Monday 25 June 2012

Why Are So Many Of You So Much Better Off Than Me?

source: articlesbase

Euro 2012 and the 'beautiful game' and now Wimbledon - how is a girl to find time for blogging?  I am fair worn out with all the excitement.  Since England were defeated by Italy on Sunday, I can breathe more freely again; at least Germany won't have to meet England in the semi finals. It wouldn't bother me but for the hysteria in the media; it's the evil Hun and the plucky little Englander all over again. Now it's Germany meeting Italy next Thursday, it should be an exciting match, so exciting, in fact, that I won't be able to watch it.

However, let's leave that for the moment. There's something else which is causing me to scratch my head. This is what I'm thinking: why is everybody in blogland having such a fantastic life when I can barely drag myself from day to day?

The vast majority of the diary-type blogs I read talk about the splendour and fun of their everyday existence. Nothing ever goes wrong. Depression? Bad days? An unsuccessful attempt using one of your artistic talents? God Forbid. There are  ravishing adventures,  exotic cruises, beach holidays, stays in expensive hotels, marvellous road and boat trips; every wedding in, and out of, the immediate family is perfect, babies are the sweetest, well-behaved ever; jobs come flying out of mid-air, they are satisfying and well-paid;  adult children are successful in their professions, their lives progress according to plan, their marriages are idyllic.  Not only that, but these children cannot do enough for you, they come running selflessly to offer help every time you sneeze. Your leisure hours are filled with deeply enjoyable activities and any voluntary work you do brings rich emotional rewards. You are perfect cooks and homemakers, the teenagers, whether your own children or grandchildren, are like no teenagers before them, they are polite and love their grannies and grandads with true devotion.

Crises? Self-doubt? Lack of Confidence? Perish the thought! An off-day? Not at all, remaining positive is the name of the game, even if it kills you.

I am fortunate in that I have a few real-life friends and acquaintances who are just as grumpy as me sometimes, whose projects go pear-shaped, whose kids can be a pain, whose husbands/wives are impossible, whose holidays get rained off and for whom  the thought of more of the same is enough to drive them to drink, or at least, to binge themselves sick on chocolate.

But those of you, for whom life is one long sequence of joy, won't you tell me how it's done? I'd love to try my hand at perfection. Perhaps I too could become the sort of person who can do more than barely hold things together.


  1. I read your blog and think you have a lot going for you. I wonder if I'll ever go to dinner parties and chat to interesting people like you.
    The sad truth is that everyone gets down, doubts themself, has a run of bad luck etc. I often think my life is pretty shambolic. I can't even feel sorry for myself because its all my fault!

  2. I feel like shit or some version of it every day within these same four walls, but I refuse to let it get the better of the majority of my days. Just a stubborn, glass-half-full Swede, I guess. I just don't like being down. Been through enough trauma and upheaval in my life to let a little (or a lot) of pain get me down. Things could be worse. I know for a cold fact they could be worse--LOL! That's my take on it. Of course, I have moody Karma to make me laugh every day and that helps. And honestly--being able to laugh is the biggest part of my survival. ;) If I were there I'd bet I could get you laughing and I'd give you a big hug when I left.

  3. Ooops, sorry. I must have come to the wrong blog. I thought I was going to one of those who live in a beautiful, secure part of the world, goes to book fairs, has old friends over to dinner, dines out at lovely quaint little restaurants and who takes long walks through the countryside when not working in the garden. But I must say, it is pleasing to stumble onto an old grouch now and then. Let's me know I'm not the only one. ;)

  4. You've detected a minor flaw in our perfect garden of blog friends, Friko.

    A tribute to your sensitivity to notice,
    and skill in sharing-
    once again.

    You remember, I'm certain, that I have blogged the 'blah'
    (and worse) from time to time.

    Perhaps this is an idealized party
    to which we all come happily and expectantly,
    wearing our new party ideas, er clothes. . .

    When I have confessed in a post to remaining distressingly
    [merely] human, the support from yourself and others
    have been touching and gratifying. And effective, BTW.

    Now how does EVERYONE trot the globe and stay at expensive hotels,
    dining at restaurants, and visiting wonders????????

    I moved here so I could walk in 'paradise'
    then go home for a sandwich, and occasionally
    an imported tread: a Garibaldi biscuit!

