Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Putting the trash out (a.k.a: Keeping it real)

Travelin' Oma wrote a very thought-provoking post yesterday. She talked about assessing whether the posts we write are real reflections of our true selves or if they are merely the best of us put on display. (She really says it much more eloquently than that. Click over and read her post. You won't be sorry).

But it got me thinking about my own blog and the part of my life that I choose to reveal here.

Do I often intentionally put my best foot forward, ignoring my many faults and failings?

You bet I do.

I don't want to look back years from now at this silly record of our everyday lives and wonder if all I did was complain about how annoying my kids are.

But I also don't want to look back and know that the sugary sweetness I posted about was not how I really felt every second of every day.

It's a tricky balance - sorting between the reality of our lives and the way we'd like them to be.

In hopes of striking a more symmetrical record, I am going to treat you to a little bit of my trash today. It is with much trepidation that I give you a taste of the real Stie, in all her grainy, un-photoshoppped, un-made up, bags-under-the-eyes glory:


This is the sight the Husband gets has to see first thing every morning. Poor guy.

And for your judging pleasure, here are a few real things about me that you may or may not have known:

I am a clean freak, but that does not mean there are not scary closets and drawers in my house. I have a storage room in my basement, as we speak, that would cause anyone great physical injury if they tried to walk through it, so mountainous are the massive piles of stuff.

I am very vain. I spend a lot of time worrying about what I look like. I will not go to the store without my hair done and my face fully made up. I absolutely think sweats should never be seen in public. And, yes, I judge those who do.

I am also highly self-critical. You would think with all that time spent primping that I would be more happy with what I see in the mirror. I'm not. I constantly second guess every single thing I do and say. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be good enough for myself.

I am not good with confrontation. If I have an issue to work out with someone, I am of the, "let's bury it deep and never speak of it again" variety. Passive aggressive, much? I wrote the book on it.

Lastly, I sometimes dread the hours between three and five p.m. every day. While I am excited to see my kids come home, I really dislike helping them with homework. They're all tired, cranky, talking a mile a minute, and seem to need something from me at the exact same minute. I've also usually procrastinated and am trying to get dinner ready during that time, as well. I feel pulled in so many different directions that some days I think my head will explode. It's my least favorite time of the day.

So there you have it. A little bit of reality - for better or for worse.

What I'd really like to see now is YOUR reality. Post a picture of yourself sans make-up, and put a little bit of the trash out for the rest of us to see. That way, years from now when we think we were nothing but perfect, we'll know the real truth.

And we'll like each other all the more for it.


Dancin Queen said...

I love you in all your glory Stie! Glad to hear you aren't 100% perfect. Although I don't know if I'm really convinced. You're pretty amazing.

Well here's the comment I left over at Travelin Oma:

"Hello! Linked over from Stie.

I think you are a beautiful writer! So nicely expressed.

Well to answer your question, I definitely am a selective blogger. I have my share of garbage I deal with every day, but blogging just the happy stuff is my way of filtering out the yuck and choosing to keep just what I want.

On hard-mommy days when I feel overwhelmed or depressed with how my life is going (honestly, we all have days like that right?) I feel comforted scrolling through my blog and remembering all the happy stuff.

I have a journal where I can vent and record my frustrations. I just feel like--for me--the world wide web is not the place to do it. ;)

Thanks for the interesting conversation topic!"

Happy New Year!

Kristin said...

Looking good, i just posted a true picture of my laundry pile.

Christina B. said...

My first thought when I saw your picture? Your eyes are beautiful! I think your husband is very lucky. :)

Terra said...

I think there are only 2 pics of me on my blog, and you would be hard pressed to find them. I mostly talk about the good with my kids but I also talk about the ick that I think is beneficial for others AND for my girls to read when they have their own girls. There is a lot about ME that I hide behind, only a few have a clue about but for the most part my blog is about my girls and what I post about them is LIFE at it's best and sometimes worst!

This was another solid Stie post. You are the best.

Jeanelle said...

I'll do a real me post in the next day or two -- it's a promise. Thanks for sharing your faults because I honestly thought you were perfect. I like you so much more now.

