A while back I started a post that remained in my drafts folder for quite a while before I deleted it. I had titled it, "Please don't mistake me for someone who has her act together." A bit long for a title, and in the end I didn't publish it. Not because I felt it was too revealing, but rather because I hadn't finished it and week-old thoughts always seem a bit stale to me. But since not having my act together is a recurring theme in my life, I am rehashing the subject.
Blogging permits one to choose one's level of privacy. I need not reveal anything I do not wish to reveal about myself. I am grateful that my blog is read by my family and others who know me pretty well. It helps keep me honest. Without going to the extreme of airing one's dirty laundry, it is good to be sincere in all things. A lack of sincerity puts a wall between us and God, who sees us as we truly are.
My journey as a Catholic began with a leap of faith: opening my marriage to children after 12 years of oral contraceptives. Part of my desire to remain childless was the result of having been raised with the idea that children were a burden and kept you from having a fulfilling life. The rest was selfishness--I liked to have my time to myself, to be free to do as I liked. I thank God for my children, as they have taught me that my life is not my own. It is a gift to be shared, as all good gifts are to be shared, although I may say that I do not always do so without resentment. I still whine--inwardly, if possible--when I have decided that a certain block of time is mine and my children need or want my attention during that time. I feel put out and rather like a child who has been asked to share something delightful with a sibling, counting out the sweets and saying, "alright, you may have just this one, but the rest belong to me." For some reason, I feel the same way about sleep, as if I am entitled to a certain number of hours per night. Now that insomnia has become a frequent problem for me, I realize that this simply is not so. We have no claims to decent sleep, good health, physical beauty, vacations, cooperative children, or anything else, really. Nothing is to be taken for granted.
Anyway, I don't really know where I am going with this, except to tell you that I hope I present myself with sincerity, and that what my handful of readers see is a true representation of me.
If I appear to be a successful homemaker, let me inform you that I don't show you photos of my bathroom closet, or closeups of my carpet, or the inside of my oven. If I look like a great homeschool teacher, I can tell you that since Advent we have fit more into the "Un-schooling" category. If you think I am a wonderful parent, well, I am sure my children would give you a truer picture--I yell too much and gripe too much, and I can't say that I am always kind and fair to my children. Sometimes I find myself down at their level--more often than I care to admit, in truth. If it seems that I always have healthy, homemade food prepared for my family, please know that we eat our share of frozen pizza and hot dogs. If my knitting looks great, you aren't seeing the errors; if you think I'm a good photographer, you aren't seeing the forty shots I deleted before posting the one good shot.
Honestly--no false modesty here--I'm pretty mediocre all the way around. This used to really disturb me. There is this innate need in the hearts of most people to excel at something, to stand out, to make a mark. I am approaching 50 years of age (49 in November), and I can truly say that I am okay with my being just "okay". I do still feel twinges of envy now and then at the women who really do seem to have it all together, most of whom I know only through the internet. Perfect homes and curriculum planners, gorgeous meals, cakes and crafts for every liturgical occasion, and kids always looking tidy and happy.
But that's just not me. And I am learning to live with that.
|My chomped-on tomato plants. The beasts have acquired a taste for pepper spray...|