cool with that too. i DO get excited when i gain a follower though { the only reason i have the box is because i hate visiting a new blog and not being able to keep tabs on it by following! i keep your blog in my side bar so i keep up with you, but if i did that with all the blogs i like, my page would be never ending} to God be the Glory, not ourselves...

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  6. I think you are a RockStar! Your beautiful pics and honest transparent life is what keeps me coming back. Your comfortable and relatable and for that I thank you! I do also suffer from blog envy at times but always try to remember that no one ever has it all together. Great post!

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  7. I often repeat to myself...Do not judge. Do not compare....over and over and over again. It helps me see others more clearly and be more gentle with myself. You are going great. You are an inspiration to me and many, I'm sure.

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  8. yes, yes, and yes! :)
    but then i come back to the reality of why i blog.
    to please the Lord and honor Him. not others. not myself.
    and then He brings me back to where i ought to be. :)
    xo

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  9. Thank you. I think everybody has a purpose for their blog and no two are alike. I usually don't get too deep on my blog or air my laundry and my photos are so not perfect or staged. My girls are my life and I want to chronicle that, but you are right in that sometimes we compare. I love your blog and I love mine and many others:). Thanks for keeping it real. God bless... And I got called a grumpy old troll last week-check out my recent blog for a chuckle and reassurance you are not alone 😊

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  10. Every time I set out to be more committed to my blog I feel inferior. I look around and see everyone elses beautiful online creations and mine just seems like the brown bag to everyone elses shiny, gorgeous lunch boxes. It definitely keeps me from blogging as much as I would like/should/could. Thanks for your honesty. The internet is such a dangerous place. I get inspired to read that people have struggles just like me. I AM NOT ALONE!

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  11. You are honestly about the 6th blog I've read in two weeks on this subject. I think you said it best sister. I love your blog and have been a wee bit jealous of your cake for Ava's birthday :) Tried it and failed - ah haaaaa. Good thing I can laugh at myself - huh? Also, thank God I can't make the EAT napkins like you or I would have 100 instead of 8. Have a blessed week - :) oh and you need to get on instagram - it's so much fun.

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    1. I KNOW girly I am possibly getting a smart phone next week and then I'll be driving y'all crazy with my instagrams. LOL

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  12. Um, yes. Me too, Me too, and oh, BTW, me too!!! For sure! Guess that's the sinful nature, right? Thanks for the reminder to be real, and... thanks for being real. Love that about you, Sasha! ~Sally

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  13. Well, my blog is just a little family thing. I'm not an "interesting to the masses" type, but even I have thought, "Geez, I'm dumb to do this blog since I'm no where near on top of things like "real" bloggers!" Eventhough it was never my intent to have a go to blog. I guess it is a human trait and I totally get where you're coming from. I can most apply this scenario to being overweight. Talk about comparing oneself and coming up short! But, the truth is, though my sin might be more visable, it's no different than the sin of the prideful, thin woman down the street. Maybe I'm taking it too deep, but I imagine you know what I mean. Anyway, I love your blog and enjoy reading because it is real. Your blog is part of my devotional life! ;)

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  14. Well said. Comparison is, indeed, a thief of joy. You know, I like your blog because it ISN'T perfect. Because you ARE honest, real, and tell it like it is. You have bad days, and we have bad days. It's life. I'm just glad to know that people out there are like me. We struggle, we love deeply, and we have ample amounts of joy.

    I attempted blogging twice. I let others rain on my parade with negativity, so I quit. I miss it. You do a great job! Kudos and God Bless, hon.

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  15. well said. yes. i do. i get that way when i start to look at numbers. but i know... i can't blog for that.. i blog for me. and my kids.. it's good to hear that you aren't so perfect. i think people need to hear that everyone in a while - from EVERY blogger! ;) stay true! thank you!

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  16. Every single day I have to remind myself when I am reading blogs, that God has created each of us with different and unique talents. And that just because someone looks perfect online, doesn't mean she is perfect in real life. No one was made perfect. I love how honest you are!!! My house always has laundry or dishes that need done...oh and regularly there is some sort of yelling going on. I wish I could say it was always the kids, but...
    You have a great blog and I always enjoy coming here because I know that I will leave refreshed and inspired. Just wanted you to know that!!!

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  17. I don't blog....but I ENJOY yours and your HONESTLY...KEEP IT REAL !!
    Sandy

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  18. Great post!

