There are plenty of blogs that I read and really enjoy that make it seem like their author's lives are all good lighting and perfectly tossed pillows. I scroll through my favorite, beautifully curated, IG accounts and feel weird pangs of guilt that my granola isn't homemade and I didn't think to use leftover beet greens in my winter salad. Consistently stocked pantries and apartments that have no sign of pet hair amaze me. Lives seen through the perfect lighting of social media feel perfect, even in the winter, when everything is grey and messy. On most days, these reads help me feel inspired to make a change in how I approach taking care of myself and my home. Unfortunately, this season hasn't brought any inspiration. Lately, scrolling through pretty photos makes me feel like I've reached some insurmountable hurdle. Like I'm constantly playing catch-up to this imagined life that I will never be able to lead. I feel bad that my recipes are tired and my current routine consists of more morning stops at Starbucks than I'd like to admit.
The winter blues are very real over here.
All this made me start thinking about why I started writing this blog. The purpose isn't to preach a self-actualized life (whatever that means) but to share with you what I'm learning as I stumble through my day-to-day. I know that no one wants to see the imperfect and that messes don't make for good photos. But, there seems to be a lack of showing/discussing the normal: couches covered in dog toys, bookshelves stacked with unsorted mail, the one plant that will. not. bud. My goal is to show you my normal while pushing myself to try new things and improve. In other words, some days are full of pretty pictures of homemade bagels, but most days I'm forgetting to pack myself a lunch and scrambling last minute to fix dinner. What I'm starting to realize is that it's ok to feel like I am falling short as long as I keep pushing toward my goals.
I have a tendency to see things in large scale and compare myself to others. I tend to think of progress and change as something only measured in the future. The reality is: small actions actually inspire bigger self improvement. Taking a pause and appreciating my present does not come naturally. So, I'm trying to start small- waking up earlier, working out in the mornings, cutting out chugging coffee first thing... I'm not someone who easily falls into new routines, or reads an inspiring blog post and changes her habits in a flash. I'm slow to change and new goals need to marinate before I let them soak into my daily routine.
More than anything, I'm trying to focus more on the trivial things to measure my progress. Now, I know this is cliche... "appreciate the little things!", blah blah... I know. But for someone like me, someone who isn't prone to always seeing the positive, taking value in the little things is turning into a survival tactic.
This week I'm starting a new series on this site: document that which makes me appreciate the present, every week. Small, large, cheery, sad.... I urge you to contribute. It's so easy to get caught up in well-lit and filtered lifestyles perpetuated by others. Let's pause and acknowledge our own markers of progress.
Send your images to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag them on IG as #grainsofsalt and I will feature them here.
Over the hump we go!
Case in point. My favorite moment this week happened courtesy of a super dirty Potato greeting us after our Valentine's theater + dinner date. I rushed to give him a bath without changing. The resulting was a totally soaked fancy dress covered in suds and dirt, eyeliner almost to my cheeks! Turns out being super dressed up and splashing around with the puppy is so fun! We ended our night snuggling on the couch with the pups, eating donuts and it was perfect.