#pinterest #goodthings #fail

I have a Pinterest account, but I’m rarely on it. I should be. I own a photography business, so I really should be. . . but I’m not. I mean, who needs it? I am that person who made post-worthy birthday parties before there was a way to “post” anything at all. Hell, Hedwig (a Harry Potter reference) levitated in my dining room during a wand-choosing wherein party guests had to find the wand for them (“…the wand chooses the wizard, Harry…”). Sometimes Hedwig levitated, sometimes she didn’t…and that bunch of 6-year-olds were awestruck! Yeah, I do pretty all-right without Pinterest. Yet sometimes . . . sometimes I venture onto the site and use an idea.

If you and I are connected via social media, you may have seen this photo on New Year’s Day:

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along with the accompanying text: “On 1-1-2017, we put this container in our kitchen and encouraged everyone to write down something good they experienced at least once a week. Today, I have emptied that jar and we will read them together. I can’t wait!”

This sounds great, right? I thought so, too. I thought this would be a great way to gain insight into my family. . . to learn what’s important to each of them. I envisioned going through, each of us choosing a square, unfolding it, and wistfully sharing the Good Things we’ve written. Yeah, well, so much for that. Let’s start with some immediate observations:

  • I seemed to be the one who actually stuck to the practice most faithfully
  • I really love camera club
  • I really love my French conversation groups
  • my spouse’s ‘good things’ mostly centered around only things that I did (this might be for another post–or for therapy, I’m not sure)
  • it appears I favor my eldest kid

Yeah. So, let’s take a look at that last one. Let me just say: my eldest lives away from home (he wasn’t around for the reading) and every time I saw him was, indeed, treasured time. But here’s the thing: it isn’t as though moments with my other kids weren’t mentioned or equally treasured, it’s just for some reason, they were written in more general terms, like “A house full of teenagers!” or “Seeing siblings engaged in meaningful conversation.” Now, had we had the session I envisioned–you know, the one where we share the story behind each thing written–the trio would have learned that they, too, had a fair amount of mentions. But no. Mentioning my eldest by name seemed disproportionate, even to my own ears. I noticed the kids’ enthusiasm quickly subside, and their exit was swift after the last paper square was read. #awkward #fail #mykidswillneedtherapy

Well, we put that jar back on the counter with the intention of doing it again this year. My spouse and I both proclaimed lessons learned and vowed to be particularly aware of what we write. That seems odd, though, doesn’t it? Does monitoring what I write change the intent of the practice? Shouldn’t I just write what genuinely made the day or week good? By changing my thought, I change what I write. By changing what I write, I change the authenticity of the sentiment . . . and then, somehow, it’s no longer “real.” And NOT being real . . . well . . . that’s just not a Good Thing.

2 thoughts on “#pinterest #goodthings #fail”

  1. What is the true intention behind the exercise? From the undertones it seems you want to teach a lesson of savoring the small, good things and sharing that lesson with your family. Of course your eldest is on your mind more often. He’s the first to fly, to gracefully swoop out into the world in an aerial frenzy of swoops and dives in search of his own nesting grounds. Or he leaps from the nest and flies smack into the closest tree. Either way, you have given his life to him, fully ready to lend your own experience but knowing from this moment on his life belongs fully to himself.
    Meanwhile the rest of your brood is there. There in a way that requires timing, logisitics, long drives, short sleeps, frustrations, tears, laughter, nourishment. Monitoring what you write doesn’t make the exercise inauthentic, it merely pushes you to realize that the really wonderful moments are happening quickly, hopefully leading to less worry about the man who was just recently your first born and gently pushing you to prepare for the next one to make their journey out to the wild blue yonder.
    Or you’ll drive yourself batshit crazy trying to find the perfect balance. Either way it’s a family affair and that’s a good thing, right? #parentingaintforwimps

    1. I see your point, and the jar IS back on the counter. There are some slips of paper in there–none of which I’ve written. I am inspired by that, and I think that shall be the exercise for the year: letting everyone else get a word in edgewise for once! 🙂

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