    I spend a minute or two comparing how perfect another family is or how beautiful a blog is . . . and then the Lord quickly reminds me that my time, my energy, my focus needs to be on my children. Maybe when more of them are grown and gone I'll have time for pretty pictures and a a beautiful blog. For now . . . my blog is a journal of our life (the good, the bad, and the ugly) ... and that's what you get.

    There are a few blogs that I used to like, but found myself being really critical of (because they portrayed their lives as Fairy Tale Perfect). So, I just stopped reading them. I don't need to spend my time reading blogs that are not encouraging, supportive, helpful, or fun.

    Yours ... I just like how you write, how you take pictures, how you decorate, and how you share life.

    Keep up the good work!

    Laurel
    mama of 12 (ages 10, 10, 12, 13, 15, 19, 21, 23, 23, 25, 26, 28)

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  19. I really like you.
    And sometimes I ignore my laundry on the couch for like 3 days...
    and then when it's finally folded & placed in the basket, I ignore it for another week :)
    And I would probably write about it on my blog...but I've also ignored the idea of starting one :)

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    1. LOL We are twins. I hate laundry and I ignore it as loooonng as I can.

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  20. Way to keep it real! I don't have my own blog but enjoy reading a few select good ones after some serious editing in my inbox! Here's what I've noticed about blogs: if you spend your time obsessively looking around comparing yourself to others the quality of the integrity of your blog will suffer, if your blogging for the sake of blogging it gets boring (sorry super honest reader here), BUT keeping it simple, honest and real now that's what I enjoy most and look forward to reading.

    I had this little nugget on all of my gymnastic cert's and awards and now pass it along to my BMX racer:
    "For when the one great scorer comes to write against your name he writes not that you won or lost but how you played the game."

    Keep writing, photographing, keep it honest and real, KEEP GOING!

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  21. sometimes I comment and sometimes I don't. today I say thank you for keeping it real. blessings to you and yours...

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  22. you're awesome my friend. that's why i love you!!

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  23. I love your blog for so many reasons...but this post hightlights it the most. You are real. I love your honesty. I don't blog so I can't say I do the 'comparison thing' on that level, but unfortunately in my day to day life I get caught in that trap. Most days I feel sub-par. i catch myself often comparing myself to others and wishing I was more like them...but then it's posts like this one that give me a friendly dose of reality...I may not be perfect but I am perfectly ME.
    ...and come to think of it, I have a load of laundry in the drier waiting to be folded...it's been there since Sunday. OOOPS.
    Please don't change, you are awesome just as you are!

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  24. I get what you are saying! I have emailed you before on dealing with the kids. Its hard! Life is not perfect for anyone so, we are foolish to believe it is. Perfection is found in our loving heavenly Father. If we had to look at your unfolded wash on the couch I might not want to read the blog because I can look at that at my own house! LOL! You are doing a good job of keeping it real and inviting. Your blog is the first one I look for each morning. Kelly (vpwas@comcast.net)

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  25. I do not have a blog, but I love to read blogs. I have followed your blog for quite a while and ALWAYS enjoy each post. Some post truly open my eyes, and I thank you.

    One thing I try to remind myself of:

    Contentment ends when comparison begins!!

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  26. Remember the sister you led to Christ through this blog of yours, and call that bigger than any perfectly staged photo or project.

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  27. Well put! We all get caught in that snare now and then! Thank God for His Holy Spirit! He rescues us ... from ourselves!

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  28. Great, real truth--what I love about coming to your space: ) I blog--but it's family stuff mostly and I plan on making each year into a book so it fulfills my scrapbooking that I used to do but no longer enjoy. . .I just recently started toying with manual on my camera because of your little tips. . . and I visited Sherwin-Williams for the first time because I love your stripes. All in all, I I keep the comparison stuff at bay--I do what I do because I enjoy it and it seems you do too: ) Thank you for being true to you: )

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  29. Sometimes, well all the time, my pictures suck and I use them on my blog. I always wish I didn't, but if I didn't, I would have a blog without photos. Truth.

    Sometimes I get caught comparing too. Like you, it's very rare, but once in a while the green-eyed jealousy bug bites me.
    ~FringeGirl

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  30. Great post! I had these thoughts the other day while I was updating my blog with pictures from the end of May (I am so behind). Mine is a family blog, one to keep my loved ones caught up on our family's comings and goings. I love my boys and they are my life...not my blog. It is ok if things are not caught up and up-to-date and NOT perfect :) I love checking in on your blog and I love your pictures too :) Thanks for keeping it real!

