When I read back over some of my older blog posts, I'm struck by how much bitching I do. (Shut up, Chuck.)
I'm tired. I'm late to work. My husband doesn't clean up as much as I do. I hate the witch-cat I hung by the mantel.
Granted, my complaints are legitimate. I work full-time and have two children under the age of five. I am tired. I don't lay out my clothes the night before, nor do I pack my lunch in advance. I am late.
And Chuck. Even though I tell him on a daily basis that I need/want him to do more around the house, his idea of doing is very different than mine. For instance, when he says he'll do the dishes, what he really means is he'll do them in a few weeks.
Know what? I don't have a few weeks. I need to make my lunch for work and I need a clean knife. One.Clean.Knife.
Still, I've been thinking a lot about my outlook. Mostly because Chuck and I have a friend—let's call her Shits Rainbows—on Facebook who has made it her mission to sprinkle her 400+ friends with healthy doses of I'm-so-happy-to-be-alive-I-need-to-profess-it-on-Facebook.
She's so sugary happy that Chuck and I actually call each other during the day to snicker over her status updates. Stuff like:
"Just baked fresh muffins, my friends. The smell of apples is in the air. A bird is chirping outside my window. The sunbeams are illuminating my foyer. Savor each moment!"
And: "My six-month-old little prince and I are off to the grocery store! Cooking dinner tonight for the love of my life. Lighting candles. Baking fresh bread and garlic mashed potatoes. Great end to the weekend. Life is good!"
It never seems to end.
Many times I have thought about canceling her updates. I just couldn't take her singsong enthusiasm for the most banal of activities. Grocery shopping with a baby? Shoot me. And why the hell did people need to know she was making garlic mashed potatoes? Why weren't regular spuds good enough?
(I swear, this is the shit that keeps me up at night.)
After a few months of having her sunshine in my feed, though, I noticed something happening. I noticed that her sunny outlook was making me think about small moments I'd had that I could kinda sorta maybe be more appreciative of. Not on Facebook, per se, but in my own consciousness.
Moments like tickling Diddlydoo after his bath. Like hugging Chuck—really hugging him—and feeling like he is still my best friend. Like loving my mother because she does my dishes and vacuums even while she's calling me an asshole because I tell her not to do so much.
Was I stopping to appreciate the small, happy moments enough? Was I sharing enough of the good stuff, or was sarcasm blinding me to the beauty of my sunbeam-lit foyer?
More importantly, what would happen if I started blowing my happy chunks all over my friends on Facebook?
I set to task one day and wrote this:
I won't bore you with the responses I got, except to say that they ranged from "Who are you?" to "No really, who are you?"
That's okay. It really is. People want me to grumble and kvetch. Their false assumption that my life is rusty nails and burnt toast provides their insecurities and inferiority complexes with sustenance.
Simply, I feed their broken inner child. And I'll continue to do so. I can spit snark while nuzzling my noggin. My newfound love for the daily slices of Heaven in my life can be my little secret.
As can the fact that I still have Shits Rainbows in my news feed—and that she makes me smile as much as she makes me throw up in my mouth.
About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.