February 16, 2009

Disclaimer: this is a rant.

I have a few pet pieves. Not a lot of them, but I definitely have a few, one of which is dishonesty. Now, don't jump to conclusions: no one has been dishonest with me, and I'm not burning them on my blog. I wouldn't ever criticize anyone on here. That's wrong and unfair.

But I do want to be honest with you because I'd be hypocritical not to. I don't appreciate it when people pretend to have a perfect life. I don't like the role play of "ideal" lives and families that so many try so hard to put on. I think that it's pretentious and unfair to others to act like you're perfect and to conveniently hide all of life's difficulties and challenges. It's pretentious because you're creating the illusion that you're better than everyone else, and you're doing it on purpose, and it's unfair, because you're creating a false and unreachably high standard for others to measure themselves against. Hard as they try, they cannot reach your standard, and neither can you.

That said, I have another pet pieve. So many people spend their days wallowing in self pity that it's hard to be around them. Life is always too hard, too sad, too boring, too wonderful, etc. for them to bring themselves back into reality and contribute to society and the building up of other people. I know that there are very exceptional people out there who have had to deal with some very difficult circumstances. My husband is one of them. However, for the rest of us, and even for some of those people, there is a sunny side of life, I promise.

So here's my point. And this has absolutely nothing to do with anyone else but me. I promise.

I put on this blog the pieces of myself and my family that I want to share with you. I leave out all of the moaning and whining and bad things that happen, unless I think it's pertinent to something. Why would I want to share my negativity? I really believe that negativity and sadness and stress are all contagious. If I'm sick with the flu, I'll stay home and keep the germs to myself. Same with my negative thoughts.

But that doesn't mean I don't have negative thoughts. I have bad days, disappointments, frustrations, and bouts of anger. And lots of other bad things. I have difficult times and stressful weeks, and problems I can't solve. I just choose not to talk about them. I'm not perfect, and I never ever want to pretend to be. But I also don't see the point in dragging anyone else down into any pit I might be digging myself out of.

Justin said to me once that he thought that everyone was tested the same. That didn't mean that we all had the same trials, or even that our trials were equal in severity or difficulty. It did mean that we were all tested to the maximum that we could handle, sometime or soemtimes in our life. An analogy would be a parent and child working together. The child can carry 10 lbs of weight, and the parent can carry 50 lbs. Is the child working any less hard? Of course not. They're working as hard as they can, and their efforts are just as commendable.

You might view me as a child with regards to the weight I can carry, but I think that is irrelevant. What is relevant is that we are all carrying weight, but it's the way we approach our task that makes the difference. If we look for the silver lining, we will have the opportunity to enjoy our whole life.

I guess all I'm saying is that I don't want to be misunderstood. I'm not pretentious, and I'm not perfect, and I never want to be viewed that way. In the same breath, I don't want to be judged either. I make mistakes, I do things I regret, but that's because I'm a human.

I know that everyone has challenges, and I think that's wonderful. It's through challenges that we grow, learn, and become better people. That doesn't make them any easier. But when I look back on my life, I want to know that I had a good one, and that I enjoyed it. There's no benefit to complaining. But being optimistic means that you can learn from your experiences, enjoy your life, and have it all be worthwhile.

I guess this has just been on my mind a lot lately. Hopefully someone else appreciates this, and the rest of you don't mind my ranting too much.

"Optimism is a mania for saying things are well when one is in hell." - Voltaire, Candide


The G Fam said...

It is WAY healthy to rant once in awhile! You know our family, and know that we do not bottle much in. There are many aspects of my life that I choose to share, but there are also many aspects of my life that are private! I do not think you pretend to be perfect. It also annoys the heck out of me when people pretend to be perfect on their blogs. That is why I think I enjoy the seriously so blessed blog, because it mocks all those perfect Mormon Mommy blogs that make you throw up a bit in your mouth!!!

Jenny said...

I completely agree with you on the honesty thing. I just blogged about something very similar with parents lying to children on my blog.

Hopefully I don't act too perfect on my blog... :D

Vallen Family said...

I think that this was a great post, not only does it give all of us a deeper understanding of who you are but it also helps all of us know that it's ok to be human! Love you Manda! Hope to see you guys soon!

JAG said...


Of course I went back and read my past posts, just to make sure it wasn't me - on either extreme. Thank goodness it's not... ;)