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  31. Mmmm, sometimes I do. But I think a lot of the people who have big blogs have either had a happy "accident" and just been in the right place at the right time or they run their blog as a business, more or less. It must be exhausting to feel accountable to an audience of strangers in that way - you see posts apologising for not blogging or taking time to do something, and to me that seems another burden in a busy life. So I have my blog for my own pleasure and recreation, as a hobby, and as a second journal and photo album, and it does tend to have all the prettier moments in it. And it is so liberating not to care at all what anyone else thinks of it or of me. (For what it's worth - I like your blog and I only came across it because it was featured on a snarking site. I like pretty, cheerful places and people!)

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    1. Oooh shudder... I'm SO glad I wasn't the one who saw myself on any snarking sites!! I haven't ever read them but I do hear they are scary for us bloggers. LOL

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    2. Oh it was just one curious person and one judgemental person, and nobody else wanted to join in, but I saw the blog name and thought I'd click and see what could be wrong with someone who did DIYs and loved her family and Jesus! It's very true what they say you can't please all of the people all of the time!

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  32. Oh Sash. Have I ever. And often. Especially when I look at people who have been blogging for the same length of time that I have, and how their blog has grown, but how I had to go and make that stupid decision to switch to wordpress which caused my growth to come to a screeching halt. I compare. And get depressed. And grumble. And whine. -- But you know what? Your post has inspired me. To just be me. In fact I have a post up today about being me. For better or for worse. That's when we're happiest. And I love having REAL blog friends like you. Who are honest and open. You are a breath of fresh air today. Thank you for that.

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  33. What a wonderful post! Amen to that, sister!

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  34. I stumbled across the whole blogging world a couple of years ago when I googled something and then one blog leads to another and so on. I love that I can communicate with like-minded people in the US and there are a lot of blogs that are really inspiring, some I read a lot and others have fallen by the way side. But what I love about your blog is, it's real and you are real and I know you have happy days and not so happy days and you're not afraid to say so. And when you don't have a perfectly staged home to photograph, you'll post photos of your laundry and that's so great. I wish I could just pop over and knock on your door because you're the kind of person I like to have in my life, you're not pretentious and you're totally honest and you should be proud of that.

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  35. thanks Sasha. your post really made me realize how much i've fallen into that trap lately! you are awesome and so real! i know a tone of people really appreciate that about you, and so do i. i LOVE to check in on your blog and i'm always encouraged with it. so thank YOU!

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  36. Thanks for the reminder...it is so true! I stumbled across your blog through pinterest and now am a loyal follower! I appreciate your realness, honesty, love for the Lord and your inspiring posts...of which i pinterest many of your photos :). Thanks!

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  37. I'm going to have to agree with anonymous in the comments. I don't get this "being real" thing. If I wanted that, I would watch the news, which I don't. If I had to see pics of piles of dirty laundry, or constantly hear about negativity for the sake of being "real", I would stop visiting that blog. To me, it's a given that everyone does NOT have a perfect life, nor am I naive enough to think so. I sure as heck don't. We shouldn't assume that just because those "big blogs" don't blog about their imperfections, failures or struggles, that they don't have them. Just my two cents.

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  38. Please keep your blog the way it is! I love your blog. I like that it is orginal and that everything isn't staged. What is the fun of reading a blog if it is like all the others. I once had a friend who read my blog. We hadn't seen each other in years. I suggested we see each other. When it came time to see each other I could sense some hesitation. I asked her what was going on. She then told me that after reading my blog she felt nervous that her life would not seem as glamorous as mine and that hot dogs might not be good enough. I then told her hot dogs were perfect and that what she reads on my blog is perception. I eat hot dogs, but I don't blog about it. We don't eat fancy dinners every night. We had a great visit!

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  39. I have been reading your blog for a number of years...I don't think that I have ever left a comment...til now.

    This is probably the first post of yours that I have actually read every single word.

    That last little part on here is the truth anyhow. I am glad you wrote this because I think those things too...sometimes.

    This was encouraging.

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  40. Oh! I forgot to say thank you! Thank you for this wonderful stop comparing yourself to others post! Loved it!
    And I have been reading all these years because I love this blog!...lemonade style! :-)

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  41. I can say that I have followed your blog for a while now. I've always found it inspiring, and this post is just another one. Thank you!

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  42. I know that I have mentioned it before, but I will say it again. I do not leave comments regularly, but your blog, along with Paige, Becky and Lissa's, are the ones I read faithfully and you truly bring SUNSHINE to my day! XOXO

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  43. Thank goodness you are real! I love, LOVE, to surf blogs for decorating ideas,although mainly for entertainment. I'm so tired of seeing picture perfect homes with their picture perfect families.
    Please keep it real. I find your blog inspiring, especially how you admit you fail, you struggle letting God have control, and you can laugh at yourself. Thank you.