    Have a GREAT Week

    Aloha from Honolulu,
    Comfort Spiral
    > < } } ( ° >

    1. " TREAT" and occasional TREAT, not 'tread'

      e kala mai (Hawaiian:' please excuse me, my bad')

  5. We all, I think, have good and bad times...some blog about it all, others only the uplifting stuff.

    Ayak, on Ayak's Turkish Delight is an example of the former and if you don't yet know her blog, then let me encourage you to take a look.

    Cheshire Wife, too, in a different sphere, does the same - and I'm sure people will suggest plenty more.

    I wonder if any of the 'sequence of joy'ers will comment?

  6. You're obviously not talking about me and my life so I'll just disregard this post.

    Except I want to tell you that I recently showed my husband your blog with your idyllic pastoral home, a park for a garden and an atmospheric ruined castle in your backyard. A lot of sighing and drooling followed. Want to swop for my minuscule slice of suburbia with a road at my front gate?

  7. "Crises? Self-doubt? Lack of Confidence? An off-day?" All of the above. I try to ignore what comes my way in this regard, though I am not always (in fact often not) successful. For me, I think, writing on the blog is a way to escape what passes for reality. From time to time, I do suspect/wonder if readers find me much more "sunny" in temperament than is actually the case. Rest assured, in our household, there is plenty of grumpiness . . .

  8. We are all masters of painting a perfect picture - what lies underneath is a canvas that is warped in many directions, oil paints that clump or run and ultimately as I approach 70, crazing across the surface...not sure where I am going with this comment, as the mind gets muddled easily...I know only a few people who seem to lead a life of perfection and frankly, they are very self-absorbed with their perfect homes, beyond perfect children or buying first class tickets for a trip around the world - again.I suspect if we could peek below the surface, there would be some miseries buried somewhere. It is just not normal to live a life of constant adventure and riches...or is it? Personally, I am content to live a rural existence and gripe about the mess our resident (temporary) geese leave until they migrate. Things could be a lot worse...

  9. Looking at your pastoral surroundings, your beautiful garden, the incredible views ... hearing about your beloved life companion, beloved garden companion, comical book clubs, village shopping sprees, scintillating dinner parties ... and knowing of some of the amazing intricacies of your superior intelligence and the delight of exchanges with some of your erudite blogging cohorts, I was sure that your life was perfect!

  10. You seem to me to have such a nice life: the place you live looks beautiful, you have a magnificent garden, plenty of books and good food. I understand that you have dark moods; I do too. When I have written about my personal life it hasn't all been the good stuff, but I prefer to keep my everyday life private.

    Personally I don't find complaining very interesting, and I wouldn't want to bore people with the humdrum of my daily grind. I want to share the best of myself in the sense that, when I share a poem or essay I hope it offers something in terms of beauty or stimulation. But there's honesty in this. The thoughts and emotions I share are not all pleasant; some of them are dark and painful.

  11. I am so glad you see my life as being idyllic. This makes it seem much more likely than eventually I will feel the same, one day. Your concern is only that I tend to put my best face forward, it's not the only one I have, not by a long shot! :-)

  12. oh dear, it is not perfection, I have had my share of all of that dark stuff this year....but I raise my weary heartbroken spirit and look for joy every day
    for it is looking for the wee-est bit of joy that I see it..
    It is a relationship I have with the in sunlight, joy in birdsong, joy in good coffee, joy in a hot bath, joy in a purr, joy joy joy and beauty
    and that is how I see thru better glasses
    how I sometimes am able to tuck myself into bed the joy I found that day
    it is mine....
    I try to keep my blog honest...with a balance of good and bad...but never perfect
    oh goodness no......
    why I even have written about the poison ivy I just over

  13. I have a neighbor, and she is also a sort of colleague because she and her husband tutor foreign students at the University where I taught last year, who always says she does not like perfection. Poor thing, she is sadly losing her mind at this time due to dementia, but when she is lucid the part of her personality that is most charming still comes out. She raves in her Italian accent over the blue sky, exclaiming how you couldn't find a cloud if she were to offer you a million dollars for finding one. She raves over my wild, rather chaotic front garden, calling it the work of genius because of all the bright colors. She insists she likes such things because they are not perfect. She endears herself to me because she does not look for perfection. I like friends like that because there is nothing perfect in my life.

