Upwardly Dependent » walking the delicate balance of absolute truth and overwhelming grace.

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Just Keepin’ It Real {Oversharing & Overcaring}

If you’re not big into confession, this post is not for you. If you write one or more Facebook statuses a day…yep, go ahead and read.

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Holidays are funny. There must be a magic about cranberry sauce that brings Grandpa George, little Ella Mae, and crazy Aunt Sue all together for a few days of family time.

For my in-law Christmas meal last week, there were four generations represented around the table. I watched as the values and temperaments bounced off one another, sometimes clashing and sometimes complementing.

Fox News met The Sing Off. Mamaw’s sweet potato casserole was served along with the latest Pinterest peppermint mocha cake. Nokia flip phones sat beside piles of iPads and iPhones.

But the most interesting thing to observe over the past couple of weeks has been the different perspectives and social standards of my family members.

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not living in 1950 anymore. Wal-Mart is full of shoppers in their pajamas. Corsets and hair spray are a thing of the past. Shoot, just washing and styling your hair is considered trying too hard.

Let me try to sum up what you’ve probably already figured out, but what I’m just now able to articulate.

My grandparents’ generation has a lot of pride in how they look. Their yard is kept tidy, their clothes are always pressed, and their cars are spic-and-span.

To the outside world, their life is practically perfect in every way. No marital problems, no relational issues…retirement is peachy and packaged quite nicely.

My parents’ generation put a premium on being independent. They woke up and realized one day that June Cleaver must have gotten mad once or twice and that marriage really did take some work. Good things don’t just automatically happen, and hard times take some resolve to get through.

They have found a huge need for community in sharing their feelings, but also respect others around them enough to not drag them through life’s junk.

Then my people come along. We don’t know how to do much more than talk about how we feel. We vomit our every opinion and thought onto a social media status and check for updates with affirmation constantly.

We have learned how to share our feelings, and if someone looks perfect on the outside, they’re obviously not keeping it real.

Here’s a little graphic for you:

generations

I won’t speak to the lives my grandparents or parents had to lead. I didn’t walk in their shoes. I don’t fully understand their social pressures.

But I can speak to my generation. And I just want to say one thing.

We need to get over some things.

Maybe stomach viruses, marital squabbles, and hurt feelings are hard. Ok, yes, actually. They are hard.

But for the love, sometimes we need to stop whining over things and just move on.

I firmly believe there is a solid place for confession. For honesty about our struggles in our families, our workplaces, and our churches.

But I’m starting to get exhausted from all the ‘just keeping it real.’

Here’s my dirty house. Just keeping it real.
Here’s my kid on the toilet. Just keeping it real.
Here’s how my husband annoys me. Just keeping it real.

Everybody’s a victim. And everybody’s got a story to tell. The blogging world is full of titles like ‘Confessions of a {fill in the blank}.’

Hey, I’ve even written my own posts with titles like this. And again, let me reiterate that confession is NOT a bad thing. It’s great to validate one another’s feelings and share our life experiences.

All I’m saying is, every small thing we suffer shouldn’t send us straight to a counseling center.

I’m a huge advocate for counseling. Seriously. One of the best investments of my life.

But I look at my mother and I see all she’s been through in her life, from losing her parents to house fires to break-ins. That woman is a rock.

And she doesn’t have time to whine. She’s too busy moving on with her life so that she can remain healthy and happy. She’s got more to live for than dwelling on her grievances.

I want to be like that. I want my children to look at me with confidence that I can move on when things don’t go my way. When I’m hurt or sad or even treated wrongly.

I almost feel guilty when people ask for prayer requests and I don’t have something bad to share. I have a lot of things to sing praises about. God has shown me His providence in difficult times.

We’ve tried so hard to create times of sharing and confession that it’s become socially unacceptable to be thankful, happy, and confident in God’s protection.

Now, seriously. There are days when I don’t feel so thankful or happy or confident. God seems far away and I have to work hard to seek Him.

But all in all, those times need to be short. My apartment is small, but I have what I need. My husband was on call every fourth night, but I had him for the other three. And yes, sometimes I’m tired. All I need is to take a NAP.

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Now I sound like an insensitive know-it-all that’s got it all together. That’s entirely not true.

I just don’t want to always sound like a victim of something. Sometimes I think it’s ok to accept a bad situation, deal with it, and get over it.

I think most of us would rather have our own issues than somebody else’s anyway.

So here’s to 2014: The year of getting over it.

Comments

comments

Cindy SidwellJanuary 2, 2014 - 8:09 pm

from your mother’s generation, just let me say “Well said!”

Lola-Margaret HallJanuary 3, 2014 - 2:29 am

From your mother’s generation ( I stole that from someone I don’t even know!): I do not use hair spray and I wash my hair when I want to! My house is moderately straight, I have vacuumed 2 times, dusted maybe 3 times and cleaned my floors a couple since mid March. I live in a double wide and love it. I have ironed 2 times in in the last, at least, 4 years. I don’t succumb to whining and gossip. We have never had a perfect marriage, despite the fact that we serve as missionaries half way around the world. I am not perfect, but I refuse to be a victim, either. I am moving on! Thanks for giving me the cause to ponder these things.