I woke up feeling on top of the world. I snuck out the door in the early morning light to squeak in a glorious hot yoga class while my husband and the kids slept peacefully and saved time afterwards to pop by my favorite spot beside the lake to meditate.
I closed my eyes for a blissful 15 minutes and when I opened them I had the most spectacular view of the sun over the icy cold lake that I felt inspired to capture the moment. I took a picture and posted it on social media with the caption “my post-meditation view”.
The house was still quiet when I returned home so I hopped in a shower and managed to get myself dressed up in something that was NOT yoga pants and apply some grown-up makeup- more than just my typical finger-full of goo from a tube of lip balm.
Although I felt a tad guilty, I left my husband to deal with the morning chaos and headed off to Toronto for a full day of voice overs. Traffic was light so I cranked up my favourite tunes, hit the drive-thru for a chai tea and belted out Salt ‘N Pepa songs the whole way to the city (Push it…push it good!)
My sessions couldn’t have gone better. The clients were appreciative and kind, the recordings ran on time and my voice was clear and smooth. A person I’ve worked with for years took the time to offer up some encouraging words and my agent texted right after the session with another awesome booking. I was feeling like a freakin’ rockstar!
And then I returned home.
The first thing I noticed (aside from the fact that the breakfast dishes were haphazardly piled in the sink) was that the dog had chewed up the garbage in the bathroom and left a nice selection of used maxi pads ground into the bath math. My charming 4-year-old continuously shot me in the butt with his nerf gun while I tried to clean it up AND the entire time I prepared dinner- despite numerous semi-polite requests to “cut it out already!” I picked a fight with my husband about the state of the kitchen and he fired back with something about “being in the moment” with the kids (jerk!). My older two kids bickered non-stop while we choked down a less-than-inspired stir fry and even though I tried at least three times to start a rousing round of “family appreciations” – the only nice thing my son could muster to say about his sister was “well I guess she doesn’t suck too much.” Sigh.
Soon after dinner my husband had to rush off to hockey (double jerk!) and I was left with a sink full of breakfast and dinner dishes, three cantankerous kids and my own festering bitterness. What went wrong?!
If you had looked at my social media from that day – you might have thought the following about me: I’m uber spiritual (I find time to meditate by the lake for heaven’s sake!), my life is in balance (meditation…..by the lake) and I’m calm and contented (did I mention that I meditate by the lake?)
But the reality of my life is much more layered and complicated than social media would lead you to believe. Due to the miracle of technology, I’m able to carefully edit out the crappy bits and only show the world the very best parts of my life. And because we are so darn busy ALL the time – sometimes even the people who are closest to me check in with my Facebook or Twitter or Instagram to find out how I’m doing. And they assume that I’m killing it. But the truth is- sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not.
Most often we present a version of ourselves online that doesn’t match up with reality. We post our successes and accomplishments and moments meditating by the lake and conveniently leave out all of the fights and tears and vulnerable parts of ourselves. And when we look around and think everyone else has it all together, we can feel terribly alone with our own struggles. Ironically, this vehicle for keeping us connected can ultimately leave us feeling discouraged and disconnected.
I’ve been joking that I’m going to start my own site called “Keepin’ it Real” where we can share not only pictures of smiling children festooned with medals and uber positive motivational tidbits but also things that will connect us on a more honest and realistic level. Because that’s what life is like isn’t it? One day you are sailing along like a boss and other times you want to hide under the covers all day and only pop out for an episode of the Kardashians and a giant glass of wine (or is that just me?).
So let me get the ball rolling with a selection of postings on Lori Wilson’s Keepin’ it Real account:
– “Feeling Conflicted” – trying to reconcile my passion for healthy eating and green smoothies with my cravings for potato chips and caramel chocolates. Hoping that smoothie for breakfast cancels out the small bag of Doritos I just snuck from my son’s Halloween bag.
– (smily face) Realized my 5-year-old hasn’t said “bitch” for an entire week. Booyah!
