Monday, October 3, 2016

Keeping Up Appearances, a Year Later

It's been one year since we relaunched the blog. One year since the rebrand. One year since our "Keeping Up Appearances" Project. One year with the new Pinstrosity!

Last week, which was supposed to be my week for posting on the blog and Instagram, I took a "sabbatical". It was the opposite of the Keeping Up Appearances project. I wasn't trying to show how ridiculous it is to try to live up to social media standards (the point of the KUA project), instead I was forcing myself to take a step back from it all because in the months following the KUA project I got sucked back into the "I can do it! I can live an Instagram/Pinterest/Facebook perfect life! And if not, I obviously don't have anything worth sharing."vortex. 

It wasn't consciously. It definitely wasn't on purpose. But when I realized what was going on it felt like I'd been sucker punched. I wasn't even living up to our own "preaching". I'd meandered away from "Life isn't Pinterest Perfect, and neither are we!" mantra. 

This collage of photos pretty much sums up a large portion of my life. If I had a picture of one of them crying to put in the collage, it might have made it more real life. I love these people and I truly do love the life we are building. But it isn't all pretty days and happy trails. And often when things are smack in the middle of diapers, grocery runs, bills, keeping the kids fed, getting people to sleep, and building a business, it is hard to look at it all and feel like there's anything to share (because as cute as I think my kids are, I'm pretty sure you all don't need or want daily doses of my children and their pretty normal antics ). It gets easy to see all the very non-glamorous parts of life and feel like that's all there is. So then hopping on social media and you see everyone else's best 5% of life that gets posted, it's hard to remember that they are sloughing through the mundane parts of life too. It gets hard to feel like what you're doing is going anywhere. 

So I took a week off. Well, sorta. It ended up being a crazy week, but I didn't blog. I didn't post on Instagram. I didn't post on Facebook (well, beyond a few groups I'm in when I needed to ask a question). I didn't plan posts or blogs. I just lived. And it was great. 

The week took me all over the state, and gave me a lot to think about. Directions I want to go with my online posts. Messages I want to rally behind. Things I want to incorporate into my life. Stories I want to share with you all. 

I follow a great account on Instagram called A Home Made for Hosting. This account follows the home building dream and story of a photographer husband and wife team I follow. She just did a blog post about fear of showing their house online because they are afraid that people will judge their house. This home is beautiful, and will end up being a huge blessing to so many people (they are incredibly giving and have serving hearts, and have designed their house so that they can use it to bless others). But without knowing the heart and the why, some people may send nasty-grams their way about it (which really is ridiculous that people do that). I feel much the same way, only on the opposite side of the spectrum. 

I feel fear about posting about my life because too often I tell myself that I don't have the experience I need to have a voice. I fear that people will look at my life and dismiss this "redneck" girl from the sticks. I fear that I don't really have anything to share, and that everyone feels that way too. 

But, as this same photographer stated, fear is the opposite of faith. Fear holds back. Fear restrains. And in this case, I'm using fear as a pity party. I'm using fear to tell myself that I don't have anything worth sharing. 

We did the Keeping Up Appearances project to show just how ridiculous it is to try to live a "perfect" life. We didn't realize the opposite end of the spectrum though. The Keeping Up Appearances project wasn't just to say "We can't do it all, and that's okay!" but it also was to say, "Our lives have worth and meaning, even when they are not 'perfect' or dazzling!" 

This past week wasn't "beautiful" as far as imagery goes. But it was exactly what I needed. It gave me perspective. It gave me time. And it gave me motivation. I didn't get ahead on blog posts in the least bit. I didn't plan out social media posts. I didn't keep a perfect house, make amazing meals, or try new make up. But I did spend more time with my kids. We just got done with an at home game night date night. I finished an audio book. Skeins of yarn were actually used. And the neighbors got to witness the crazy lady running around the yard in her pajamas at 6:30 in the morning because there was fog outside and it had to be documented accordingly (fog in AZ is not a common thing).

And sitting here typing all of this I'm realizing that even with all the craziness that was last week (16+ hours in the car for eye appointments, hair appointments, grocery runs, etc), I wouldn't trade it for a week full of "social media worthy" activities or life. I lived life not worrying about how to blog what I was doing, or how I could show it on Instagram in a way that would fit into my feed aesthetics, or worrying about what people would think if I showed my life. I lived. I put myself back into my life, and it was glorious. 

This past week reminded me about life, about family, and really about the heart of this blog and the heart of the new direction we took with it last year. Life isn't Pinterest Perfect, and it doesn't have to be Pinterest Perfect to be worth sharing about. Our lives won't resonate with everyone. It's just not possible. But through sharing our lives, our fears, our goals, our failures, our triumphs, our quirks, and our love, maybe we can find a tribe of people, our sweet Pinstrosipeeps, who might need our voice (and who's voices we'll need in return, because you guys blow us away with your love and support and we are so grateful for you! You buoy us up!). 

So welcome to Year 2 of the "new" Pinstrosity, in which we relearn old lessons, grow in ways we didn't expect, try new things, fail a few times, laugh a lot, cry a little (because we're girls and that's just what we do), and adjust our tail feathers. We're so glad you're here on this ride with us! Buckle up, keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times, and hold on tight, because we're not exactly sure what this ride is going to bring, but we know it's going to be worth it! 

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