Keepin’ it real.

Being blissful is awesome.

But it’s not always reality.

I argue with my husband-to be. I’m overly critical of myself and often feel not quite good enough. My dog is poorly trained and may not even know her name (even though it’s awesome). I make huge messes when I cook. I burn things, I break things. I’m evil in the morning. I lose my patience more frequently than I used to. I’m nervous about the future. I tend toward lazy. I pout a lot. Communicating in healthy ways is something I’m still learning. I will overindulge in just about anything you put in front of me. And I get very depressed that I’m 37 and not the one thing I thought I would be in life: a mom.

I read something once that stuck with me. I wish I had saved it because it’s worth reading often. Something along the lines of: Don’t be jealous of anyone, because you have no idea what that person is going through. No one’s life is perfect. The woman with incredibly well-behaved children might be struggling with a cheating spouse. The woman in a high-powered, successful position at work might be in the depths of infertility. The woman who always has sincerely thoughtful things to say about other women might have an abusive home life. A big house might be empty of love. A fancy car might be an escape.  On the flip side, the family just scraping by- the one with the kids that aren’t always clean and the beat-up minivan- might have the happiest, loving home. It’s not smart to make assumptions about people- because chances are, you’re wrong.

I write a lot about “good things.” I post (a lot of) photos of pretty places and yummy food and a handsome man and an adorable dog. Yes, that is my reality. But it’s not all of it. A snippet of The Daily Norm’s recently Freshly Pressed post worded it far better than I could:

I do like to count my blessings, however, and I actually think writing a blog, which encourages one to reflect more on one’s life, making the most of occasions, events and opportunities for the sake of sharing and recollecting interesting and unique snapshots of life, makes us bloggers appreciate life with a renewed vitality and a very sharp focus.

The point of the usual bliss is not to pretend my life is perfect, or offer a façade of what I’m like or how my life really is. I’m a mess, just like everybody else! I think by now, my readers have gotten to know more than just the shiny side of me. It’s my choice to focus on the good stuff.

I started writing this blog to remind myself to keep everything in perspective. To think positively when I’m heading the other direction. To be grateful for the little things and even more grateful for the big things. To recognize special times in my life. To find the bright side.

To try to find a way to laugh when I step in dog pee, first thing out of bed. Before coffee, you guys.

Life is good. Even when it’s bad, life is good.

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51 replies »

  1. *GASP* you aren’t perfect :). Great post. I also focus on the positives because it’s much more fun! Ye sentence about the dog pee had me laughing hysterically!

  2. This is exactly why I write my blog, too. A few years ago I was in a total rut of sadness after we lost a pregnancy…this is my attempt at making the very best of what I have. I feel so much more like my real self as a result.

    I’m glad we’ve found one another here.

    Xo

  3. Love, love, LOVE your blog, Amber. You seriously are a tremendously inspiring person and I am SO glad that I’ve met you! Now… let’s meet at Cateye… I’m kind of thirsty 🙂

  4. I agree and that’s why blinksofbliss was born. Love this post, it was really inspiring too read….sorry about the above typo, I meant ‘special’ not ‘pecal’! Lol x

  5. Me too, girlfriend. Me too. I love life all “messy and unpredictable” and then picking out the goodness in it. It drives others crazy. It keeps me positively joyful in all I am.

  6. Are you sure you’re not a Virgo? Not that I really buy into that stuff. It just sounds all too familiar. It’s funny…it seems the older I get, the more thankful I get for the good things in life. Things like just having my health…something you become all to aware of when you have a thankfully, a minor health issue. Or…that everyone in your family is healthy and present. And…I don’t know about you…but every single day I am thankful that my “kids” are healthy and seem to love me no matter how bad of a day I’ve had…or that I’m super grumpy in the morning, pre-coffee. I’m sure you can see my point there:) Totally inspiring, thanks as always Amber! Enjoy your week!

  7. Excellent post! It reminds me of a quote I once saw that has really stuck with me: “Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.” That just perfectly sums up the messy chaos we’re ALL experiencing; no one is exempt! When I remember that, everything seems a bit more doable. Thanks for sharing this!

