Your Challenge for Today: Let's Get Real!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Yesterday started out as a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Very Bad Day.  

I woke up in pain, my lungs tight, my stomach hurting, and my face and tonsils swollen up like The Great Pumpkin in that classic Charlie Brown animated special that anyone over 30 probably grew up with.   Getting out of bed took exactly twenty seven minutes and thirty two seconds, and the effort of actually hoisting myself up out of bed used up about 79% of the energy that I had for the day, meaning BOY WAS I GOING TO BE A JOY TO BE AROUND!    (Sorry, Mr. DomesticatedRedhead)

Why do I tell you this?  
No, not because I want to complain
But because I want to show you "real."  

It occurred to me the other day as I was scrolling through Facebook and Pinterest (the technology version of crack cocaine), reading other people's blogs, and looking at all the shiny, happy pictures and look-ma-I'm-doing-something-fabulous status updates that people were posting, that it's all too easy to look at the rest of the world and wonder... where the heck do these people came from and what is their secret?   Do they never have a bad day?  Are they ever NOT having fun?  And SWEET JESUS STARFISH WEASEL WAFFLES, what shampoo is she using to get that shiny, bouncy hair?

But you know what also occurred to me?  
It's not real.  

Sure, the good things are real.   That shiny hair is real.  Those friends are real (unless you have some pretty spectacular imaginary ones that can actually be photographed.   But maybe that's not awesome, just kinda' spooky).  That sunny boat and awesome restaurant are real.  But what all these people are probably NOT showing is that they're actually tired, and stressed about money, they just got in a fight with their best friend and that fabulous selfie took seventeen different tries and some creative editing via their phone app.   

So why don't they show this?  Because we're all so worried about what others - all the other shiny, happy people - think, to be real, and actually tell about any of that stuff.  

So I'm going first. 

Truth: About 40% of my days start out like this, which is actually an improvement over the last few years when that number was more like 90%.    And I have about 40% of the energy of "normal" people every single day, meaning that something as joyful as scrubbing toilets or... you know... walking up the stairs.... takes a ton of effort sometimes.    But I'm not complaining, because I also know that I'm blessed with a lot of things in life, and there are SO MANY beautiful things in the world that being ill has forced me to slow down enough to actually notice.  

Like the beauty of random roses from my husband this week, given "just because", as they perch on our NEWLY DELIVERED TABLE! 

Or the smell of rich chocolate cupcakes, made for Mr. Domesticated's work to celebrate a team birthday. 

Or even the softness of the puppy's fur, when she jumps into bed in the morning for some "Oh boy you moved slightly therefore you must be awake!" snuggles.  

Now I'm not advocating pessimism, or complaining, or anything that involves excessive whining about first world problems. (a.k.a. "My life is ending because my TiVo didn't record my favorite shows today!")    But what I AM advocating is taking a deep breath, taking a risk, and feeling free to drop the need to appear perfect in favor of just being real sometimes.    Because I've learned the hard way -  by being exhausted, sick, and chronically ill with something outside of my control - that the best people in life will actually like you MORE when you open up.   

So go ahead.  Be real.  
(I promise, I'll still love you)

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4 Responses to “Your Challenge for Today: Let's Get Real! ”

  1. Oh Jessica, I wish I could share some of my relative health with you. I have my issues, but they do not compare in any way. sending you a hug, because you sincerely deserve support. I am mad at myself this week, in the interest of real, for reacting to someone who left something mildly unpleasant on my wall. My crack cocaine wall!! Last week, she let me know I sucked in Russian. My google translation left me shaking, but I was feeling strong, and let it pass. And she edited it to be less offensive. I figured she was displaying her own stupidity, but when she came back at me this week, on my BIRTHDAY, on my wall, I suggested she had made her point, but maybe it was time to take her campaign somewhere else. why could I not keep my stupid mouth shut? Or better yet, just have a private chat with her, and console her, cuz I know she is being rude because she feels bad. Nope. Couldn't find that adult behavior. So... There's my real for you. A little self loathing. But if you'd take a little immaturity with your strength, I'll still share...

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your "Real", Marsha, it helps me so much! And you are such a gracious, strong person, that you shouldn't feel bad about saying something - it seems she crossed the line, and you were just doing what needed to be done to keep her from continuing such ungracious behavior towards you. I hope it didn't ruin your birthday week, since you are such a fabulous friend and inspiring woman that you deserve to have a truly AMAZING one!

  2. Oh man this is good. And I completely feel ya. I try and be as real as I can, which sometimes looks like pessimism, on my blog. My husband actually said sometimes I seem so negative on my blog, but I've got to say that I get so many comments from women who say they appreciate the realness. So keep it up, Jessica! You do you. :)

  3. I love this! I hope you enjoy me on instagram for #LetsBeRealTogether!!!