Well, not always. But you don't want to hear about that, do you?
Last week I posted two writings about how "easy" life can be when we focus on the present, devote our full energies to what we are doing and not worry about what we are not doing. The Super Dad day I wrote about was real, the principle is real, and the results are real. But I don't pretend it happens every day.
Other days I'm just as overwhelmed as any stay-at-home parent, or working parent, or pretty much anybody. I start doing dishes and think about the computer, get onto the computer and think about kids I'm ignoring, play with the kids and think about the woodpile running low. It's brutally counter-productive, sapping my energy and contentment, making me less efficient and less Joyful. It's just stupid, a self-defeating spiral that's too easy to fall into, and happens far more often than this blog might make it sound.
So, am I lying? Am I misrepresenting myself and my life? No. I'm trying to stay conscious about what this blog is meant to do, both for the reader and for myself. The goal is to explore ideas, to lay out the best of intentions and energies for myself and others to aspire to, or be inspired by, or at least challenged by. There are enough people and blogs out there propagating negative energy - the Julie/Julia moaners - that I don't need to add to it. There are times when I share sincere worries and insecurities, but only when there's some universal truth to it, some hope that in sharing it we can all feel some connection and some hope of working through it.
Put another way, this blog isn't meant to be a picture of me. If you want more of me, let's go for hot chocolate or a hike. This blog is a sharing of the pieces of me and my life that I believe can touch others. There are plenty of good and bad happenings that my wife thinks (or worries) will make it here, but are just personal. The fact that my very very cute son made a fantastic, imaginative cardboard money-collecting-truck yesterday is just a cute story; if there's something about how his creativity was enabled by the simple presence of a big cardboard box and tin cans and the absence of a tv and clutter, then that might be worth writing.
The preponderance of positivity is also a deliberate writing (and living) style. I could have written about an out-of-control day then ended with a plea for mindfulness; instead I chose a good day, a day when I did pull it all together, and put that out into the world as an example of how it can be. It made the same point, but without the negative energy.
There are several personal dangers to this positive approach to communicating. One is that people can have a distorted view of me, which can get in the way of personal friendships. For that I have to trust that friends will understand and seek out other parts of me that don't make it to the screen, and I must also take responsibility to continue sharing other parts of me and my life in more personal ways. I got just as much dirt under my nails as anybody, can relate to and empathize with and hold my friends in their dark times, even if this blog makes it seem like I'll break out in an inappropriate Annie "The sun'll come out tomorrow" burst of sunshine.
Another danger is an appearance of arrogance, of "I've got it so perfect that I'll tell you how you should be living." The best safeguard for this is to see if I'm truly learning and exploring while writing. I'm often surprised at what these fingers type out, and those tend to be my best writings. I don't sit down with a high and mighty truth to preach; i sit down with a question, and then share my inner workings. I didn't know where this posting was going this morning; I just knew that a good friend wrote, "But do you ever need cheering up, Rick??" and I wanted to explore it.
My wife reads my blog to find out what I'm thinking; i write it for the same reason. When she asks, "Why didn't you tell me you were feeling that?", I can honestly answer, "I didn't know I was until I wrote it."
So, dear virtual friends, if this blog gives a distorted view of how together I've got it, I guess that'll just have to be. Know that my intention is not to look good, but to share my deep belief that we all have this good inside us and as a potential in our lives, and to share my own journey in trying to get there. Life isn't always this good, but it sure can be.
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