My Life In Review

Some of you followed along last week as I devoted five whole days to every photographically mundane aspect of my life. What surprised me the most is people actually came and looked. And left comments!

There was a link up every day with all of the other participants and while I couldn’t even get to half of the 30 or so other bloggers (and commented on even less), I felt I got a pretty good glimpse into how others live.

What I didn’t expect, though, was how it would make me feel about my own life. I looked back at each day and felt I could sum it up in just a few words.

Monday: Library, Computer, Costco, Home, Wine

Tuesday: Tired, Preschool, Library, Whole Foods, TV, Voting, Computer

Wednesday: TV, Computer, Haircut, Dinner, Bath, Bed

Thursday: Preschool, Library, Computer, Massage, Pantry, Vet, McDonald’s, Wii, Books

Friday: Sick, TV, Bored, Pantry, Bath, Laundry, Plants, Wine

Sounds fascinating, huh? I actually felt disappointed in the way I spent my week.

But what I thought was really odd is the reactions that I got from other people:

How peaceful and serene it must be to have on child. How nice to get a haircut in the middle of the day. How long it’s been since they’ve had a massage. How busy my life seems to be.

Especially compared to my own thoughts about the week:

It was a boring week. It was dreary. I lacked motivation for a lot of things. My husband was out of town and I didn’t feel like I could pull it together. My son was sick on the one day I wanted to go out and do something fun.

I also felt like I failed at properly making meals (especially dinner). I felt like I didn’t spend enough quality time with my son. I felt like I spent too much time on the computer trying to think of the next thing I should do.

And I was worried that people really felt I lived on easy street. I definitely have a good life and I never take it for granted. I just feel guilty sometimes that I have the opportunities that I do.

I guess what I really got out of this project is how easy it is to compare yourself to someone else. The reality is we chose specific snapshots from the day. We didn’t show every moment of our day.

We didn’t show the moments when we were yelling at our child. Yelling because they did something annoying and yet we were probably reacting disproportionately because we had other frustrations going on.

We didn’t show the moments when we spent too much time in the bathroom because we just wanted a little personal space.

We didn’t show the moments when we felt sad and lonely because our husband was out of town.

We didn’t show the moments when we sat in feeling depressed and lethargic, probably due to hormones.

We didn’t show the moments when we sat in front of our laptops wondering if blogging is merely a hobby that we pretend is more than it is. If blogging is worth the time, energy, attention, and sacrifice. If our voices really matter. If our time is well spent.

I say “we” because I think perhaps others may feel this way. I may be wrong.

On my blog, I’ve always liked to keep things real and down to earth. I try to tell it like it is. I won’t show you that my dog had diarrhea on the floor but I may very well write about it. And I’ll show you what I look like when I wake up in the morning. I’ll show you my face without makeup. I’ll let you watch me make a fool of myself on video.

But is it really me? Yes and no.

I used to be a huge fan of Mad magazine as my brother can attest (I frequenty pilfered his Mad collection). One of my favorite sections was called “The Lighter Side of…” by Dave Berg. It was satirical in nature and always poked fun at a current topic. Perhaps my blog is really The Lighter Side of Fadra.

My mother called me this week and we talked about my blog a bit. We talked about how she perceived things were going with me based on my blog. I also got the complaint (as I’m sure some of you do) that she has to read my blog to find out what’s going on with me. (YES! My plan for more traffic is working!)

I reminded her that my blog is a snapshot of my life. It’s not the entirety. If I’m having a bad day, I can still write something with a twist of humor.

I guess our photos are kind of the same way. They are the highlights of our day. They are the pieces and parts that are memorable. My true takeaway, though, is that I want more of the memorable moments. I don’t want all my snapshots to be reminiscent of video games, TV, and computers.

 

A day at the fair made for a memorable Sunday.

I need to start living more and enjoying the moments more. Here’s to a more interesting week. Undocumented.

 

  • http://www.butterscotchsundae.com Nichole

    My days are always much duller when my husband is out of town. I feel like I’m just trying to get through them rather than actually enjoying them. And I think I spend to much time on the computer, too, even when he’s in town.

    • Anonymous

      That’s how I think I feel most days. Especially when he’s out of town but even when he’s in town. I feel like I’ve spent the past few months floundering and it’s time to make a change.