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  44. I wish my laundry only stayed on the couch for 1 1/2 days! ;) Seems like every photo I take in the house has laundry in the background!! Hope you have a great summer! Hugs!

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  45. yes ma'am...i fall into the trap. more often then i'd like to admit! it's a bad place to be...i always feel ungrateful for what i DO have and for the talents i have when i come out of my pity party. it's so hard not to go there in this blog world sometimes.

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  46. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This post is so real and honest and I am so glad you shared. I visit as often as I can just for these reasons. I have felt "less than" very often in blogland, however, that's a temporary feeling and I move on. I do not have the perfect house (I live in an apt) or so called top of the line decor. I am comfortable and I try to stay in gratitude daily ~ and some days I don't do so well. :)

    Pat

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  47. thank you for that - and best wishes, especially on the hard days.

    yes, i do fall into that trap of comparison. i don't have a blog (so am not comparing things like the number of comments per post or how many visitors i had to my site), but i read quite a few of them and find myself wishing for things that other people show so nicely on their blogs so i am comparing my life, what i have, to other people. not so good to do.

    if you don't mind, i'd like to add something about comparison that has nothing to do with blogs/showing only the bright, shiny, happy stuff online (hope that's okay). i have an identical twin sister and the world (outside of our family) seems bent on comparing us. most often it happens when we're standing side by side ("let's see ... you're taller and she's ..."). while i think no harm is intended, that people are just looking for ways to tell us apart and get to know us, it's still painful when someone says something like "you're cute, but your sister is pretty" (and, again, we are identical. it is hard to tell us apart). i'd like to ask people to please stop doing that! thank you.

    and if i could add one more thing - a favorite quote that applies to your post: "don't compare your insides to someone else's outsides".

    thanks for letting me air this stuff!

    kathy ("anonymous" because i don't have a blog)

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  48. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I needed to hear that because my family is always comparing me to my sister and we are opposites. The fact is that my mother has passed away and she was the one I was like and my father cannot relate to me so I am left out of things. He and my other sister are a exactly alike. I try and tell them I am not perfect and there is only One who is and it is not any of us.

    I love the fact that you say that you are not perfect and we should be who we are. I struggle with my family all the time and a friend recently told me that I just have to be who I am and make sure that my I can live with myself and the decisions I make. I don't have to be what others want me to be and the only one I am accountable in the end is our God. Thank goodness for the friends the Lord brings into our life because they become our FAMILY!

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  49. Just so you know, your blog is beautiful and in fact, all your photos seem magazine-worthy. I love that you stick to what works for you and it sooo works!

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  50. I was actually speaking about this the other day with a friend. Not blog comparisons, just comparisons in general....blog, facebook, chance meeting at a store...

    I wish that more people WOULD blog, or post, the real day to day moments we all have. I know that I am as quilty of this as anyone, but if we would all stand back and realize what we are doing to ourselves, and each other, we would have NO choice but to STOP.

    I know that in my "real life" I have made more friends by revealing my flaws (really revealing. details. not an overview.) than I have by pretending to have it all together. Actually, I would revise that statement by saying that I have ONLY made friends by revealing my flaws. No one can relate to perfect. No one. Everyone can relate to struggles, flaws, insecurities, a fight with your husband, or yelling at your kids. Most of us would like to white wash these moments away, and not put them "in writing" for the world to see.....I know I would, BUT if we WOULD talk about, and reveal our dirty laundry (not someone else's, of course), I think that we might find out that we have more in common with people that we "meet" than we might think.

    Personally, there is no better feeling than knowing that you are not alone.

    "The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel." - Steven Furtick

    Life isn't a competition. We will all eventually lose it.

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  51. we all compare at some time or another...it sucks joy right out of our sails, doesn't it?!

    you're the real thing, friend.

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  52. I ran across your blog a while back and have truly been blessed by it. Thanks for your honesty!

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  53. Oh wow Sasha, were you reading my mind...my blog. I just recently updated my blog header and added a few things cause I felt my little blog wasn't anything.
    just so you know your blog is lovely. Not because of your beautiful photos (even though they are) but because of your lovely heart that you are willing to share with everyone. Good days and bad. Thank you for reminding us to not waste our time comparing ourselves to others. To just be us and be content. I always love stopping by your blog.
    Hugs to you girlie!

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  54. Amen and amen!

    Many Blessings,
    Melissa

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  55. Yep....I'm with you! :) So glad to keep it real....this post is such a great reminder. Thanks for that! :)

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