Thursday, August 18, 2011

Looking At The Big Picture

Sometimes when I read blogs or facebook commentary-ok, or even talk to other parents- I feel kinda crappy.

People really have a gift for showing only the good parts of things. Part of me wants to think that this is them being optimistic, sharing things that they are proud of, or wanting others to see why they love their lives and families so much and bring us in to that joy. This part of me thinks they have a lot of good in their lives, and they worked hard to get it- they should be able to flaunt it. Enjoy your life, I think, love and spread the cheer!

And another part of me calls bullshit.

Well, I whisper it. I appreciate the positive spin, admire the accomplishment, but know that there is more to the picture.

No one is that perfect, we all have a bigger picture. Cropped properly, everyone's lives and kids and work look fantastic. But when you zoom out to look at the bigger picture, you see that they are just as messed up and whacked as your family.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't be proud of our kids, or show them in the best light...we should. But not exclusively.

Conversely we probably shouldn't be negative all the time either. It's a thin line--be upbeat to show that your family is great...but not so much that people sit around waiting for you to fall off your pedestal. Show the flaws, but not so many that you scare people away.

To illustrate this, here is a pictorial garden tour. First the carefully cropped  and perfectly posed shot---then the big picture of where that plant is growing. Pretty blooms that should be admired, but with a knowledge of what is going on around them may not be the most perfect. Just like life.

( Overly Apologetic Disclaimer: If you are a gardener, please know that we have had a really hot summer...plants fried. Literally! And I tried to conserve water--but I was also lazy and didn't maintain my beds like I could have.)
Lovely naked ladies and zinnias

Not so lovely weeds and dead foliage

oooh, pretty Rose of Sharon bloom...

...the only bloom on the plant surrounded by seedlings that need to be cleaned up.

Perky salvia and vinca entwined with soft cypress vine... a bed of hot mess.

ooh, phlox! So fresh, so lovely... the only thing still alive !
Cute summer grouping... to the black sheep of the porch.

Supercool red sunflower...
...that lives here. 
Enjoy your blooms today, admire them, show them off--but find a way to love the rest of the garden, too.

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