Disclaimer: I debated posting this because I feel like a bit of a fraud. I texted Autumn this morning and said, “how can I post about this topic when I can’t even live by my own advice most of the time?!” She reminded me that I’m human and that our main goal on this blog is to be real and candid. I guess it’s why they say even the best therapists go to therapy. We are all humans striving to do better and none of us are living perfectly, even though most of us are aware that we can do better. Here’s to falling and getting back up as many times as it takes.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the basics. Maybe because after such a challenging year, I have been reminded that life doesn’t have to be fancy in order for me to thrive and feel fulfilled. But let me tell you—this is not an easy thing for me to internalize. Fancy can be so appealing.
The Struggle Is REAL
I believe as women we want beautiful lives, but in our quest to achieve our purpose(s) and find joy, we inadvertently place COPIOUS amounts of pressure on ourselves. Why do we do this? Well, for starters, the world is constantly throwing messages at us that make us feel insecure and unworthy. So, I mostly blame society. But even being as smart as we are, we keep falling for these messages. And we silently compete with each other in order to live up to some sort of imaginary standard. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long before we become burnt out. For many women, instead of looking within ourselves and making realistic adjustments, we stand up, brush ourselves off, and go even harder, continually chasing after the invisible standard that must be met. After all, she is doing it all…or so it seems.
Pinterest- I Love You, But…
I know what it’s like to feel like I’m not measuring up. Let’s use Pinterest as an example to illustrate this. After a long day, I may throw my feet up and spend a half hour or so pinning various things. But instead of feeling inspired like Pinterest promises, I usually feel a little bit like that wet, dirty rag in my kitchen sink that’s been overused and under-cleaned. I convince myself that if I want to be a sparkly-clean fluffy cloth, I just need to change…ohhhhh…literally everything about my life, because clearly nothing is working. Better systems! Of course! I just need to buy some pretty bins to organize all the things, start meal prepping, wake up a half hour earlier and meditate! I just need to be like every other woman out there who is clearly doing better than me.
While we are on the subject of Pinterest…have you noticed that it’s actually NOT as helpful as it’s intended to be? I mean yeah, it’s fun to pin things and tell yourself you’re going to one day do the things, but if you’re anything like me, you just end up looking at the things and wonder why it is you never actually follow through with doing the things. The illusion I keep falling for is that Pinterest has all the answers to my problems. It will magically transform me into a world class chef, professional decorator and expert organizer. I will be provided with what I need to get my life in order, dang it! It will allow me to become a fun mom whose kids are always engaged because of all the nifty crafts we’re doing together.
I don’t know why I don’t learn lessons. This standard I keep trying to meet so that I can be what my Pinterest feed says I should? IT DOESN’T EVEN EXIST. Do I even WANT to be that mom that crafts with her kids? Honestly, no, because I hate crafts.
Back To Basics
I’ve decided I have forgotten how to be basic. And no, I don’t mean the Starbucks-in-hand #basicb type of way. I mean I have forgotten the value in going back to basics. Pinterest, social media, advertisements…they all send us impossible messages in the form of beautiful images, filters and taglines that we can have it all. We can be perfect moms, attentive wives, amazing teachers, fitness enthusiasts, on point home decorators, trendy fashionistas, spiritual goddesses and beauty gurus. Oh not to mention expert chefs, fabulous birthday party planners and crafty QUEENS (I’m sweating just typing all that out).
Our moms never had all that pressure. And their moms and their moms definitely didn’t. I’m pretty sure my great grandma’s main concern was just keeping that farm going. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a BIG job…but I doubt she had time to care whether she was decorating her house appropriately or if sweet little Johnny was being stimulated with all those fancy crafts she was supplying him with.
Why is it so hard to learn the lesson that “keeping up” is a myth? NOBODY is doing it all. I don’t care what you see on your IG feed today. The idea that a woman has got it all together at all times is the biggest lie there ever was. Clean houses only exist in pictures, btw.
We don’t need to “do better.” We need to change the narrative. Our daughters need to recognize that social media is a tool to enhance and connect, not a prescription for keeping up or an ideal to strive for. There is no yardstick of success—no imaginary metric that tells us when we are enough or that we have finally “made it.” I love you Pinterest, but also, you can suck it.
Here are some areas in my life that are begging for “basic.”
The Myth: I should be making elaborate meals, trying out new recipes, meal prepping and utilizing a better meal planning system.
The Reality: A fed family is a happy family.
Back to Basics: Little Caesar’s Pizza is extremely underrated.
The Myth: I need to spend more money to keep up with the trends, take more risks, and look more put together basically every day.
The Reality: Less is more and also…who cares what I’m wearing.
Back to Basics: Keep on keepin’ on with my capsule wardrobe and only spend money on quality pieces that make me feel good. Also, leggings will never go out of style as long as I’m still kickin’.
The Myth: I must be everything to my children at all times.
Reality: My kids just want some of my time.
Back to Basics: One-on-one ice cream dates and quality chats while we’re in the car are SO doable and low pressure.
The Myth: I need to be a better communicator, do more for my husband, plan fun date nights…
Reality: Carving out a little quality time once a week is enough.
Back to Basics: Movie and popcorn every Friday night after the kiddos are in bed? Yes, please.
The Myth: I must be at the top of my game, do more lesson planning and grading at home, and constantly create quality and rigorous lessons that will keep my students engaged and always learning.
The Reality: They won’t remember ¾ of what I teach them…but they will remember how I made them feel.
Back to Basics: Focus on relationships.
The Myth: I’ve gotta work every muscle group plus get in my cardio for at least 30 minutes a day (preferably an hour).
Reality: I should move my body a few times a week.
Back to Basics: Move my body a few times a week, and make it something I enjoy!
And lastly, as I’m typing this, I’m thinking of all the ways I should make this piece better. But my “basic” self is saying, “nah Linds…done is better than good.” So yeah, done and done.
BASIC is the new PERFECT, girls. Don’t forget that 😉