– (frowny face) Caught myself standing off to the side of my mirror brushing my hair in an attempt to avoid looking at my own face. How did I go from loving the mirror to not being able to look at myself?
– “Teetering on the Edge” – husband away for fourth week in a row and I’m sending out a 911 call to all girlfriends within a 10 km radius to proceed to my house asap with prosecco to talk me off the ledge.
– (grossed-out face) Anyone else have a dog who won’t stop eating their own poop? Anyone????
So who’s with me? I’m looking for a new generation of social media superstars- some fellow brave souls who are willing to be more vulnerable and real with each other. Let’s break through the facade that we all throw up on the web and get a bit more honest with each other. Because sometimes we are sailing through life belting out 80’s rap tunes at the top of our lungs and sometimes we’re on all fours in the bathroom picking up garbage with a Nerf dart sticking out of our butts. Hey -I’m just keepin’ it real : )
15 thoughts on “Keepin’ It Real”
LOVE this Lori! I can relate 100% as I am sure most of us can! Although I don’t post anything very often I still feel freaked out when I see my friends pickling jars of fresh vegetables, or running marathons or hiking the PCT or yoga posing yet again….but then my keeping it real self tells herself that I am here to be real and if that means going for a boring old walk through my neighbourhood for my peace of mind, or sitting on my kid’s beds and reading with them or travelling to No Frills (not Whole foods)to pick up a last minute dinner …it’s then that I remind myself how lucky I am to have a job I love, a car to drive, a house with a sweet porch, a family who loves me no matter what and many friends who make me laugh! That’s all the real I need! Xoxo K
So beautiful Krista! A great reminder for me too. I can get so caught up in wanting what everyone else has – the shiny new car, perfectly renovated house, world travel, perfect family – that i forget to count all of the blessings right in front of me. Thanks so much for sharing!
Oh my goodness, I needed this today, and it’s only noon. Thank you for the belly laughs. I type this as I am on indoor recess number two due to the non-stop rain, trying to keep the Grade 2 students from killing each other, while somehow endeavouring to fit in a little teaching time as we are in the final count-down to the end of school. 7 and a half days and counting, but who’s counting? I am. Damn straight. Did I mention that I’m also in the middle of writing reports? I will never be able to look at you again, Lori, without picturing you with a nerf ball stuck to your butt. Awesome!
Oh my – that’s a lovely image of me you have Ms. Reade! Thanks for your comment – 6 days now right….; )
This is so true and I often feel the same way!! On social media everyone lives in a cute little house that is always clean as a whistle and their 2.2 kids are always so well behaved and dinner is always on the table at precisely 5 pm and dad is always around and helping out and life is one big perfect facade… and I think. . WOW.. what am I doing so wrong that my life is not like that?? In fact, my life is more like this post… the reality of having a house and kids and a (jerk! ) husband! All trying to balance precariously atop a tall tower that most of the time feels like it could topple at any time.. glad to see, even after spending the weekend with you, that our lives are running parallel… waiting for the next twist or turn.. and reality lurking behind all the pretty fluffy social media posts… well done… let’s have a reality chat at the next soccer game! Lol…
Thanks for the comment Leanne! I hear ya – I often find myself wondering why I can’t have it “all together” like everyone else. I think if we were more honest with each other we’d realize that none of us really have it together it all. And then we’d probably feel a heck of a lot better – and more connected too!