  14. eh, i guess i try to look at the beauty in life as i can...i do have my days and think i drop those on the blog occassionally...its real life you know...and that is not always do live in a beautiful spot though....

  15. I don't know about others, Friko, but it's all real. If I write it, it's real. What I don't write is also real. A mother descending rapidly into dementia; a DIL who is struggling with the death of her unloving mother and who needs constant support and affirmation; terrible and frightening illness in the family; a job that I don't always love and clients that are sometimes completely intolerable, let alone unlovable. At some level I use my blog as therapy. Not the sort of therapy necessary for unburdening or looking at the pain of life past or present, but the sort of therapy necessary for reminding myself that life is also brimming with good.

    1. wow...Iloved your post pondside

    2. As long as no one has a terminal illness and the mortgage isn't about to be foreclosed, just fake it until you make it! Abe Lincoln said most of us are about as happy as we let ourselves be.

  16. I am delaying writing a post to read all my friend’s posts – I read all the comments and mine could be a repetition of Pondside's. I write my blog for therapy in a way, to get away from where I live and my problems. I don’t think people enjoy reading the problems of others – everyone has enough. I try not to write a diary but recollections of my past and my trips – mostly so my husband will remember them and I don’t want to get him down, anymore than he is. I also live in the US and realized that the culture here is different than in my original country – in France everyone complains, about everything – the life, the weather, the president and so on. Here people say “how are you?” and you are supposed to always answer “fine” even if you are hurting terribly mentally or physically – you can’t mention it or people eyes will glaze. I think also that by writing about all the nice happenings in my life it prevents me from thinking about the problems – it hides them away in a way, away in a closet, but I know they are there – so why should I bother others with them.

  17. Read mine. I'm a miserable git. :)

    Seriously, I've just looked through the blogs I read regularly. Looked at one way they're pretty cheerful. Looked at another, they're a record of poor health, addiction, struggles against addiction, loss, loneliness, poverty (OK, they can just afford the internet and thank God they can, it's a life saver), demon-facing, not to mention the existential angst. (I'm sure they won't mind me saying so as all the examples I'm thinking of are upfront about these things).

    Also, I think people can go in for all the ravishing stuff you describe (and I stress the word "can" - sometimes life just is, well, wonderful) as a way to escape their inner feelings.

  18. Can't really confirm what you observe in blogland; I am probably not following the "right" blogs :-)
    There's many a mishap reported on those I read, and some bloggers (like myself) can go on a rant about certain circumstances, people or general aspects of life that are actually intolerable if you think about them.

  19. We are all actors to some degree, and will use whatever media - especially blogs - to project an image that suits. I'm afraid that failure is so stigmatised, both in school and in the workplace, that few people ever want to admit to it. The fact is, to paraphrase Einstein, the only person who has never made a mistake is a person who has never done anything.

    Like most, I have my fair share of 'off' days, projects that go belly up, occasional family discord, etc. But I'm a born optimist, and for that I'm very thankful. It must be hell being a 'glass half empty' type.

  20. Frico, not for all people their life is a succession of happy days.
    I am always looking for joy in my family only.

  21. I wonder if others have thoughts like yours? I know I do. But I've just had a little think about it and realize the only "perfect" lives I know of are in blogland. In real life those who seem to have the best of many things have other things in their life that I certainly wouldn't want in mine. I might occasionally be envious of others but in reality wouldn't swap my simple, uneventful life for any other. After all, it is the life I have shaped for myself. And anyway I'm too old to start over.

  22. Die Möglichkeit einen Blog führen zu können, eigenes Gedankengut, Erlebnisse und Ansichten darin zu schreiben die weltweit gelesen werden können, das ist eine gute Sache.
    Dabei ist natürlich auch klar, gute Nachrichten verkaufen sich halt besser, werden öfter gelesen, bekommen viel mehr Kommentare, die Verfasser fühlen sich bestätigt, schreiben immer weiter über positive Eigenschaften von sich selbst.
    Und es ist auch für die Leser einfacher dort zu antworten, es reicht schon oft zu schreiben ... gefällt mir ... toll ... u.s.w.
    Blogs mit kritischen Themen, mit persönlichen Schicksalen hingegen, die haben es schwerer. Die Leser müssen sich mit dem Thema befassen, sich Gedanken machen, eine eigene Meinung schreiben, und das ist vielen zu aufwendig, oder sie haben keine Meinung dazu, oder keine Lust, keine Zeit.
    Die Blogger Szene ist nun mal so eine Art wie Nachfrage und Angebot, und die Nachfrage nach erfreulichen Beiträgen ist eben viel größer. Darum sind die Inhalte vieler Blogs von Fröhlichkeit und Zufriedenheit geprägt.
    Ich habe gestern einen Blog in Haiti gefunden, dort wird über das Land und den Zustand geschrieben wie es dort heute tatsächlich ist, doch kaum sind dort Leser vorhanden, keine Kommentare, es interessiert die Menschen in anderen Ländern kaum, das macht nachdenklich, stimmt traurig.
    Doch ändern lässt sich das nicht, denn zumindest im Bloggerland ist jeder frei...