Jen said...

I like your blog and you = trash and all :) I love your honesty. We all have our real worlds and for the most part, I tend to focus on the happy, shiny things on my blog. I'm working on putting some of my trash out too...taking deep breaths.

Tristan said...

Loved this post!!

I think you are beautiful sans all done up!! You have true natural beauty!

I think I will take you up on your challenge tomorrow. Today I am done up, which is most days. So tomorrow before I get ready I will take a photo just for you :)

Jessica said...

I'm doing it.

You know what? I kind of knew or could tell most of that stuff already. Not all of it (oh that closet admission made me feel better!) and maybe it's because you and I have an extra real place to vent, but I think you give us all of you most of the time.

That's why everyone loves your blog. You only love the really real ones, I think.

Tracy F. said...

Great post! I particularly enjoyed the part about hating those after-school/homework hours. I used to think those times had the potential to ruin the whole day. Glad my children are adults now. Just know that "this too shall pass."

Elizabeth said...

I am a bit of a lurker on your blog...and I love your writing. I often think about the post you did on how to be a good wife and mum (there was alot more to it but it was so good!). Anyway I struggle with keeping my (little) blog real and I’m going to take your trash challenge. It amazes me how much women all over the world have in common... your list could be my list. Thanks for sharing it all.

Annemarie said...

I love you.

You are spot on. This was awesome.

I'm glad you have a yucky closet.

Robyn said...

I loved this post! I also HATE the 3-5 pm hours. And my kids aren't even in school yet! I'm going to do this. But I have to say...I look MUCH scarier without makeup! You still look cute!

Travelin'Oma said...

Perfect post. (To know you is to love you!)

I once got arrested. Is that enough trash?

diane said...

I love you more.

I too judge on sweats.

I like your freckles.

Kari said...

I hate those afternoon hours between 3-5, too. Not only do I get stressed about helping the kids with homework, that's my worst time of day that I seem to want to eat everything in sight. And, I avoid confrontation like the plague.

Thanks for sharing! Wonderful post.

danandcindy said...

Were you covering up a big zit on your chin with your hand? Come on, keep it real.

Michelle said...

you're adorable. I'm vain and highly self-critical too-- how can we change that?

gab said...

You look just like Chase in that photo!!!

I like Reality Stie.

Hollyween said...

A tricky balance indeed. My infertility post was a difficult one, but it was real and what I'm going through so why not blog about it. I love the real picture. For the record, I have always found you entirely real and relatable. I like REAL. I, too, have always struggled feeling confident and happy in my own skin. Fortunately, it has gotten better as I've gotten older, but it's not perfect to be sure. I still can't smile open wide with my braces on. Luckily I'm almost done and probably won't have to. Whew.

Good post.

(I'll think about doing the same with a real sans makeup one of me. But I'm vain. VERY vain and it may or may not happen. NO promises.)

Cindy said...

Thank you! I'm not going to post about this - because I don't keep up on my blog. I enjoyed reading this. One of my confessions - I'm not a clean-freak. My house would look a lot better if I was!

Dalene said...

Um, I'm not sure I am ready to post about my trash. I am afraid once I start, I won't be able to stop. And I have a lot of trash right now.

kayla & tyler said...

I love the picture you posted of yourself, You are so beautiful! you've got beautiful eyes! I am exactly like you with the whole confrontation thing. Even if someone does make me mad, I would never tell them that. I just think about it to myself and let it go. I avoid confrontation at all costs. however, my husband does not, so that makes things interesting. hahaha!

Holly said...

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

All versions of Stie are beautiful. :)

I think a dose of reality is a good thing and your real-ness is a blessing.

Thanks for being brave and REAL. I hope to work myself up to follow in your footsteps.

Pajama Mama said...

Love this post! Thanks for the nudge. I just wrote about this on my blog and there's also a very lovely no make-up picture for your amusement. Keeping it real is hard!

Becky said...

I like real. I like you. And I already knew that about you, because you are real. And, I am real, and...I even like me. I will try that on my next blog entry. It won't be pretty. I think people who are real have many friends. And real friends make me happy. Thanks for that.

calibosmom said...

