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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.things I am afraid to tell you

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’

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?

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36 comments on “Seven Things I am Afraid to Tell You”

  1. How refreshing to read a blog that is not self-promoting and shares with authenticity and transparency some of the messy things in life! I giggled throughout the reading of your “confessions”….. You are a breath of fresh air in the blogging world! Keep up the great work….success is not determined by the numbers unless that is why you are playing the game. We all get to determine our definition of success and from perusing your blog, I see fingerprints of success everywhere!

  2. Hi, I started reading your blog a couple of years back when I felt we had absolutely nothing in common (I was single, un-crafty, and live all the way in Manila, Philippines–hello from our side of the world!) and I got hooked by your sense of humor and honesty. I always told myself that if I ever got married/had children, I’d adopt some of your attitude.

    I got married and found out I was pregnant a few months after you found out about Bennett, and your writing resonated with me more (getting creepy yet?) Now that I work from home, your blog has been a way for me to unwind–never mind that I can’t care for my own chickens or sew for shit, your writing always cracks me up.

    I pretty much just lurked before, but I just had to comment after reading this post! I totally agree and relate to a lot of your confessions, and it’s nice to feel that a total stranger on the Internet feels the same way I do. Haha!

    • Awww, welcome out of the lurking closet. We’re happy to have you here and thanks so much for being a reader.

      Filipino food is one of my all-time favorite cuisines. I could eat my weight in the pancit my Filipino friend makes.

      • Pancit is awesome. Let me know if you’re eager to try any more Filipino recipes or dishes, I’d be happy to help! I recently started cooking traditional food more and more and it’s been fun.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving weekend Sarah! I love your blog and have noticed the changes and hope it grows in the ways you want! I come to your blog for the sustainability/how to make stuff from scratch parts and the recipes, and because you’re hilarious (and I love the idea of having chickens and a garden even if it’s not a reqality). If you’re ever in NYC, do holler!

  4. Oh what a perfect day for this. 🙂
    I also feel underwhelming and unaccomplished. – I tried being a stay at home mom for a year with the second kid, and while it was very nice I also was looking forward to being at work again. Now I am and there are nice moments where I feel smart, but 90% of the time I feel like I am a fraud. I have to half ass way to many things, I am never caught up, and when I am almost feeling good…. one of this kids knocks out their tooth, or something like that and I miss a few days at work and am right back where I started.
    I also forget WAY to many work related things. I am also very tired after work and my kids annoy me very much. I am a horrible house keeper, and only do the stuff I like. I have a cleaning lady and I am embarrassed to see her because she often has to clean “everything that fell under the table last week”.

    I have been reading your blog for a long time and secretly I hove mixed feelings about your desire for your blog to take off. Reading the “optimized for everything blogs” is exhausting, because they feel like products. They try to sell something. Stuff, ideas, cookbooks…. I hope your blog will not do that. But I think that might be the only way to generate the income you are trying to get.

    I love doing “kid-things” or so I think. Unfortunatelly my kids work never looks like it should. So I try to tolerate cookies with missing legs and frosting everywhere. I am sure its cute. I wish it was perfect. While crafting or baking usually somebody does something and its all a big mess. Then I scream at them.
    Then I wish I had never started. Its fun for all. Then we repeat that a few days later.

    I am very sustainable and believe in all the right things. But then I Amazon everything, we use kitchen roll like its going out of style. Sometimes sanity and sustainability are just not working out together.

    I have never watched the Olympics, in fact I have never been interessted in ANY kind of sport and have never watched an entire game of anything. I also have never watched Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, any of the superhero and comic book stuff. If something is “viral”, I am immune 😉

    • It is my belief that no matter what space we’re in and how much we want to be there, our hearts always call us in other directions. When I was working I wanted to be home blogging. Now that I am here, I feel like things would be better for everyone if I went back to a “normal” job. What is it about our brains that make us do such things to ourselves. I’m sure it isn’t a common condition in men.

      I have no desire to become a sanitized version of myself. I’ve been working hard optimizing my posts since May, so if you haven’t noticed a change there then I feel like I’ve found a good balance.

      Is kitchen roll what we call paper towels?

  5. I’m not too ashamed to share, along with your #2: we sometimes sauté our tofu in bacon grease….SOOOOO GOOD

  6. Number 5 resonates with me. I am incredibly awed by the caliber of athletes, of what their bodies can do, and I truly do believe that they are exceptional… unlike celebrities, who I think are just lucky. With that said however, I too, am bothered by the fact that my favorite sitcoms or dramas are preempted. I sit back and listen to friends/coworkers go on about a race or routine from the Olympics that I did NOT watch. You can find clips online of the really really noteworthy feats and I choose that. I do love the heightened patriotism though.

    Number 6: My lack of sympathy totally stems from fear. I feel like if I can convince my kid that all he needs to do is buck up and he will be fine, he will be. I need him to be. The thought of him actually being seriously ill paralyzes me, so any form of whining or exaggerated symptoms for sympathy set me off. It’s to the point where he can’t even complain about the heat or cold without me bristling. I start to wonder if it is a symptom of something bigger. He’s my only child (‘no spare’ as a friend of mine says), so my neurosis is totally justified, right? 🙂

    Finally, I’m with Mary G. I selfishly don’t necessarily want your blog to “take off” for fear that the content and more importantly, your personal responses to our comments on the blog and social media, will change or diminish. Sorry. Also, I think that the moment you stop feeling like you have more to accomplish, you become complacent. I think it’s only natural.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Me too! I feel obligated to go and do things with my kids but doing things at home just never seem to happen. And I long for the day where their dad says, “I’ve planned to go do something with the kids. You stay at home and relax.” Because he doesn’t feel obligated to go out and do things with the kids and just gets to sit at home on his butt. I also feel unmotivated, and therefore unaccomplished, in my current position at work. I like what i do but i don’t feel like I do it well.

    I absolutely love your blog. You’re the only one that I have kept up with over time. I also feel like I know you personally because our kids are similar ages with similar challenges. And I always brag to my husband when you take the time to answer one of my comments. I get super excited.

  8. I\\\’m so bad at being sympathetic to my husband when he\\\’s ill but I turn into a useless child at home when I\\\’m ill (at work I\\\’m fine). We have a house rule of no sympathy unless you\\\’ve tried to treat the illness.

    My \\\”confession\\\” is I love Instagram, I prefer sharing through photos than using words on Facebook. I don\\\’t want to turn into the Instagram trope of posting all the food I eat but I can be guilty of that (get ready for a bumper post of food I ate at Disney).

    Similarly I enjoy photography but don\\\’t know why I do it because I fear all my photos look contrived.