Pinterest (definition): 1. noun; a social networking site that allows you to figuratively “pin” pictures of your likes/interests in a simple, organized fashion. 2. noun; a time-murdering, life-sucking thief of joy.
Here’s what I try to use it for:
- To occasionally pin awesome recipes that I will most certainly cook for my family, assuming I regularly cook for my family.
- To occasionally find great tips on house building/cleaning/decorating; just generally making our home a nice place for our family to live.
- To occasionally be spurred on by some really great bible verses, or at least the occasional encouraging quote or story or picture.
- To occasionally pick up some healthy advice to incorporate into my of course already insanely healthy lifestyle.
- To occasionally gather ideas and inspirations for my art work.
Here’s what usually happens:
- I obsessively look up recipes for all kinds of crazy health food or ridiculous desserts that require 600 different ingredients…and then wind up cooking noodles for dinner the third night in a week.
- I obsessively feel terrible about all the cleaning tips I never try.
- I obsessively look up bible verses I already have at my finger tips in my own actual bible.
- I obsessively punish myself for not looking/acting like a beautiful fitness model, or not having the right clothes, or not doing my make-up perfectly, or not washing my face every single night.
- I obsessively pour through a million and one colors/patterns/genres of art before my brain explodes and I’ve no time left for painting because pinterest stealthily sucked away hours of my life when I thought only 5 minutes had gone by.
What I’ve learned:
- Real life is frozen chicken nuggets on the go. It’s burning the crusts on my grandfather’s bread even after the fifth try. It’s craving greek olives and Little Debbie snack cakes at 4:00 p.m. It’s my husband’s chicken on the grill–But if I spent as much time attempting to actually cook as I spent drooling over photo-shopped pictures of gourmet food, then maybe I’d master the art of meal-making and my family would like me much better.
- Real life is a thick coat of dog hair on every surface no matter how much I vacuum. It’s looking up at a dusty fan. It’s legos all over the floor and it’s orange juice stains on the carpet. It’s toothpaste splatters on the bathroom mirror. It’s mismatched couch pillows, and a kitchen chair leg that had an unfortunate run-in with a teething puppy. It’s a crack in the bricks. It’s a drafty window. It’s weeds in the flower beds. It’s happening at our current house and it’ll happen at our farmhouse. It’s home; and sometimes it seems like the only one who’s not happy in it is me.
- Real life is going over a bible verse, not getting it, and only understanding a month later when someone else brings it up out of the blue. It’s 3-year-olds systematically jacking your perfectly-planned Sunday school craft and making it into something way more amazing. It’s looking for examples of God’s majesty by taking a step outside, and not sitting in front of a computer screen. It’s finding inspiration in my son’s glee over a loose tooth, or knowing that my 9 year-old daughter is confident enough in her appearance that going to school with wicked bed head or wearing blue sweatpants two days in a row bothers her not.
- Real life is stretch marks, and dull razors, and running out deodorant, and smudged eye-liner. It’s a strand or 1100 of hair that won’t lay flat. It’s comfortable old Payless ballet flats with a hole in them that no one notices way down there on your feet anyway. It’s leaving contacts in overnight and sporting alarmingly red eyes the entire next day. Real life is not me wearing magazine-worthy outfits in a series of picture-perfect moments. It’s messy and awkward and frustrating and disappointing, and unpredictable and joyful and most certainly memorable, even if no one will ever pin or even see it.
- Real life is staring at a blank white canvas for hours and sometimes days. Real life is making a mark and hating it, erasing it and starting over–it’s also finishing an entire painting and hating it, erasing it and starting over. It’s leaping into action at midnight and not stopping until 4 a.m., and then going to work groggy as hell the next day with paint all over your fingers, hands, arms, and face…and hair. It’s kids coming along and begging to paint with you, and then your perfect painting isn’t perfect anymore–but your kids are quiet and smiling and satisfied and there are paint speckles all over your kitchen but you ain’t even mad.
Real life? Is about being present, in the moment, where you are with the people around you. I can’t do that if I’m busy pinning away all my wishes, hopes, and dreams–and the more I look at Pinterest, the more my wishes, hopes, and dreams reflect only the popular ideas of 200 other people–75 % of whom I don’t even know.
So here are my goals:
Pinterest doesn’t have to be evil. But like anything else in the world, I can make it bad for me. It’s one thing to gather ideas for house construction; it’s another thing entirely to harp on my children to clean their rooms 15 times a day so I can picture myself in a pinterest-worthy house.
So hold me accountable: Let me only pin things that might be uplifting and encouraging. If I start pinning a million and one outfits or purses or shoes that I don’t have, please remind me of my cozy white sweater that I stole from my husband 8 years ago, and the scuffed-up boots he bought me for Christmas, and remind me how lucky I am. If you see me going nuts with recipes, ask me how my family ended up liking them. And if you see 3 trillion pictures of chicken coops, guinea pigs, and funny pug quotes, know that Mia has hijacked my account and that I will delete the boards presently.