Seven Things I am Afraid to Tell You
Recently, my friend Elaina and I were discussing post topics for this week. She noted I hadn’t done a confessions post in a long time, which I am very aware of. I just haven’t had much to say in that regard I guess. But the idea for a confession-like post came to my mind based on a blogging podcast I had listened to this summer.
Today I am sharing some things I am afraid to tell you. I strive to always be straight-forward with you all, but like anyone, there are things I hold close to my chest for whatever reason. Unburdening myself of these things can help us all learn a little bit more about each other.
1. I feel obligated to do “kid” things with my kids.
I look back at my childhood and we did so many things like parades, Christmas tree shopping, pumpkin carving, etc., before there was Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram. My parents did those activities with us not to compete with others in their friend group, but because they wanted us to experience those things.
It is a giant struggle for me to not only remember to do those things with my boys but to care about them (the activities. Not the kids!). I constantly have to remind myself that decorating for Christmas or allowing Jack to have a lemonade stand isn’t about me. It’s about them. And shoving my discomfort or annoyance deep down and trying to enjoy it for them is something I am constantly trying to improve about myself.
2. I add bacon and cheese to veggie burgers.
There are some restaurants that we go to occasionally where it’s total greasy spoon diner food. If it were up to me, every meal out would be really good teriyaki or another form of Asian food. But it’s not up to me. So when we walk down to the little restaurant in our town or head to another diner that Jack loves (they give out any flavor of ice cream to kids for free -not just vanilla. That puts them at the top of Jack’s restaurant hierarchy.), I order a veggie burger. And then I sit back and watch the server’s face when I ask to add bacon and cheddar to it.
3. I feel extremely underwhelming and unaccomplished.
I have never been afraid to work hard and I will still gladly work harder than many people. Most days I feel like I am screaming into a jar trying to get my blog moving in the correct trajectory. I have been doing this for so long, but I feel like I wasn’t doing it correctly for a lot of years. Terrible photos, no printable recipes, crappy self-promotion on social media, etc., and it seems like such wasted opportunities. I look at people I started with and they’re huge now. HUGE. But I can also look at people I started with and see many who just stopped and no longer are part of the space.
Seeing the success of others motivates me to keep trying, but most days I feel like I can’t get any traction. Like I am holding my breath for something that just won’t come. I am convinced I am the only blogger who has less traffic than the previous year, despite writing MORE.
I sent a recipe from another site to my friend a few months ago with the comment “this looks good” or something basic like that. Five minutes later she said “looks delicious, but the writing on that site is terrible. Awful”. I went back and actually read the post and she was right. The writing really was terrible and cringeworthy. It was downright atrocious. Then I looked at her social media accounts and she had 2 million Facebook followers. TWO MILLION.
In ninth grade, I was voted “most likely to succeed” but believe me that doesn’t dictate what I do with my life. That being said, I feel like I am stagnant on my own path to success. And to be clear, I define my own success not as making tons of money, but replacing my old (small) salary would be a milestone I would love to achieve.
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. But I do know I want to be someone who brings food and joy to the masses.
4. I am a sustainability hypocrite.
I love all thing reusable. I take cloth bags to the grocery store and use mesh bags when I buy produce. I don’t buy bottled water. We recycle. I compost. We use cloth diapers . I have fricking chickens that compost food for me and produce compost and eggs for crying out loud.
But so help me God, if I had the money to redo our kitchen, I wouldn’t think twice about taking all those faux oak cabinets and white checked formica out and throw them in the damn landfill. Heck, I’d burn it if I needed to.
Our kitchen is hideous and there is so much wasted space that would be better utilized by meeeee. But it is more than just replacing cabinets or cosmetic changes that I need/want made. Everything is a snowball from the first change that should happen (a wall knocked out), and that leads to very expensive changes. And I’ll be honest. I think we’d need to send Troy away for the duration of the work. After all the remodeling we have been through, I’m not sure we were both survive another big project. Watching us try to come to an agreement on anything home-related, is like putting two vipers in a paper bag.
5. I don’t care about the Olympics.
I think it goes back to when I watched a lot of TV, especially on NBC. The Olympics always pre-empted shows that I loved. This was before the days of Hulu or DVR, so if you missed that episode of Law and Order, it was gone forever. Even though I now watch very little TV, somehow that feeling has stuck with me.
I’m in awe of the athletes who make it to the Olympics and the immense amount of dedication that it takes to be the best in your country. I love that it brings countries together in a peaceful moment if for only a few weeks. But I still just don’t enjoy watching them or find myself all jazzed up about it. I really wish I was.
6. I make Troy and Jack’s injuries/illnesses about me.
I was a giant hypochondriac growing up and loved the attention that being sick brought me. Eventually, my parents stopped feeding that beast and after awhile, I shifted in the opposite direction. I currently won’t admit to being sick (allergies in November seems 100% plausible), and I mentally will myself to get better. To me, it’s all mind over matter and if I continue on with my normal life, then I surely can’t be ill!
Troy has a bad back and a host of other chronic things that I often have no patience for. It’s not nice of me to be so unsympathetic about it, but I am just not. Jack is so much like me and my earlier self and laps up all the joy that comes with any cold or illness. Again. No patience or sympathy from me.
I know 100% that it stems from my parent’s situation and watching my dad have to provide my mom with so much care over the years. It impacted their lives and many decisions they made. It took away a lot of freedom and caused burdens. So when I am telling the boys to suck it up and get over it, I do really mean that. A cold is not an excuse to lay on the couch for days. But what I’m also saying is “I’m scared and I don’t want that life for us”.
But also for real, sack up.
7. I don’t take my own advice.
I’m really great about talking with friends on how to move past upsetting incidents. Most of the time I can even do it myself. But from time to time, something gets stuck in my craw and I can’t.let.it.go.
Oddly enough, most of the time it is snotty or rude comments on my blog or social media that gets to me. In the grand scheme of things, those people shouldn’t matter to me, but certain ones do. I can still remember a certain comment from early on it blogging and it frustrates me to this day. Another time I was posting a really heartfelt moment where I was super upset about something related to parenting. I felt raw sharing it and while I know that opens you up to aholes and their opinions, someone commenting “oh brother” still really took me by surprise. I must have hovered my finger over “block user” for like 10 minutes.
What are you scared to tell me?