I wrote a post back in January basically saying that I was done blogging. I only felt that way because our family life had seemed to be far from something you’d post on Facebook and talk about. But I’m realizing something in the last four months since I wrote that post. Life is messy. Life is full of good times, bad times, and all that muddy stuff in between. We tend to only post what we want others to see and know about us on social media. But for me and my family, because we were going through some very personal struggles, I stopped posting things. I stopped finding joy in just the small things. I stopped taking pictures. I look back at the last four months to find pictures of something I did with the kids and I can’t find them. It’s because I stopped taking pictures…I stopped documenting.
Ever since we became a family, I have loved documenting it all. Every stage and milestone of my children’s lives have been documented and I truly loved doing it. Why did I let personal family struggles hold me back from that? Did I think that it doesn’t go on in other families? Yep, I did. I saw every other family as perfect and ours as broken when all families have roots in something broken along the way, skeletons in closets and deep dark secrets that of course, you don’t see much of on social media. And why should you? I mean it really isn’t anyone’s business.
But I really did think the joy of all of that was over because of our struggles. Just because I’ve reached a point where life seems muddled and our connections with each other don’t seem as deep, it doesn’t erase the memories of the past, or even some things that lighten and brighten my day even in the midst of the big thing going on. I want to start documenting again…taking pictures, writing blog posts…even in the midst of our personal struggles. Because it will be these memories that we make in between all those struggles that will tie us together in the coming years. They don’t just stop happening because you don’t take a picture….but you can lose the memory when you fail to take a picture or write about it.
Yesterday, I had a game night with the boys. They wanted to put whipped cream on their fruit dishes, while we played card games. I said sure why not! It triggered a memory of a picture I took back when Braidy was two years old and I was trying to convince him to try jello with whipped cream on it. He was absolutely mortified that the jello was wiggly and what the heck was this white stuff on it! Oh no!! He wouldn’t even entertain the idea of eating something that looked so weird. I’m glad I took that picture of his face looking oh so offended at that wiggling jello. I’m glad I wrote about it. When I’m 50 years old and the boys are in college or have their own families, that picture will bring back that memory.
I think I’m slowly coming back to a balanced life blogging about things here and there.
We all have messy lives and while I won’t share intimate details here on Heartfully Heather and I’ll probably still share only the significant and appropriate, I have learned that these struggles can go on in the background of making deviled eggs for Easter, or de-winterizing our RV for camping and we can share what is going on with the ones we care about in our seasons of life whether they are good or bad. My friends and family know me. Some know the struggles, many do not, and probably will not ever know, but many also miss seeing our faces, hearing our voices and seeing our stories. I’m trying to find the joy of that again.
Here’s to finding some joy back in a messy life, full of chaos, confusion, hurt feelings, morning walks by the lake, lawn mowers that won’t start and kids addicted to Minecraft. It’s all ugly and beautiful and its all just life and we are all trying to do the best with it and remember the things we want about it and find joy in an “instagrammed” picture of your morning coffee or a walk by the lake. Document your beautiful messy life, no matter what is going on in the background. Don’t make the mistake I did and stop. It’s all still beautiful in its own way and when you look back years from now, yeah it might trigger a bad memory, but it could also trigger reflection on that time that made you grow spiritually or heck even bring back a memory of those three weeks of a perfectly toothless 7-year-old grin when he lost his two front teeth before his big teeth grew in. He looked like a vampire and it was adorable and in that three weeks span of time he looked different…and I want to look back and see the difference.
So take the picture…even if you lost your job the day before. Take the picture, even if you found out someone close to you was diagnosed with cancer. Take the picture even if it’s just a boring day doing the ordinary.
Take the picture…
Document the journey…because that’s what life is.
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