My house is not beautiful enough for social media. To take pictures, I usually have to have the children stand at certain angles or go to a certain room or stand next to a specific wall. Sometimes I look at pictures that people take – not the ones with the beautiful kitchens or perfect floor plans. I recognize those pictures are staged. What I speak of here is the rest of the photos, when the focus is supposed to be your new haircut or cute outfit or shoes. When I look at the background, there are no random socks on the floor, or markers, or toys, or pencils, or empty cups, or half eaten plates of food…
My husband and I are considering moving, and all I can think of is the mile long list of things that need to happen before we can go anywhere – curtains that need to be replaced, walls repainted, sinks repaired, plumbing double checked, garage cleaned…not to mention the staging for potential buyers and the amount of daily meticulous cleaning that must happen to keep the house ready to show on any day at any time. And then, even then, after all the attention to all of the meticulous details, my house will still never be beautiful enough for social media…not because it is not beautiful of its own accord. I certainly love the place myself, but because decorating and staging are not my thing. I can mimic, but I cannot see it. I can stare at a blank canvas for hours, and hours later when I look, it will still be a blank canvas.
When I look at a room, I see only the people that occupy the space…the life, the love, the laughter. I see warm smiles, hugs, and kisses. People are my thing. People who I accept as they are. People who accept me as I am – my husband, my children, my family, my friends. They get me. And I get them.
I try my hardest to keep it that way. It being acceptance. It being a safe zone where everyone can be who they are without fear of judgement or ridicule. Yet, in response, I need for others to accept me without reservation. I need people to accept that I am doing the best I can. Every day I give life all I have…every…day.
Every day I strive to give the students the teacher they need. Every day I work to give my co-workers my piece of the puzzle. Every day I aspire to give my children the mom they deserve, my husband the wife he will love through thick and thin, my friends the listening ear for shouts, or laughter, or tears. Every day I document the process with pictures or posts or words. Every day I make imperfect progress because progress is progress as two of my favorite bloggers pointed out.
Two sets of people pulled me through this school year – my coworkers and my husband.(Yes, I recognize my husband is not a “set” of people but dealing with me is a full-time job so he gets his own “set.”) One of my co-workers faxed my son’s permission slip the morning that I could not get out of class. Another politely waited as I sent the e-mail that she needed to do her own job to the wrong person for the third time. Still others asked me over and over what they could do to help…and meant it. I still have not forgotten the words of a fellow teacher, as I made grand plans and vows for the upcoming school year in August to be a new-and-improved, better Brittany. She probably does not even remember saying them, but I remember them as though she said them to me only moments ago, “I like the old Brittany.” I remember typing them.
As for my husband, I cannot begin to scratch the surface of his support system. He has watched me transition from full closets to 33 items (ish) for 3 months. He has seen short straight hair, long straight hair, Whitney Houston hair, and short natural hair. He has supported as I spent freely and equally supported me as I set us on a strict budget.
So as I admire all of the beautiful social media houses, and I try to create my own so that those beautiful people with those beautiful houses can accept me and my beautiful house, God shakes his head. He redirects me to of all the beautiful people who already surround me. He shakes my decluttered list in my face, reminds me that a beautiful social media house is not on there. Then He smiles. He tells me to love their ordinary because loving their ordinary makes me no less extraordinary.
What are your thoughts on appreciating both others and oneself?
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