OUR FILTERED REALITY

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On this blog, I try to be honest and open...to keep it real, if you will. But, there are still things I can't write about via this forum. I can't say certain things about certain people and circumstances because it would hurt feelings or cause discomfort. Everything I write has to be edited, filtered. In fact, you and I are constantly filtering our lives. This constant editorializing of life has been on my mind a lot lately.

The other day I was prepping baby boss for a trip to the store. I wrestled him into his car seat where he proceeded to pull his socks off. I put them right back on and he, of course, tugged them off again. I sighed and said, "Fine, have it your way. We'll keep them off until we get to the store." Upon arrival at our destination, the sock war continued. Baby boss really didn't want to wear his socks. I thought to myself, "This is stupid. Why do I even care whether or not he's wearing socks? It's only a little chilly." 

I realized I was fighting the sock war because it's socially unacceptable to have a baby out in public, on a chilly day, without socks. Other mothers would look at me with a judgmental eye and little old ladies would say, "It's so chilly out! Where are your baby's socks?!" (Oh yes, they actually feel it's their place to do this).
I personally didn't care whether he had his socks on or not because I knew he was warm enough. I became very annoyed with myself that I would spend so much timing fighting with a baby because of what other people thought.

So, I looked at baby boss, pulled off his socks, held my chin up high and walked into the store with my now cheerful, sockless baby. In that circumstance, it was more important for me to trust my instincts instead of acting according to the judgment of others.

We filter our actions, our words, our clothes, our kids, our pictures, and blogs. We filter EVERYTHING!  Filtering is often important and good, but I wonder if we ever take it too far. We've all facebooked our lives!

We go online and see everyone's perfect photos (all edited:) of birthday parties, vacations, and any number of occasions. We then tell ourselves we should be as perfect as they are when they aren't perfect at all. It is okay to put your best foot (or photo) forward, but we all need to remember not to compare our worst to someone else's best.

On the flip side of extreme filtering are those who don't filter their lives at all.

Yesterday I made a quick trip to Target (without the kids...SWEET RELIEF!...yesterday was a super sucky day and Target was definitely the highlight.). I hadn't eaten all day and opened a box of Little Debbie Christmas tree cakes while I shopped (I know, they are so disgusting and good at the same time...if that's possible). I ended up eating three of them (Oh my gosh! I can't believe I admitted that...see, my filter is definitely off at the moment). I also bought a couple packages of sugar cookie mixes because I always like to have them on hand during the holidays (I swear there is a point to all of this).

Upon checking out, my cashier decided to take her filter off completely. This chick should have come with a warning. First, she spied my sugar cookie mixes and exclaimed, "What?! Sugar cookies from a mix!" I jokingly replied, "Yeah, I have three kids and I don't have time for home made. Do you have kids?" "No, but I watch all the neighbor kids all the time," she said defensively. "I always make home made and all the neighbor kids help me," she continued. "I have little "helpers" too," I said sarcastically. She continued to proclaim four year olds as the best helpers (Um, okay...).

As she came upon my already opened box of tree cakes she put on her bull horn voice and said, "Geez! How many of these did you eat?!" I laughed it off and said, "Yeah, that's what happens when you don't eat all day...not good." She dumped out the remaining contents of the box and said/screamed, "Here, let me help you out. I'll just throw these wrappers away. No sense in bagging an almost empty box!" Instead of smacking her I told her to keep the rest of the tree cakes for her lunch break and she said, "Thanks! These are my favorite...the only good thing about Christmas!"

She proceeded to preach to me about the commercialization of Christmas and how no one even celebrates the true meaning any more. I nodded in agreement as I bagged my own goods. She said, "Seriously, the true meaning of Christmas is family. Family is what Christmas is all about!" "Uh huh," I mumbled.

In my head I was thinking, "Actually that's not the true meaning of Christmas you non filtered, tree cake eating, home made cookie baking big mouth." But, because I have a filter, I kept my thoughts to myself and reprimanded myself for such mean thoughts.

As I remembered Who Christmas really is about, I peacefully said, "Thank you so much for your help. Enjoy your lunch break."

I guess, as with so many other things, there needs to be a happy medium. Some people need to get back to reality and some need to filter a lot more of themselves. And remember, don't let someone else's filtered "reality" make you feel bad about your perfectly normal, beautifully flawed reality.
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8 comments:

  1. Oh Jody, I am so glad I found your blog. I, too, am living a joyful, albeit terrifying, life with anxiety and depression. I am relatively new at this disease--I got it with in seconds of finding out I was pregnant with baby #3. My life is filled with tears, but hope too. I am excited to read more of your blog, especially the unfiltered parts, to find hope and understanding. And humor. That stuff is good for the soul.

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  2. I think I had your exact same day sometime last week. Screw everyone who won't admit it, but we all have our only packaged food, sockless baby, and quick people are coming over shove everything in the closet days. I'm impressed that you can admit it. More power to ya and I hope you told the checkout lady not to eat all the Christmas tree snacks at once :)

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  3. That girl would have been fired where I work!

    This is Marta by the way. :)

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  4. I'm so proud of you. I probably would have headed out to the car and ate the rest of the box :D.

    I remember taking a baby around BYU in the cold. Good, well-intentioned, single people have the best advice for babies. I don't know why we don't tap into that resource more often. But really, they just haven't learned that you need to learn to let things slide. A lot. Forget sugar cookies and socks--I'm talking showers and housecleaning. lol

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  5. I had an old lady come up to me in Publix the other day and inform me it was too cold to have Madison in the store without socks, and it's 75 degrees out here! I think our filters become non-existent when we reach a certain age! You were a lot nicer than I would have been to that cashier, good for you!

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  6. I love this!! I have had strangers tell me my baby doesn't need a binky. I just smile and let him have it- (he's six months old now) Anyhow, thanks for sharing this!

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  7. Whew, girl, you must have touched a nerve! Haven't seen this many responses to one blog in a while! I remember having to take Aleesa (Miss ADHD of the year) and Polly to a laundramat in the middle of a snowstorm when Polly was such a new baby, I was still walking like John Wayne. Aleesa was driving me nuts trying to keep her out of trouble, and this lady had the nerve to try to tell me what a miserable mother I was. Of course, she'd never had children, let alone one with problems, but if I'd followed her advice, I would have been a much better mom. Ya think?

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  8. I love you! I don't think I'd have that much patience with that cashier and I don't have the stress of 3 kids weighing on me... Your not perfect, Jo, but you are amazing!

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