Yesterday, I was talking with a friend about the idea I have that so often we are triggered by another's blog or Facebook post etc. because we fill in the blanks of what someone doesn't share in these posts with our assumptions. (I talked about this idea in this February post.) We were talking about how we can think that someone's life is a certain way because she doesn't ever talk negatively about this or that or that someone's life must be so perfect because she is doing so much or "makes it look easy."
A simple example: Sharing photos of your happy smiling family doesn't mean that everyone is always happy and smiling. But, it would be a bit odd to begin taking photos "for your blog" during an argument, wouldn't it? Yet somehow when we see these smiling happy photos on a day when our own family might not be smiling or happy, we might find ourselves triggered and thinking "well, my life isn't like hers because she has it so easy + a book deal + cuter clothes + a better camera [or fill in some other similar thought here.]"
My point in sharing this today is that over here, we are navigating the experience that is a marriage in the midst of toddler world + a growing business (and not enough childcare) + other things that are real life things and too personal to share here. In some ways, I touch on these things in my posts, but really, this is a story that involves more than just me and many pieces of it feel too personal for this space.
That said, I really want to begin to share (as an accounting of myself of sorts) some of the ideas we are implementing to support one another a bit more over here. Ideas that are about leaning into living and figuring out how to let in more light + love in the harder moments.
A few weeks ago, I gently pushed Jon on the idea that he doesn't have many self-care moves. And you know me, I am all about the self-care. But, I do know from experience that it isn't easy to implement simple self-care practices if you don't know where to begin.
So we've started a family Smash journal.
We are beginning to fill it with sections on adventures we want to take, go-to meals + recipes we want to try, solo adventure ideas for both Jon and me, and self-care ideas for Jon. There is a section called "home" that will include lists of things we need to do but also a few lists of what we wish and dream for our little home. We are making lists of things to do with EJ when it rains and when we are exhausted but she isn't (for real - this will be a good one). And this weekend I hope to make a list of dates we would like to go on.
I've also started a "Summer Manifesto" inspired by Ali and Andrea, and I'll share it soon.
I want this journal to be a resource for Jon and me because the truth is that sometimes it is easier to focus on "getting through" instead of living deeply. For example, on the days when I don't eat before Ellie gets up and then her needs (and business stuff) takes over and then suddenly she is napping and I find myself still in pajamas and nauseated from hunger...yeah...those days are more intense than they would be if I just spent a few moments bringing more awareness into the day and into what I need. And I see Jon adopting similar patterns when he is on break from work. Sometimes we need pajama days, but we've noticed that life is softer when we bring in more awareness and, well, fun.
I will share more about this journal as we keep using it, but today, I just wanted to share the idea in case you want to create a space to hold your "go-to" family self-care moves. (We are using the orange Smash journal because it seems to have more blank pages than the other colors, which makes it nice for lists.)
May your weekend be full of lightness and good things and rest,