  • http://loafinbaker.wordpress.com Paul Jones

    Most importantly they are your days, and you should decide what to fill them with.  Yes, there are daily obligations, but when it comes down to filling the remaining time, do what you want, not what some arbitrary vision of what Fadra’s day should be.  

    Do a little something different on a day.  Do not feel you should change drastic, but pop out of a routine now and then.  Mainly enjoy where you have been, and use it as a guide for where you want to go.

    :-) 

    • Anonymous

      I taught my son how to ride a bike today :)

      (with training wheels of course)

      I think we should all always be in a state of reflection and improvement.

      • http://loafinbaker.wordpress.com Paul Jones

        You are right.  We do need to look inward, and improve our selves, because if we are better, then those we love most will benefit from a better us!  

  • http://profiles.google.com/erinclane Erin Lane

    I don’t really have anything to add, but wanted to send you a hug. I think you are right that many people feel this way.  I definitely chose the more “fun” shots of this past week, though I did work in a crying baby photo.    Want to get together this week?  

    • Anonymous

      YES to getting together. I guess my need for a powwow makes more sense. Email us!

  • http://www.mommabethyname.com Stephanie

    Check…check…check…check…Except for the bad day possibly due to hormones. I totally ratted myself out on that one. 

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure even celebrities have duller lives than we imagine. And imperfect too. I just think I’m always pondering if I only I could…

  • http://twitter.com/MandiMcClure Mandi McClure

    Well said! Your last statement sums it up perfectly.  It’s hard to live in the moment when you have a camera in your hand, you are at a computer or when your cell phone is in your hand. 

    • Anonymous

      I’ve struggled in the past with actually getting out of the house. I was so focused on writing and blogging and trying to earn a living. And then I learned that unless I LIVE, I won’t really have anything to write about!

  • http://www.adventuroo.com Adventuroo

    Great thoughts, Fadra! I mean that. I guess that’s my hope that we all learn something about ourselves through the week. I had many frustrating moments this week too and I worked some of them into my post. But yeah, it’s hard to get a picture of me yelling – LOL. Which I did (the yelling, not the picture).

    But I also think it’s awesome to capture those mundane moments that make up our lives… in them I saw things I wanted to change about my days (which I’ll talk about in tomorrow’s post). But I also saw things I took for granted. Things that I’m very lucky to have. Also for tomorrow’s post. ;-)

    • Anonymous

      What was really nice, though, was feeling like I didn’t have the greatest day with Evan. I didn’t pay enough attention to him. And having people see the pictures of him taking a bath and us reading books together and tell me it looks like we have a really close relationship. I like that they saw that when I was busy thinking I wasn’t good enough.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t do Mel’s week in the life but it made me remember when i did “a day in the life” some time ago and your post is reminding me of my takaway feelings after i went back and looked at it. I was not happy with that glimpse of my life either, it wasn’t the comments i received it was that i clearly never stopped long enough to slow down or even be home. I think in the end most people are going to feel similar to you, the glimpse is not at all what they thought their life really was in that moment, taking time to reflect is part of the process. 

    • Anonymous

      I love this comment, Kia. So insightful and it’s nice to know that others like to look at themselves from the outside in.

  • http://twitter.com/dutchbeingme Julie

    I think this is so true for many of us… while we share what’s happening in our lives, we only seem to show one part – whether the good or the bad – but never the whole thing. And I think you’ve just inspired a blog post in me as well through your words here.

    • Anonymous

      You’re right. There are plenty of people that present a wonderful picture of their lives. And there are others that only complain about everything. For me what it comes down to is finding the balance on your blog of what’s maybe entertaining but more importantly, relatable.

  • http://www.hinessightblog.com Hines-Sight Blog

    Wanted to say I enjoyed the read.  Sometimes I really have nothing to say like today, but I like to let bloggers know that I was here reading.  I think you did a great job with the week. 

    Leigh 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Leigh :)

  • http://twitter.com/GDRPempress Good Day, Reg People

    This is a great post.

    A truly, real, and honest introspection.

    I like this, Fadra..because it makes me think how many are out there, putting on a show of “look how great everything is!”

    When it’s not..it’s mundane, and hard work, and doing things we have to do, with blessings and bursts of joy along the way.