    Lieben Gruß

  23. What's their secret? They don't blog about the things that go wrong, in the belief that no-one wants to read about people being miserable. As the old saying has it, "Weep, and you weep alone".

    Unless, of course, you're able to turn your disasters into interesting, preferably humorous, writing. Much easier to write the blog equivalent of one of those irritating Christmas letters.

    1. I've just tried to comment on your last post, I can't find a comment box. Or an email return address. So, this will have to do.
      And no, I won't send you a Christmas letter.

      Hope you thoroughly enjoyed your train ride, they are such fun.

  24. Friko, we're reading only the good news, of course. I like your assertion, that there must be more going on in our lives than sheer sublimity. Myself? I try to hint at the imperfections. I don't want to throw it all in anyone's face, but, yes, the imperfections are there. It's brave of you, to be honest like this. I kind of like it. I don't mind what anyone has to say if it's honest and it's said sincerely.
    We all need to be reminded that life is NOT Disneyland.

  25. I agree with Pondside . The crap stays in the cupboard until such time as it overwhelms !

  26. I like to think that my own blog is slightly more realistic and honest than those self-confident blogs of joy and optimism and perfect cakes and perfect families we all know so well! (Witness my recent posts on being depressed in Paris.) All our lives can be pretty crap much of the time, and the crap seeps through in our writing; but I don't like to saturate my blog with it. Balance is all!

  27. I think nobody dares acknowledge the black clouds, for fear that once acknowledged, they will begin to drop rain and hail and snow and icy sleet. Or they'll be seen as sad sacks seeking sympathy. One dasn't get too close to somebody who's a bottomless well of hopelessness...

    I'm SO GLAD you posted this. I get so tired of waiting for some Happy Story to tell, and I get so tired of feeling guilty for bringing people down if I write about my reality.

  28. LOL Friko! What would you write about if your life were perfect?

  29. Obviously, you haven't been reading my blog. but to answer your question...they are all writing fiction.

  30. For me, blogging provides the flip side to what is presented in our daily newspapers and news on tv, which is invariably negative. I don't believe the blogosphere would be so well prescribed if all one saw were the mundane and negative. It is in itself escapism, the good face of life. A lot of people also don't want to share life's downs, so choose to show the ups. I know that's true for me. Who wants to read how hard the menopause is or what an arse someone's husband or wife was last night. We all have those negatives in our lives. Its a display of the old adage, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"! You are not alone Friko, I have shit days too :-)

  31. We all have such rants, believe me. There was a time when all I blogged about was my miseries and my fate, but thanks to a few blogger friends (and some good reading), I realized what a sorry rigmarole it had all become. If I had continued complaining and self-pitying for my joblessness, a forever interfering in-law environment, the huge parental expectations from being an only child, then it'd have been difficult to come out of it all. Instead I chose to deviate and focus on the small joys of life, just to save myself from all that muck.

    P.S. I'm sorry if I come across as preachy.

  32. Being a glass half-full kind of person, I expect my blog tends to seem full of sunny optimism much of the time, Friko, but that's because I don't blog about anyone's life but my own. Like anyone else's, my life has its share of difficulties - my mother-in-law's rapidly fading memory, work and marital problems among the younger generation of our extended family, my own asthma and painful knees and two lots of breast cancer - but I prefer not to dwell publicly on all this, not least because I respect my family's right to privacy and know only too well how someone's else's health can soon cease to be of the slightest interest.

    It's very human to want to present one's best side to the world, but having a best side implies that there are other less good sides, about which one prefers not to speak....

