A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a friend who’s having a difficult summer. When she signed off, she wrote, “I can’t imagine the Graceful summers you are describing, but they sound lovely.” I could hear regret in her voice, maybe a little despair.
For instance, there was the morning I told Rowan five times to put on his socks. When he came downstairs and asked, “What am I supposed to be doing again?” I stomped on the pedal of the stainless steel trash can and slammed the lid into the wall with a horrendous racket. Rowan stood in the kitchen barefoot and bewildered while I ranted about “listening skills” like a raving lunatic.
I know what it’s like to look at someone else’s life portrayed on the screen and think, “Wow, my kids aren’t that polite. My house isn’t that cute. I don’t pray that much.” I know, because I do it all the time. A couple of years ago in the midst of a raving lunatic moment, I fumed aloud to my kids, “I bet Ann Voskamp’s kids don’t act this way!”
You know what Noah’s response was? “Who in the world is Ann Voskamp, anyway?”
The bottom line is that none of us is perfect and none of has perfect lives, even if appears that way on the screen. You may think my grass is greener, but let me tell you, from my perspective, it’s looking a little parched, brown and withered around here.
So please. Do yourself (and me!) a favor. Next time you read a Graceful Summer post, simply think, “Aw, isn’t that a lovely moment.” And then realize that’s exactly what it is: one small moment in a sea of many.
Do you ever do that? Look at someone else’s life on screen and play the comparison game?
And a little note of thanks: for your prayers, emails, advice and comments last week before I left for She Freaks. The conference was wonderful – I didn’t cry once…not even behind the brochure rack! I spent a lot of quality time with these two lovelies, and I didn’t swallow my tongue during the editor appointments. While I wasn’t exactly eloquent, I felt a rare calm and peace wash over me as I pitched my projects, and the four editors I met with took my book proposals with them, so that’s something at least. So now we wait, because as you all know, the publishing industry moves like the last teaspoon of molasses in the bottom of the jar.