    Thank you for how real you always, ALWAYS, are.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks you, Alexandra. I always feel so honored when you comment on my posts. I think I was actually disappointed that I didn’t have a better show. Maybe some people like to see that we’re all just regular people.

      Ha! Yes, Empress, I did call myself one of the regular people :)

  • Anonymous

    I love the picture at the end. I have a sort of pact with myself that if I don’t feel like blogging or if I have something else I’d rather be doing or if it starts taking up too much of my time … then I just don’t do it. And amazingly enough it’s made me a more consistent blogger. But it also means I do stuff like skipping SOC Sunday yesterday because I was busy playing at the arboretum and the local university’s Quad with my hubby and six-month-old.

    • Anonymous

      How dare you skip!!! 

      I have moments where I feel like I’ll lose my entire audience if I don’t post! And then I come back down to earth and realize the world keeps turning if I don’t post on my blog. And as I mentioned above to someone else, getting out and living life is the only way to keep your blog and living, breathing thing!

  • Alexia @ Babies & Bacon

    I know EXACTLY what you mean and think I had an identical conversation with my mother at some point last week. It was a really telling experience though. And now I’m even more motivated to get out and live and get off my butt and enjoy this life while it’s still ‘easy’. Hope you find your motivation and get back to being that feisty, no-nonsense, funny girl who all love to read ; )

    • Anonymous

      This week has been MUCH better. I think I have a different perspective and I’m tired of being tired and feeling exhausted. I keep telling myself to get over it and get on with it!

  • http://www.coffeepotchronicles.com Kim

    You know, it’s funny because I have a bad habit of feeling sorry for myself and get angry because life seems so mundane at times. I get frustrated at not being able to go out because my husband and I share a car. I get frustrated at a lack of money or because we’re trying to have a family and it hasn’t happened yet.

    That’s when I stop whining and start glancing through photos from the past year or so. And I’m suddenly reminded that while not everything is ideal, there is enough going that I should grateful for. I have a husband who treats me like a queen and in-laws who love me. I have the ability to obtain an education. And I have the ability to write and take good photos.

    When it’s all put into perspective, I realize I am blessed and fortunate to have what I have. Maybe a lot of it is boring, but I imagine many others feel the same as I do. This is an excellent post and a definite eye-opener to how we feel versus how others perceive us.

    • Anonymous

      A lot of people joke on Twitter about having “first world problems” and it echoes in my head a lot. I think of how hard some people labor and live around the world and think how spoiled I am that I’m complaining about being bored and tired.

      Trying to add more meaning and accomplishment AND stop and smell the roses :)

  • http://twitter.com/LisaSullivan Lisa Sullivan

    Fadra…mundane is A-OK. Blessings come through raindrops after all (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mmgV6mPvb0). However, it’s when mundane becomes your focus. Don’t let that be.  It sounds to me that you recognize that and plan to make some changes to your own life. They don’t need to be drastic; even just one positive change makes a world of difference. No matter what, remember, blessings come through raindrops, baths, spilled coffee, or days at the Fair. <3

    • Anonymous

      It’s harder for me because we’ve been trying to sell our house (as you know) and it’s been my excuse to put everything on hold, even though I swore I wouldn’t do that. I am trying to make small changes and it’s working!

  • http://twitter.com/_ScooterMarie Jocelyn

    I think we all kind of feel that way sometimes, especially when we document it for the whole world to see. Do they think I’m boring? Does my house look nice? Do I come across as a good parent or do they think my kid’s a brat? Reading the comments and receiving the compliments on aspects we may not have even considered, though, helps us remember all the good things we have and do daily. That was what I thought to be one of the best parts of Week in My Life.

    p.s. I just scheduled a massage for Saturday after seeing yours last week. I can’t wait!

    • Anonymous

      Yay for massages!! It’s a luxury I wish we all could afford. (Actually I consider it more of a necessity for me). And yes, it’s nice to get perspective. My boring night playing video games and reading books to my son came across as a special way to spend time together. It’s all about perspective!

  • http://babywithatwist.wordpress.com KH99

    I read your post this morning and wanted to comment right away but then I had a meeting, blah, blah, blah.  But I’m glad I had to wait because I needed to think about it more.  I applaud you for reflecting on your week and deciding to make some changes – not saying whether you should or shouldn’t or truly need to. That’s not for me to say. Reflection is so rare in today’s world, and I really enjoyed the glimpses into your life and your honesty and the “realness” I saw in in all the posts I read.  