  8. Yes your right – same wavelength!!! I love this and I love finding the little bits of good, the bright side, bliss – call it what you want. They aren’t always easy to find but blogging sometimes forces us to reflect and seek them out and it makes me a more appreciative person in general! Keep finding the bliss in your days and sharing with the rest of us 🙂

  9. So true!!!! I love this! I’ve recently read all this material out there that people looking at other’s facebook feeds and blogs can actually cause those to feel worse about their own lives because of the lives we project online as ‘perfect’… I would hate if someone felt that way after looking at my blog (or yours!) I think its important to count our blessings and I think writing blogs allows us to do this. 🙂 THanks for a great and honest perspective

    • That’s sort of why I wrote that post. Everybody has weird stuff going on, all the time! We do project the best version often, but it’s also nice to see the other side sometimes. I just see nothing wrong with focusing on the good stuff

  10. How did I miss this post? It is wonderful and uplifting and that the other goodies!

    I have been struggling with the idea that my life is lacking. Even though it is full of many wonderful people and experiences, I tend to focus on that one single thing that I cannot have and that I NEED in order to be fully happy. Like you, I always thought I came to this earth to be a mom and now that the dice has be thrown and that due to certain circumstances I will need to find a new life mission, I sometimes feel there is no way I can ever feel absolute happiness again.

    I have been thinking back to the days when I was going through my “cold shower” experience, days when the magnitude of what was happening to me forced me to look at every single second with bright eyes and to enjoy new morning, every new cloud, and every loving caress that my husband gave me. And I realized that I have never, ever been happier … those were the best days I have ever had. I didn’t have anything more, or better or different from what I have now, quite the opposite actually, and yet, I was happy, content, peaceful, understanding, accepting and energetic. And I remember telling myself at that time…remember how you feel, when all of this passes, you have to remember this feeling, you have to keep it, stay with it.

    Unfortunately, once the whirlwind of daily life returned….I forgot. I am not the person I was before it, I do not stress as much, I am more positive, I am calm, I laugh a lot more, and yet…I lost that feeling, I let it slip away, just as I feared it would happen.

    Reading your post reminded me of the advice that I gave myself back then and it really motivated me to try to find my blissful feeling again….

    Thank you!

    Daniela.

    P.S. Sorry for the long comment… I should start writing on my own blog, I guess. 🙂

    • THANK YOU for your comment. I’m so glad this post made you think. That makes me happy. One thing that stuck out to me above is the idea that you keep thinking your life is lacking. What I have found with myself is that if I focus on a thought like that, it eats me up and every thing in my life becomes a reflection of that negative feeling. On the flip side, if I focus on the feeling of ‘life is good’, the same thing happens with that positive feeling. It’s easier said than done, but I’ve had some pretty crummy things happen to me which left me in that pit of dispair. It took a long time to dig my way out and I’d prefer not to slide back in.
      Keep your chin up- the things you describe in your happiest time are still there.
      Thank you, as always, for being a faithful reader. 🙂 Enjoy the weekend!

  11. This post is brilliant!

    I’m either happy or super happy and if I’m something else I don’t know what to do with myself. The older I get the easier it is to tell when I’m something other than happy, but sometimes I stay in the muck for so long that it takes a really big ‘ol truck to pull me out.

    Having a positive attitude and blogging about ‘the bliss’ is a wonderful idea. The world needs more positivity!

    • Thank you! I think that, too. It can be challenging to see the bright side on a down day, but there’s always something to smile about. Even if it’s something small. Thank you for reading…

  12. Man, sista- I feel like you are reading my mind! You’re basically describing me in that first paragraph! I, too, struggle to be positive daily (even on days when it seems an impossible feat) but very much enjoy being upbeat, happy and grateful for the wonderful things in my life. Reality can suck, though. It’s hard to see how much stronger and better those tough times make you (as much as they suck while going through them) until you’re well on the other side. I love stumbling on posts like this! Thank you!

    • This post sure strikes a chord with people. I think it’s kind of a relief to ‘admit’ that things aren’t always shiny and happy, even when that’s what we’d prefer to focus on. I do believe the hard times make the not-hard times sweeter. It always helps me to remember that the struggles will end at some point and the sun will come back out. Thanks for reading!!

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