Monday, January 24, 2011

Taking the Blog World in Stride by Bloom Guest Rae

Bloomers, meet Rae. We think she's witty and fun and smart. We're thrilled that she agreed to contribute to Bloom today. We think you'll love her, please make her feel welcome here :) We'd really like her to come back.

Talk about an all time honor to be asked to be a guest poster at Bloom – shout out to all the Bloom community! I’ve read your comments, peeked in daily for bits of inspiration, and leave feeling a little more part of something good every time. So when Anne and Em asked me to contribute, I immediately combed the recesses of my brain to come up with what I could offer….

We discussed the possibility of pictures of my home? (I do love decorating)….

Maybe a craft or two? (I am disgustingly proud of my newly sewn throw pillow that incorporated my Great Grandmother’s homemade doilies)….

What about a yummy recipe? (I make a mean stuffed beef and cheese manicotti)….

Or a humorous story and a lesson learned about mothering? (my kids are three parts insanity and one part pure hilarious)

A column about New Year’s goals? (I feel plenty enthusiastic about mine)….

I had plenty of options, and was filled with excitement over posing as a quasi-expert on any one of the above topics. The problem was, deep in the dark {and most authentic} corner of my conscience was my Jiminy Cricket speaking: Really Rachel? Stuffed Manicotti? You just got off of the phone crying to your mother. You freaked out at your husband last night. You swear your children are slowly and methodically stripping away every last ounce of your already minuscule reserve of brain cells , and I believe you exclaimed to the heavens (out loud) at some point during your day (which rotated around breastfeeding the baby), “I wish I were a boy!” If we’re going to speak truth…today…then it would be more accurate to say that if you log on to another female’s blog that details any of the above listed craft tutorials or insightful tips on eco-friendly parenting, you are at serious risk of intentionally overdosing on your kids’ bubblegum flavored Motrin tablets and cough syrup and calling it a day.

Oh, shush Jimi, I thought. That was just one day.

But then again, I thought…it was a tough day. And just what if in other parts of the world - when my rough day(s) passes, and I’m ready to recommit all of my pep and energy into my very worthwhile efforts at self-improvement – another person who is having their own hideous day logs on and reads my lofty New Year’s resolution list as featured on Bloom and consequently devours three entire pans of brownies in a depressed display of overwhelmed and false comparison (thus, most likely, thwarting her own intended New Year’s resolution to lose five pounds – isn’t that usually on everyone’s list?).

I can’t be responsible for such a debacle.

And so it is to you, dear reader who is having a bad day, who I dedicate my thoughts to. Because life gets hard sometimes, doesn’t it? It is such a multi-faceted adventure really. A true roller coaster. And everyone rides it. Sure, it might seem like others are constantly at the top – enjoying the view of mountain vistas or sea shore in the distance – while you’re plunging at a supersonic mach 5 pace towards the hardened ground, but it simply is a false illusion of a masterfully designed ride that you will crash into oblivion. Before you know it, and sometimes when you least expect it, the low point shifts and you’ll begin your ascent to better views and much less nausea inducing stomach flops.

It’s like that sometimes too, in this great cyber community where we can connect with so many others. There are times you’ll be inspired and feel connected, and other times when you might come to false conclusions drawn from faulty comparisons and end up feeling like a lonely loser who will never measure up to so-and-so or this-and-that.

I could post a million pictures of my home, or gaggles of self portraits portraying myself frolicking in the park with my children in the best designer jeans….

I could post my trials, my shortcomings, my lessons learned ….

I could post anonymous rants and rude comments….

And it will still never accurately detail the full measure of who I am. Or you either.

So If I can propose one New Year’s resolution, it would be that we take and enjoy what is so good about the invention of blogging, and leave what is not.

And lastly, to the Bloom community, kudos to you for being such a great source of optimism and inspiration mixed with heartfelt honesty. You’ll continue to be a daily dose of my 2011.


Ps....Okay fine, I really shouldn't taunt you with glorious allusions to melted cheese and beef all wrapped into one gloriously tender noodle and smothered in fresh marinara: go here for My Stuffed Manicotti recipe. Oh yes, and Jimi would also like me to inform you that when I say MY stuffed Manicotti, I really mean Giada di Laurentiis. I really wish he'd pipe down.)


Amy said...

