Yesterday I went to my sister’s wedding. It was gorgeous–the wedding had the most Pin-worthy details like handmade jars of jam topped with pretty fabric lids, and garlands of found ribbon and scrap fabric, homemade soup, and hay bales covered with quilts for seating. I mean, seeing the photos, you will be jealous that you didn’t get to go to this wedding. Just like all those inspirational images on Pinterest that you will never get close enough to touch or taste.
Pinterest is amazing – so much inspiration to be had. But if I’m not careful, I get sucked into the fantasy world that is Pinterest and forget that real life is NOT like Pinterest.
It was a beautiful, meaningful wedding, but the pictures won’t tell the whole story. They can’t tell you how the rainclouds were hovering over the outdoor event all day, or how it rained for many days before the wedding and softened up the ground, creating mud in some spots. Photos won’t tell you that the wedding celebration began at 1pm, but the ceremony wasn’t until 4pm, which most parents of small kids know is NAPTIME. Photos won’t tell you that as the ceremony itself began, the wind began to blow and the temperature dropped about ten degrees to just below comfortable.
NONE of these details destroyed the wedding, and I’m not complaining AT ALL. I just want to illustrate that when you see an image on Pinterest, it is only an image. One frame frozen in time — with no smell-o-vision, sound, touch, or taste. No hours before spent in preparation, and hours afterward cleaning up the fantasy. No indication of money spent, effort expended, or emotional drama from people in the image.
And on the other side, life is so much more full and rich than an image on Pinterest can convey. Yes, life has those beautiful moments – the ones that are a single perfect moment – but they are surrounded by the chaos, the effort, the striving for connection, the anger, the fear, the love, of real life. Real life takes effort. Looking at an image on Pinterest does not.
Being at the wedding had it’s difficult parts – the colder weather, the sleepy kids, but it was amazing to be sitting on a quilt-covered hay bale watching my sister marry the man she’s waited 33 years to find, sitting outdoors at a gorgeous vineyard surrounded by people from all areas of my life: college, church, cousins, and tons of people who, as my husband put it “I didn’t expect to see together until we all got to Heaven.” There’s no way to convey that in a single image, or even a single blog post. In fact, I don’t think it’s even possible to document that one afternoon, and all aspects of that day, completely. The ONLY way to know is to be there yourself, living the experience.
As I was perusing Pinterest the other day, a phrase came to me: Love Your Own Life. Don’t sit there wishing you could fix your hair in a perfect messy updo like that girl, or have children as well-behaved as the ones in that picture, or marry the Ryan Gosling from the meme – the one who understands you like only another YOU would. I’m not saying don’t enjoy Pinterest as a recreational activity, but I AM saying, realize it’s an illusion. Make the effort in your own real life to experience it to the fullest – to spend time with your children, to try a new food, to go on a hike.
Love Your Own Life. Be there, in the real world, noticing the “pinnable” images in your own life, and treasuring them all in your heart.