8/19/13

Keeping it real


Bloggers love to chide one another about not "keeping it real," sharing only the best parts of their lives and keeping anything less than ideal to themselves. First of all, I have to say, of course we naturally do this! Isn't it only natural to put your best foot forward—to clean up before company comes, to choose your best cookie recipe to share with the neighbors, to doll up your children before a party?

Before I started blogging, I thought about this subject a lot. I tend to be a very negatively focused person, but I knew that I wanted my blog to be a positive place. I feel that over the past several years, blogging has helped me to look for the best in my day rather than the worst, and that is a big leap for me.

Another reason that I choose to share positives on this blog much more often than negatives is that I am more inspired by others who share positives. You could share about how disgusting your house is and that you haven't vacuumed in the last three years, but hearing that isn't going to help me or inspire me. I'd rather read about your small successes in the midst of chaos.

Am I a perfect housekeeper, wife, mother? Don't make me laugh. Some days (too many) my kids watch three hours of TV, fight incessantly, and stay up until ten. Sometimes we run out of clean plates, or clean laundry. Sometimes I feel like the floor of our entire house is covered in crumbs, books, and pieces of dismantled electronic objects. Sometimes I procrastinate for months things I should be doing, like calling the doctor or tidying up the guest room.

I have weaknesses. I fail. I cry. I don't often live up to my ideals. But most of you reading my blog are strangers to me. I don't know you, and I'm not going to share my day-to-day drama in a public forum.

In any case, I don't think I've crossed the line of pretended perfectionism on this blog—how could I, being so imperfect? I'm sure my flaws peek out from everything I write, from the occasional typo to the fact that all my recipes are photographed on the same spot on my kitchen counter because it's so easy to clear (and that's when I get around to photographing anything at all).

So now that I've broken three of my cardinal blogging rules (blogging about blogging; ranting; and focusing on the negative), tell me: what do you like to read? Do you prefer peeking into a perfect life, or do you prefer gritty realists, or something in-between? Do you make an effort to blog positively, or do you tell all? And how does this blog come across on the spectrum?

8 comments:

  1. This has become an issue lately with one of my friends who is still being severely cyber-bullied. One of the accusations is that she only blogs the positive. A lot of people do. I don't like to read rants. I do like people who expose their "demons" so to speak in an effort to stare them down and overcome them. I've blogged about having Tourette's- even posted videos of myself speaking to dispel myths about what someone with Tourette's looks like. I've blogged just this past Friday about the fear that if they don't hire you on the spot and say "You gave great answers, but we're still interviewing and will make our decision next week" that you definitely didn't get the job. I talk about my shyness, my depression, my devastatingly low self esteem throughout life that caused me to not do things I could have. It's not my intention to whine, but to overcome these things. I have posted pics of Annalise having tantrums, not to complain about it, but to show that it works a lot of times. Take your child's picture and show it to them. If they're like my child, they'll snap out of it and get this, "Oh Mommy! I didn't know I looked like that!" face. Well, I've ranted, too- mainly lately about my mom. I think it helps if it gets something off of your chest. Focusing on the positive helps more, as does focusing on the negative in an attempt to turn it around.

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  2. Have you considered that focusing on the positive in your day *is* keeping it real? If the blog helps you to not let negativity have a disproportionately large space in your mind and instead gives you the opportunity to give a space to the positive things and give them their due, then you ARE presenting something real rather than despairing when things aren't that bad after all.

    It can be irritating when someone's life appears perfect but it is draining when it seems like they can't see the good in anything. I don't think you are doing either of those things.

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  3. I think you have good balance here on your blog.

    I agree that nobody wants to read constant rants, all the negatives of your life, and whining, whining, whining.

    But I also think there's some kind of balance between letting everyone know every negative thing about you and sharing some of your struggles now and then. There are one or two blogs I can think of where the blogger's life just seems so perfect 100% of the time. I'm sure it's not, but I'd feel like I could relate to them better if they occasionally let their readers know what they are struggling with.

    I also agree that the best blogs are very positive and uplifting!

    I have definitely made mistakes in my blogging, which is part of why I want to just quit half the time. It's hard to put yourself out there and once you do, you can't really take it back because it's always lurking out there on the internet somewhere. I've shared things that are too personal, been too negative, etc.

    My goal is to share some ups and downs in my life, but to force myself to see them positively and share how I'm trying to overcome my struggles.

    I love to read about someone's struggle, but only if they are sharing how they are overcoming them and those little happy bits amidst the turmoil. It inspires me to find the positive in my own life, but I also get to see the reality that other people are experiencing.

    When you write I think you mention things like, "Hey, my pantry is a mess, I'm going to clean it out. Ta Dah! Here's my new and improved pantry with everything in nice jars." We see that you don't have a perfect pantry all the time, but that you worked on it and shared a great solution.

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  4. I like blogs somewhere in-between. Those who follow me closely, read the messages I slip in my writings. Today's post is a good example. I live alone and sometimes when I'm out photographing, I become a little uneasy about exploring alone. I have a good life and I love the land I live on. But, no life is all ups.....

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  5. I like your blog just the way it is. Keep on doing what you're doing.

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  6. I too like a balance. I think it's fine for us to share what's getting us down, it's nice to get support in our times of need; but I also think it would be difficult to follow a blog that was constantly negative.

    I feel you've found a great balance. I'm usually inspired whenever I read any of your posts.

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  7. I was surprised to read that you feel like you tend to be a negatively focused person, because your blog does not come across that way and as someone else mentioned, if looking for the positive is something you are working on and this blog helps you, it is real. I like your blog just the way it is. I like the simplicity and encouraging nature of it. I like to feel inspired and feel like you have a good balance. Keep up the good work! I enjoy reading your blog.

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  8. I prefer to read tips and ideas for positive things that the rest of us can learn from as we're also "in the trenches." I appreciate a positive attitude and I benefit from a laugh at my/our own expense. After all, if we can't be perfect, we may as well laugh about it!

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