    • Anonymous

      I didn’t anticipate reflecting on the week. I really didn’t. I just thought it would be a fun way to record memories of things I don’t normally capture. Instead I became more aware of how I was spending my time (and often wasting my time). I’ve already made some positive changes!

  • http://www.thewholeheartedlife.com Jen at The Wholehearted Life

    Oh gosh..I can so relate. I try to keep it real on my blog too…you can tell when I’m happy and when I’m depressed because…welll….that’s what I write about!  People tend to think I’m always happy go lucky but the truth is…I put a lot of work into living wholeheartedly and true to myself but that does NOT mean life is perfect and I poop rainbows and unicorns….I just want to consciously stop and smell the roses so I make it a part of my life. I have a feeling you do too :)

    • Anonymous

      I don’t even know how to respond because everything you said: YES. EXACTLY THAT. You really get it.

  • http://twitter.com/mommaneedsbeer Kelli MW

    Embracing the moment is something I try to do everyday, but if I thought about it constantly, I would be constantly failing! Instead I embrace what is good and do my best to soak it in when it’s happening. It’s easy to look at someone else’s life and say “Hey, wish I had *your* life” but the fact is, we *never* know what’s really going on in someone else’s life because it is, well, their life. I could go on all day… but that would probably turn into another blog post entirely! Cheers to you for learning from this series. It was an eye-opening week, wasn’t it? 

    • Anonymous

      Yes, that’s the problem with comparing ourselves to each other. Our lives are different because we’re all different people who made different choices for different reasons. I love my life. I just get bored sometimes and that’s really my own fault. I’m working on it!

  • Anonymous

    I think this was the biggest reason I didn’t participate in the challenge…I didn’t want to show that my life is pretty mundane. I felt like I would be forcing myself to come up with different things to do just for the sake of a picture. Lately I’ve been struggling..struggling to get and stay motivated, struggling to enjoy the moments. Last week was a rough one for me and capturing it would have just made it worse.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe that’s a good thing. Coming up with things to do. Realizing that we might need to be doing more with our lives before they pass us by. I’m sorry you had a rough week. I understand not wanting to capture it.

  • http://www.wellroundedhome.com Kacey

    Great wrap-up post. I feel ya on this. I too saw some things I want to change after this challenge. I want to spend more time enjoying the mundane and appreciating what I have. And I was also (pleasantly) surprised at the amount of traffic and comments the posts generated.

    • Anonymous

      Traffic and comments were good! But I like your perspective. Enjoy the mundane. I guess it’s nice to relish in the everyday moments. Thanks for that!

  • http://twitter.com/guavalicious guavalicious

    I have always found blogging fascinating for the picture it creates for people. It’s an interesting way of framing a life. I think that’s what I like reading blogs from people who are totally unlike me (one favorite: craft stay at home Christian moms in the south.)

    • Anonymous

      That’s a very different way of looking at it. I think it’s hard for some of us to look at someone else’s life and just appreciate it for being different. Many of us are either jealous or judging. It’s nice to just learn!

  • http://genieinablog.com. Leigh Ann

    First off, having been the person to say that your life looks so serene with one kid, please don’t misunderstand that I think that’s always how it is. I know that no matter how many kids you have there’s always frustration, misbehaving, illness, or need for alone time, right along with the smiles and laughter. 

    Second, I just finished my post and we have many of the same thoughts. I deliberately left out the fact that the first half of Saturday, my birthday, sucked big time due to a cranky husband and kids, my guilt of having left to go get a pedicure (my gift, by the way), and a fight Hubs and I had during nap time. While that is a part of my life, it’s not what I want to remember. 

    I also learned that there is beauty in the every day moments, and now that the project is over, I hope to be able to continue to capture them and LIVE them. 

    • Anonymous

      Trust me, I took no offense with your comment. The reality is that compared with a LOT of people, my life is pretty serene (not a big fan of chaos). But we all have our own joys and sufferings in our own reality.
      I think you made the best point of all. While it may be a part of our lives, it’s perfectly acceptable to pick and choose what we want to remember. Now, off to read your recap!

  • http://prettyswellblog.com suzanne @ pretty swell

    I love this. And, YES, I have felt many of those things you describe above. Well said, friend!