We always love to hear from readers, and this little note is no exception:
“I was catching up on Golden Hours today and I was inspired by Lanier writing about her mom having tea with her and her sister everyday. So I had tea with the girls when they got home from school. It was such a sweet time. I was surprised by how much my oldest enjoyed it. Being that she is 14, I expected her to not be very keen on the idea. I figured she would want to rest after school or get started on her homework. Instead she was all about it.
Thanks so much for Golden Hours. It has been a blessing and an inspiration! I have to admit that you and Lanier have created a life that I had dreamed as a teenager that I would have created for myself by now—houses full of character, love of old things, tradition, and entertaining. I have completely failed in that, maybe because of my depression or lack of seeing it through or our busy lives. Anyway Golden Hours has inspired me to try to get back in touch with the things I love and to encourage my girls to know what they love and to see it through.”
I am humbled to hear when Golden Hours provides “a blessing and an inspiration.” For me, one of the joys of writing in this space is sharing the overflow of my heart—and the small rituals and discoveries that serve as evidence that, despite hard things, we’ve been granted lovely lives.
When someone is wistful or expresses regret about what their world looks like versus what they thought it would look like, I can relate. Herein lies the rub, especially for a romantic like yours truly: reality versus ideals.
But here is also where I struggle with the whole concept of blogging—I never want to make anyone feel less than.
I wish I had the pluck or the inclination to post pictures of my dust bunnies and bad hair days. But I don’t, for a number of reasons—or rationalizations:
1. Plain and simple, I worry about what other folks think. I am working on this. In that spirit: Sometimes I find dog fur inside the refrigerator. Once I unearthed a tiny mushroom growing out of the tile in my daughters’ tub. My hair, neither curly nor perfectly straight, is decidedly not wash-and-go. Concealer and Spanx are my best friends. You should see the weeds in our yard—”as long as it’s green it’s all good” is our mantra—or the rotting windows on the shady side of the house. If you came over, I would not let you go in our basement. I would stand in front of the door and bar your way. Also: I am, in more ways than one, ugly on the inside. You should hear me yell at my kids or snap at the spouse. When I am visiting with my parents, often I revert to adolescence. And these are only the things I’m willing to admit online! In general, I am overly dramatic, selfish, vain, fussy, and a control freak. Which leads me to number 2…
2. We all have our quirks—one of mine is mild OCD. I find it more than a little difficult to let things go, which, truth be told, is one of the banes of my existence. I fuss and fix and fidget. I cannot leave my house without making the bed or come back to it without doing a quick cleanup—I am a whirlwind, straightening a picture here, a stack of magazines there. I wish I was more adept at sit still and be. I wish I found it easier to focus more on people and less on tasks. I am sure my family also wishes so. But we are individuals, with our strengths and weaknesses— overemphasizing both at times—and growing and backpedaling and making messes. God bless us, every one.
3. I have a penchant for pretty. Posting on Golden Hours is like playing “magazine” when I was a kid, drawing and cutting out pictures and creating articles to go with them. Photography is not my forte, but Lanier and her Philip are skilled with a camera, and I adore the images they add to Golden Hours. Beauty is my love language. It awakens something in me like nothing else does.
4. Golden Hours is purposefully not a particularly angst-y website. Oh, but if you could be a fly on the wall when Lanier and I get to talking! There’s plenty of angst, regret, fear, and grappling with hard, hard things. Sometimes we share those things here; sometimes we don’t. In a way, Golden Hours reflects the way I want to see the world, with grace goggles. Seeking the splendor of the ordinary softens the blow of life’s slings and arrows, making the days more palatable—and turning my default mode, discontent, into something akin to gratitude.
All that being said, I still have misgivings. I want to lift up readers, encourage them. There is a hint of the writer of the note above being encouraged, as she mentions she had tea with her daughters and longs to inspire them to know their affinities and see them through.
But the word “failed” hurts my heart. We are so unkind to ourselves. Why do we do that—compare our lives to others’? Isn’t that the crux of the problem with blogs and social media?
I am not going anywhere, I’m just thinking out loud. I want to be real. Thoughts, anyone?