If you are one of those rare people who never compare themselves to others, this post is not really for you. If you're a person who compares yourself to others and you always come out on top, well, you need to read a completely different kind of blog post!
If you've ever compared yourselves to others and felt lacking in some way, then you'll understand this article. Welcome!
I've been fighting off Pinterest Syndrome.
Pinterest Syndrome (according to Urban Dictionary):
When an individual feels depressed and inadequate as a result of wanting but not having the item(s) she or he sees on Pinterest or similar materialistic websites. Can occur in any gender, but about ten times more likely to be seen in females.
I think sometimes we imagine other women sitting in their Pinterest-perfect homes, their DIY coffee filter wreaths hung on the shiplap wall their handy-dandy husbands installed for them the week before (easily, quickly, and without complaint, mind you). They sit there on their elegant, unstained, tufted sofa, sipping coffee out of their adorably unique DIY sharpie mug while they browse Pinterest for more projects to do. (Ohhhhh, How to Build Your Own Fireplace. Hubby and I could have it done by tonight!)
Their babies snooze nearby on their fluffy sheepskin rugs and the older kids play in the cozy little playroom off to one side, complete with their very own DIY tepee and fluffy DIY bean bag chairs. The kids are happy and perfectly behaved, how could they not be in such a beautiful life?
Every part of their house is well thought out, every nook is unique and welcoming, and on top of all that it was all budget friendly because they did it all themselves.
Now how does that make you feel?
I've been told that I'm creative and talented, and people have been amazed at things I've made. Either they actually are amazed, or everyone is just really, really nice to me. I do love making things. With all that, you would think my house would be similar to the one described above, right?
I took this picture of our living room about two months after we got married, and for the next year or so, it still looked fairly similar to this:
Lovely, right? So inviting.
We were a newly married couple starting out our life together in a big, mostly empty house. We had each other and were happy as clams but two things we did NOT have were lots of things with which to fill a house and an unlimited budget with which to buy lots of things.
I'd like to say I didn't care what our house looked like while we slowly added more furnishings. I'd like to say we still invited people over and had lovely times. But I did care and I didn't have many people over and it all seems very silly now. I once visited a newly married couple who lived in a tiny trailer. They had a table with two chairs, they had a beanbag in the living room, and that was their only seating for guests so we sat on the floor. They were welcoming and happy to see us and unapologetic about their empty house and I loved it. I wish I had been more like them.
So my house wasn't perfectly decorated. Or even really decorated at all. Who cares? Other people didn't, my husband didn't, only I did. I had a list of plans and ideas I wanted to do, and then, then it would be wonderful! In the meantime, I didn't like what I saw and assumed others cared. They didn't. They don't.
Pinterest is great for decor inspiration but it can set up some unrealistic expectations. What we start seeing as 'normal' are really only beautiful bits and pieces of a hundred different peoples' lives. When our own lives aren't as instantly perfect it's easy to become dissatisfied.
By now my house is much cozier, though still a work in progress. But, I find the Pinterest Syndrome hitting in a different way.
I have this blog...a brand new baby blog that's just a few months old. It's great fun. I like writing about the stuff I make and watching my own projects make their way across Pinterest. I also hate some parts of it, like browsing Pinterest and seeing others' amazing projects and pictures and feeling inadequate. (Someone actually coined the word 'Pin-adequate'. I don't know who, but it's pretty fitting, isn't it?)
It's just like decorating my house. I'd like to have a blog full of good content right now. I want to instantly know everything there is to know about having a great blog. And if something isn't quite right, I need to fix it before people see it! Right?
Soon after I launched this blog and it was finally out for the world to see, I told my husband, "I feel lost. I have a long list of projects lined up to blog about and I know what I want my blog to offer in a year or so. But right now it's so brand new and empty and it seems like such a huge, impossible task to get it from here to there. How do I get it from here to there???"
He said, "Well, if you're focusing so much on the end result you probably won't get there, you have to just enjoy the process."
So I'm taking his advice to heart. Every blog post adds content and every month I master something I didn't know how to do the month before. It's okay if it's not perfect yet. It's a process.
And someday I want a big, fluffy, cream rug in my living room to distract from the blue carpet. Someday we'll buy one and our living room will be even more welcoming and inviting. I might even take pictures of my future babies on it like everyone else in blog-land. But until then, I'm going to enjoy the room just as it is. It's a process.
So you don't have a perfect Pinteresty home. Neither do I. Neither do most others. Even most of the bloggers posting the beautiful Pinterest pictures are picking and choosing, hiding clutter, and making the pictures look as good as possible.
So tell all those expectations to shove off, live in the moment, and just enjoy the process. 🙂