  33. I came back to read some more of the comments. I beg to differ with Ellen abbott’s comment above, I do not think that most happy posts are fiction. I do not write fiction. My recollections are written for a purpose – to help my husband remember, for my grandchildren to know about my life in France for when I’ll be gone (I publish my posts in a book every 6 months) so it would be a farce to write fiction – I am not good at writing anyway. I write exactly what has happened and I have been lucky or always looked at the good sides and don’t have too many awful events to recount – or I have forgotten them. But I do read blogs with bad news, like my friend Naomi who just lost her brother – she has posted a heart wrenching post. Also many people like to guard their privacy – if they mention too much, who knows who will read it? Then as someone said – who wants to have strangers feel sorry for them?
    I have read posts about a mother talking about her daughter’s suicide, about a young woman who was raped, about a tourist in France who was robbed of everything including passport, about an older man near New York who is alone, sick with no insurance and is quite down, so they are out there. I have cried reading some posts. Friko, you are fortunate that the blogs you read have charming posts.

  34. Oh, count your blessings, Friko.

  35. Look for the good and praise it. Most of the times, we find what we are looking for. Good luck!

  36. Life is not one long sequence of joy. It is a long sequence of difficulty, challenge and heartbreak but I insist, with an almost maniacal tenacity, to sift through the shards for goodness, splendor and health and to feast my mind with near exclusivity on those.

    I find it improves the quality of life, ceaselessly afflicted by loss -- which I see as opportunities for a quiet, persistent sort of heroism.

  37. Rest assured, Friko, that all is not well in blogland. I think that most of us are constantly struggling at some level to find meaning in our lives, whatever our circumstances. Perhaps it is out there, but I have yet to discover a perfect life, and, as you well know, I'm sure, the perfect is often the enemy of the good. My life ebbs and flows, ascends with wonder and falls with anxiety, infuses me with hope one day and leaves me hopeless the next. That which is truly me, however, has learned to witness the process and to remember that pain, sorrow, and disappointment always walk hand in hand with comfort, joy, and satisfaction. Everything passes—the good, the bad, and ugly—and perhaps it is best that we trust the process, maybe even dance with it from time to time.

  38. Great post, Friko. I think it's the "Christmas letter" syndrome - you hear all about everyone's fab lives in the Christmas letter, all the achievements, etc. etc. and it is all so enviable until they get divorced.

    I think it's a matter of what people choose to write about in their lives, and that is dependent on why they are blogging in the first place. I am sure some of them are even creating a fictional world, others want to convince themselves all is well, others just have a deep aversion to sharing their problems.

  39. Friko- Are you reading blogs or Facebook? Sheesh. "...ravishing adventures, exotic cruises, beach holidays, stays in expensive hotels, marvellous road and boat trips..." Not on this blog! I've got plenty of stress and anxiety labels for you if you're looking for pain and angst. Come on over to SS! ;)

  40. Pondside's comment expresses my thoughts. I don't intend to gloss over the vast array of imperfections in my life by choosing to focus on the more positive aspects, which exist in reality, not fiction. And I'm afraid that if I were to include more negative reality my posts would sound whiny and annoying, unlike your wonderful, forthright words that create humour and empathy.

  41. Long sequence of joy? I'm faking it for the benefit of others.

  42. Dear Friko, I think you and I read some of the same blogs that touch lightly on life. But many bloggers I read aren't like that. I see the height and depth and breadth of their human experience. Just yesterday I read a poignant posting by a woman whose beloved cat died. And today I read about the depression of a woman who has bipolarity. For me, this blogging world is a mix. And what that mixture represents is the verity of human existence--and the variety of experiences. So I'm not agreeing with you on this posting, Friko.

    But I do understand that sometimes the optimism of others can be wearing. I found that out when Meniere's was plaguing my life. Some friends thought all I had to do was take myself by the scruff of my neck, give myself a good shake, and ignore the acute rotational vertigo episodes. I've blogged about this and I suspect that those who read those postings realized that I had lived through a time of terror and there truly was nothing I could do about it.

    The thing about blogging for me is that those readers who leave comments to the stories I tell so frequently have experienced what I have and that sharing helps me as I struggle to become totally human--to realize in myself the possibilities of humanity.


  43. Ich weiss gar nicht mehr wann ich das letzte Mal fern gesehen habe. Verbringe viele Stunden auf dem Spielplatz und bin gerade dabei unseren Garten zu entdecken.