So love this post. Why is it so hard for us girls to remember such things? I recently had a really hard day. I wrote about it on my blog journal (changing amy). I always write/talk about my weaknesses I think it's the only honest thing to do. I wouldn't want anyone thinking I'm perfect or thinking that I live under the influence that I am. Thanks for sharing!

The Parkers said...

Thank you so much Rae for this candid and honest post! We all need to be reminded to not compare our worst days with other's seemingly best days. It is an easy trap to fall into....especially on blogs where everything is edited. And I love the point you made in the roller coaster analogy of how it really does feel like this crazy ride we call life is about to fatally smash us into the ground, but it doesn't. We survive, it was only an illusion, and we begin swinging upward. Even our worst days will end and life will get better AND they won't kill us....despite how we feel at the time. This is exactly what I needed to hear so thank you! (Oh, and that manicotti recipe looks's on the menu for tonight).

Astyn said...

Nice post. We all need to be less harsh on ourselves and simultaneously be rejoicing in the successes of others. And doing so genuinely. That can be quite tricky at times.

But the more I have read others blogs, I am coming to realize that everyone wants to document and remember their successes and not their failures....and that is why we always get a rosy view of someone else's life. We must remember that behind every blogpost is a person with challenges just like us. So, let's be happy for them and rejoice with them in the positive things in their life.

Laurel said...

I really, really, loved this post. Really. I did.

Ricki said...

Thanks for this today, it was a gift.

Bugg's mama said...

Nice to meet you, Rae. Thank you so much for your post today!

Love, bree

Mrs. Officer Andelin said...

love you rae.


Valerie said...

Love posts like this, it reminds me not everyone is perfect. It's been a hard week over here for me too, so this was nice to read

Heather said...

Loved it! I agree with all the comments as well. Especially Astyn's comment, took the words right out of my mouth! I love reading about all kinds of blogs - those who are totally honest and open, those who journal mostly their kids, those who only post the good, I learn so much from every one of them. I don't like it when people judge other blogs just because they only post the rosy side of life, like you said - everyone has trials, bad days, etc. Let's just be happy for the positives in everyone's lives, and continue to encourage and uplift those who are more open and honest. Thank you for putting it in perspective. Oh, and thanks for the recipe! Glad you posted it!

Joan said...

Such a perfect and timely post for you and I with our new babes and the overwhelming state of life we find ourselves in (and everyone for that matter). I am sitting here icing my boob on the couch (thank you, mastitis--please go away!) and loving your raw honesty. I can always count on you for that. Thanks & Love.

Jen said...

Um, thank you. That's all, really. Just thank you.

sarita said...

One of my all-time favorite posts. Thank you!

Emily said...

Loved this post! It was so down to earth, real and honest! Not to mention crazy hilarious! Plus my mom's name is also Rae, so how could I not like it!

Abbie said...

Great Scott! I love everything about this post! Wow! Where do you live, Rachel, and how do we become real life friends? (I'll be clicking on the links to figure this out).

Lady, I think we were riding the same wave - I just submitted my Bloom post for next monday and I wouldn't hesitate in calling it part two to this genius.

Thank you!

(Why is honesty such rare treat in blogging? That's what makes bloom so bloomin great!)

Rae. said...

To all you ladies: Thanks so much for the warm welcome! Anytime I have another bad day, I'll just revisit the comment section of this post!:) - I really appreciate the love and only wish I could sit around at some sort of ladies night and hang out and chat it up with all of you!

Steph at said...

Thanks for telling it like it is Rae. As much as I love blogging and sharing, sometimes I feel like one of the shiny happy people. I'm glad we can all agree that the blogosphere is a place where we almost always put our best foot forward and is not a place where we should try to measure up - lest we all go crazy!

Lacey said...

At the end of this day - this is exactly what I needed! Thank you!

Kimberly said...

Great post! I love Giada, her book Everyday Italian is so tasty, I don't think there's a recipe in there that hasn't tasted fabulous when I tried it.

Sarah Hansen said...

Rae :) You have a way with words. You should be very proud of your talented, genuine self. Love your coolest sister.

Amy M. said...

Rae: How is it that you fit so many things into one piece of writing? Humor, honesty, hope, inspiration, the list goes on and on. Not one post of yours goes by without me smiling, laughing, nodding and sometimes crying. I would want to read your thoughts on every topic on the planet. Seriously. Can you get on that? A Rae Dictionary???

Natalie in Sparks said...

You do have a gift with writing - you tell it like it is in a humorous and creative way!