Thanks for the smile on a Monday that does not seem to have an end in site. I agree with your comments, I am always reading other postings and wondering why I don’t have the time to do what others are doing and seemingly have no stress in their lives. I am just trying to recover from sleeping 2 nights on a lumpy pull out couch so my son can’t complain about his back before he plays 3 soccer games in a day, getting pushed around in said bed by other son instead of waking him up and yelling “knock if off” so that he isn’t grumpy and tired in the morning. I wake up with a pimple from hell (wtf at my age!!) and get everyone ready to start their Monday…UGH!! If I’m keeping it real, I remind myself I just spent a weekend at Blue Mountain watching my son give his all in a sport he loves, watching my other son make new friends and not complain about having to go to his brother’s tournament, having time for a drink or two with some great people soccer has brought into my life, laughing with the boys in the Jeep while stuck in traffic, and finally coming home to a clean house (since we were all gone). I guess my “keeping it real” works and we roll along into another week. Love your writing, always beings a smile to my face and time to think and reflect…Thanks 🙂
Ha! Thanks for sharing Julie! And thanks for your support… I love you pimple and all!
Hhahaha. Love it Lori!
PS i almost always have a chilled bottle of prosecco…..and if I don’t, I know who does! 😀
I knew I could count on you Lis!
Hi Lori, I appreciate your candor in this post. As a fellow Mom and yogi with a meditation practice…I can relate DEEPLY with your sentiments. As I get older I recognize that we are all deeply flawed, that this is the true definition of being human. I do my best to teach my kids about being real and the full spectrum of emotions that we have as being perfectly normal with n shame attached to any of it. It would be lovely if as a society we could drop the facade and be a whole lot more interesting through expressing our vulnerability. I personally enjoy reading blog posts like yours a whole lot. Live life in FULL bloom sweet Lori!
It’s summer, and I’m sitting on set with my eldest son, having a few moments to myself to think about life, and I have stumbled across your blog.
As someone who knows your two older children (who are lovely, by the way)- I find it affirmig to know that there are other people out there that are trying to juggle the ever popular “life with kids.” I love what you have said about how lives are presented on socia media, as I too, question whether everyone around me really has the picture perfect life that they virtually share and if I am the only one who doesn’t attempt a Pinterest task in order to avoid the inevitable Pinterest fail.
While I wouldn’t trade my children do anything, I do find that there exists a number of moments where I feel teetering on the edge of laughter or tears, or maybe just losing my mind. In those moments where I feel exhausted that my three year old continues to empty the box of cereal on the floor to make a “tower” against my solid requests for him to stop while I wrangle the baby (because clearly the large bucket of blocks he owns are not the right material for this task), I try to remind myself that they are only little for so long, and one day I will miss these moments.
I applaud your request for honesty and vulnerability, and I think your next post should reflect the beauty that is a family vacation. I’m not sure about you, but our vacations never go as I had imagined.
I look forward to reading your next post!
Thank you so much for your kind words – what a truly thoughtful response! I just figured out that this was you Ms. Williams! I can’t wait to follow along on your blog. Yes I can totally relate to your feelings – raising children, sustaining a marriage, navigating friendships, pursuing a career – they are all wonderful and terrible and fun and scary and freakin’ hard work at the same time. Sometimes I’m pretty sure I over-share but I love finding the connection in vulnerability and honesty. I am totally going to write about our trip to Italy next – it was a big adventure with lots of ups and downs. Thankfully we all can see the humour in the tough spots….most of the time ; )
I hope you are enjoying your summer! See you in the fall!
OMG! I literally stumbled onto your blog while searching the ingredients: raw cashews, dandy blend and raw cacao! What an amazing post to click onto. I LOVE it. You captured the thought bubbles perfectly. I am a recent grad from a Holistic Nutrition program, a mom to kids 5 and 9, a former actor turned very occasional VO actor and a wife (with a sometimes jerky husband – imagine him wanting to have hobbies that don’t involve me and the kids!). I really needed that. It is such an important distinction to make between reality and social media “moments.” It is just too darned easy to compare ourselves with the Jones’ these days when your filter to your friend’s lives tends to be a computer screen instead of a phone call or god forbid – a coffee in person. Thanks for the gigantic smile I am now wearing. :0D
Thanks so much Kelly! I love it when people stumble onto my blog and take the time to comment. I really appreciate it! I’d love it if you’d follow along regularly – I try to post a few times a month.