Thanks for keepin' it real. I would much rather post about someting funny and happy too but I'm all for letting my guard down and exposing my imperfect self. You're going to LOVE my morning picture too.

the wrath of khandrea said...

i'm so intrigued by all this. first of all, i got a big kick out of the ceiling fan over your head, because at first i thought it was a ribbon tying your hair back in a bow. and THAT was funny.

i go out without makeup and think nothing of it. i wear sweats on my saturday morning grocery trips, but at least i bought them from victoria's secret. right???

i think it's good to be candid with your flaws. it helps you manage them better than trying to hide or deny. kudos.

Ilene said...

I would do this post now but that would require me to go wash my face.

My reality is that I am lazy.

I will have to do this, though.

Anything to postpone the Christmas summary post.

Lauren in GA said...

Stie, I loved this!! I loved every word. I am going to do it. I think the zit on my chin will add a really nice touch. I am scared to do it, though.

I think you keep it more real than you realize on your blog, though. I love reading you...because you are honest.

You amaze me. You truly, truly do.

phd in yogurtry said...

Yeah, the kids coming home from school is a true bipolar experience. The happy, smiling hugs following by the grunting and growling and whining and resisting homework. I'm not a good homework oversight manager, either. Glad it isn't just me.

phd in yogurtry said...

Oh and your picture. This is my first stop at your blog, but you look dang good in your unphotoshopped majesty. And very nice eyes, such a striking blue.

Linsey said...

challenge accepted...er, maybe. for the most part, when I write that is, my blog is a travelogue. my daily life is dull enough that I can't imagine recording any of it. and, were I to peel back the layers, I think I would be depressed to discover I am several skins shy of a full onion...so, we'll see. No posts yet in 2010, so maybe this is where I should start...again, maybe.

loving your rawness though!

sistaoutlaw said...

I love your post, however, I have seen your storage room in the basement. What you consider a mountainous mess is what the rest of humanity sees as highly organized. I want to see some proof of these so called scary drawers and closets. Love the photo!! Thanks for hanging with me even though I often throw a clip in my hair like it was 1985 and a pair of sweats and run to our local fashion mecca-a.k.a. Walmart. That's what happens when you live in small town Idaho.

Sunk Costs said...

Lady, I don't even know what to say to you except that you are slap crazy.

You're adorable. If I rolled over and saw that face in the morning, no matter HOW early, I'd have to smile. You have glorious eyes and sweet, sweet freckles and a cute nose and thick, beautiful hair.

And, everyone has a room or two full of stuff that there's just no way to organize. ...right?

Meg said...

Loved this! So real!

So true.

You are awesomeness.

Cara said...

Well done! I'll have to get my courage up to post a picture of me with no makeup it's pretty scary! And I hate homework too - yuck-a-roo! I wish I was non-confrontational. I am always getting myself into trouble when I speak my mind a little too freely - oops! I'm glad I found your blog again - I had lost it in my computer change - you are so fun to read♥

Musings of a Housewife said...

Once many eons ago I posted a picture of myself sans makeup. It's probably buried in the vast wasteland that is my old Typepad blog, and once is enough for me.

However, I can so totally relate to your struggle to keep things real and still respect the family and not be a Wendy Whiner. And I can also relate to every single one of your short comings. (Well, except the sweatpants thing, which I suppose is evidence that we weren't, in fact, separated at birth.

Jenibelle said...

Dang it. Even without makeup you are adorable. I knew it and I hate (love) you for it.

And oh hunny....you don't KNOW messy closet. I'm posting mine later this week. Take your anti-anxiety meds and book your flight to come and help organize me!!!

christina-defining moments said...

I had to look twice to make sure I didn't write this - I'm the same way!

nicole said...

Visiting here via Jo-Lynne. I posted a picture of myself "as is" sometime in my blogging past, so I'm not going to do it again. I share almost everything on your list, except the clean freak part. I'm kind of messy and have to fight that inclination on a daily basis, because my husband definitely falls to the more extreme side of the clean scale than me. Thanks for being honest. I think I balance things fairly well on my blog. Or I hope I do.

I LOVE YOU said...