  44. The oppressive demand for happiness in the US starts with answering a simple hello, how are you, how could it not continue on in to blogger-land? Thankfully there are exceptions. In my 6th year on flickr I notice that I will always click through to posts (2 American guys come to mind of more then 100 'friends') that share with an authenticity, some wisdom and plenty of humor. I do not believe in the glass either half full or half empty outlook, the glass is both, half-full and half-empty! My attempt is to keep that in my mind and my heart.

  45. I'm giggling here, because on Sunday after our friends left a cookout at Rick's, I tripped on my flip flop (or the picnic bench leg) and pitched forward into the corner of the brick house and fell into the carport! I now look like I was the bouncer for a low-level bar and I got bounced instead! I doubt it will ever make it to the blog, because right now I'm smack in the middle of the Paris/Europe posts and I just want to get through the trip so I can post things that are a little more today!

    But I won't post about our friend's son's suicide (although having read on one blog about a woman's struggle coming to grips with her daughter's, we touched base on what families really do NOT want to hear in that situation; I will never forget her generosity in sharing her perspective). And I probably won't post about the wretched environment at my office because that wouldn't be smart. It may be wretched, but I still need to be employed! I may write again about the challenges of living with a chronic illness that can't be cured, just managed, but when I think about it too much, I just get depressed.

    I guess the thing is, I don't have a need to be wildly happy all the time (Rick would deny that). And I don't mind writing about serious things on my blog. But if it is going to hurt anyone who could read it (or get me in trouble at the work), it just isn't worth it to put out there.

    There are plenty of serious blogs written by people who have lots of challenges, lots of tough times. I have lots of goofs and I'll share them. But I sure don't want to bring anyone down. We're all down enough as it is!

  46. Spin, public relations, press release, motivational speaking (to oneself). Can you see me waving at you from the other side of the void? I'm over here.....

  47. As usual your blog sparks invigorating examination of a question from many perspectives. I sometimes blog about the not so happy stuff. But usually when I have experienced hard, unpleasant, painful or sad things, I really don't want to experience them again by writing about them unless I can identify a positive element, a launching point for joy, growth, thankfulness, healing or humor. The alternative would be a spiral into my susceptibility to self-centered and crippling negativity.

  48. We all have highs and lows in life, no one gets spared. Terrible things and just plain annoying things happen to all of us, more or less, if we talk about it or not.

    I had cancer (I am a very lucky to have survived), I have an artificial hip, painful arthritis in my left ankle, there was IC and lately a herniated disc, and my back is not nice to me any more! Four years ago I lost my beloved sister to cancer, she was only 59. So, I have all those and many more reasons to love and cherish life and to be thankful. Sometimes I touch a little bit on the sad stuff in my blog, but overall I like to tell about the beautiful, the wonderful, the dear and magic things that happen here and there around me, and about the simple and loved everyday happenings, about the joy of family, friends and pets, about creativity, and about nature, and again and again about nature, about our excursions, even it is much harder for me to walk longer distances now, and not possible any more to hike. But we still go out and I love it and I love to tell about what we experience.
    Of course I am aware of all what is going on in our world, but in my blog there will be no opinions of politics and religion, and I am not keen on those subjects in other blogs as well, this is my personal choice. I love to read blogs where nice and interesting stories are told, but I will always have an ear to listen, if someone opens the heart, and I will be glad if I can give a bit of comfort through a comment.

    I surely appreciate your honesty in all matters and your bravery to speak your mind! Und ich habe schon gemerkt bei Dir Friko: ein bisschen harte Schale, aber ein ganz weicher und lieber Kern! :-)

  49. Love your honest and forthright post, and, wow, a lot of great replies. But as for myself, I can only report on the luxury and sheer glamor of my Hollywood-style life. I just got back from a whirlwind tour . . . of Trenton and Camden, New Jersey. And tomorrow I visit Bridgeport, Ct. Now I'm going to avail myself of the latest in medical technology (I'm taking an aspirin for my bum knee), and tonight we'll be dining under the stars -- macaroni and cheese on the back deck!

  50. Hi Friko, I dare say there is nobody with the"perfect" life, but my blog usually focuses on simple pleasures rather than a rehashing of the negative. I readily admit to being a terrible cook and slipshod housekeeper, but who really cares about my many shortcomings?

  51. I see Jenny got to the "Christmas letter" syndrome ahead of me - but that's precisely what I'd thought of by the time I'd come to your last word. They're just unbearable, some of those long recitations of perfection, particularly when they come out of homes I know to be just slightly less than perfect.

    Everyone knows there's a bit of pretense in some blogs - particularly blogs which have become a "brand", like "Pioneer Woman". From photoshopping to employing staff, it's all part of creating an image. Many of the food blogs are quite good, but a friend who was a food photographer taught me never, ever to assume that dinner plate in the photo was going to bear much resemblance to reality. The same's true with other sorts of blogs, too. ;)

    One way I deal with these questions in my own blog is to focus on ideas, however I dress them up. I'm not a "confessional" writer and whether my day's really good or really bad, that's not what I'll be blogging about. Granted, I did blog about my mother's death, and some other personal issues, but I think it's quite possible to be personal without embarassing the reader.

    I think blog-reading is a challenge precisely because we're pulled into worlds we don't usually inhabit. When I read about other's travels, or art projects, or time for reading, it's easy to become envious. When I read the blogs of people embedded in loving families and as secure as can be financially, it can raise real feelings of loss and anxiety.

    But on we go, right? We all know there's no "perfect life", and we each have our gifts. Just now, the mockingbird I've been tempting with blueberries has deigned to sit on my rail and sing. What could be better?

  52. Well, Friko, there is not more than I can add to the long line of comments ahead of me.

    First of all, I read all types of blogs, but most are pretty positive in nature and many have to do with gardening and books.

    Second of all, I tend to be positive in my writings on purpose. I set out with a few goals of what and why I would blog and included what I would not write about on my blog and I usually don't. I have other outlets for that. What I do write about, especially about family memories, is all mine and all true and, well, it is what it is.

    I enjoy reading your posts and your sense of humor and wit, and your banner itself, with your house sitting in the shadow of that old castle always makes me smile and wonder what is up over there.

  53. Friko,I think for most of us it's an attitude we have. A positive attitude makes life easier. I hope this suggestion doesn't offend you as I am not judging you. I guess the excitement you are mentioning earlier was about soccer? You didn't say so. That can be exciting alright just as any sport one is interested in. Our excitement last Saturday was Rugby when the NZ All Blacks beat Ireland 60 ton 0 - Dave

  54. REally...57 comments! Get over it already. I have not read them because I am sure they are filled with dismay and disorder to make you feel better. My life is great right now and I will admit that it was not so about a decade or more ago. I had all the problems most people have, but that was then and this is now and I am going to enjoy myself...even if is makes you jealous...;-)

  55. Great post! Yes, blog posts can sometimes sound like those Christmas Round Robin letters that are one long eulogy to the successful family year, but I post only what I'm comfortable sharing and quite often that means leaving out the grisly stuff!

  56. A painting without shadows has no depth. A painting of only shadows is awfully dark and hard to enjoy.
    If a Blogger never has shadows to discuss they are doing it deliberately, either because they want to focus on the good stuff, or because the bad stuff involves pointing out exactly who is causing the crud...which usually is a bad thing to share.

  57. OMG Friko, which blogs are you reading? Not me for sure.

    -I never travel anymore, don't have the $$ or a husband who wants to go somewhere, not even a day in the country to see my daughter.

    Children, now they like me, now they don't. Seems to be related to $$. What else is new?

    -Health? Doing the best I can with meds and diet. Learning to cook all over again, light fare for me and David. Lost 13 pounds.

    -Reading as much as I can but having difficulty focusing on anything serious like a book having completed my MA in May of this year. Maybe I am burned out.

    -Gardening and Weather? Nice Monday and forecast is over 100 degrees for the next three days. Garden is barely hanging on.

    Now what is your problem??

  58. As Dorothy Parker said....

    Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
    A medley of extemporanea,
    And Love is a thing that can never go wrong...
    And I am Marie of Roumania.

    But I do attempt to stay upbeat on my blog because of the several folks who tell me they look forward to reading it every morning to get the day off to a good start. Just as when I take photos, I crop out the unsightly bits of my life-- usually. I do share with my readers some sad stuff -- the death of a beloved pet, the illness that killed four cows -- but I generally wait till after the fact when I have recovered from my personal sadness.


Comments are good, I like to know what you think of my posts. I know you'll keep it civil.