Why Pinterest Doesn't Stress Me Out

Friday, June 27, 2014

And now for something really random.  For whatever reason, this has been on my mind.  Every so often I'll see Facebook comments or blog posts about how Pinterest causes people to feel bad about not being able to keep up with all the lovely crafts, projects, and DIY's... that it creates this culture of perfection, competition, and guilt.  I get it.  I really do.  And maybe it's completely true.  I certainly can understand how it happens, and I'm all about being aware of what brings you down and working to rid yourself of it.  More power to ya!  No one needs more stress or negativity in their life.  As is often the case with social media, it can be so good and fun, and then sometimes it can be so discouraging.  For example, Facebook.  Most of the time, I find Facebook promoting community, good causes, and friendship in my life.  Unfortunately, there are still times where I read an article or see posts and comments, bickering and other shenanigans that make my head explode and my heart ache as I wonder what the heck is happening in the world around me.  But surprisingly, Pinterest doesn't make me feel like I'm taking crazy pills.  I say surprisingly, because I take on parent and other guilt pretty easily and I have a tendency toward worry.  If you'd like, listen a minute, to why Pinterest doesn't stress me out, and how instead it helps me embrace my creative self.

When Pinterest was still pretty new, some of my closest friends and I decided to do a weekly Pinterest project.  We'd take turns picking a craft, recipe, or some other goal, then all try it out.  With pictures and texts, we'd laugh or lament over our completed or less than completed task.   It was a goofy way to connect and feel together while we were many states apart.  It got harder and harder to keep up, but I think because of that experience, I started off with both a really positive feeling for Pinterest, and an attitude of not taking it too seriously.  Although, even with that being said, shortly after our projects died down, I found myself seeing the negatives of Pinterest.  I was more aware of my nonexistent cooking abilities, my lack of crafting and homeschooling with my kids, and the absence of meticulously styled, yet effortlessly casual and chic outfits while I didn't do above mentioned crafts.  I only pinned clothes that I might someday wear or wanted to buy.  I found myself needing more parenting advice/ ideas on my boards, because I was a parent after all.  I needed recipes, because everybody pinned recipes.  It quickly turned into another To Do list in my life.  I surely did not need more to do.  I found myself getting on Pinterest less and less.

Maybe there's a tendency to see what others are pinning and feel we need to pin similarly.  I guess I started noticing the pins that were cluttering my mind, that I realized I would never really need.  None of this was a conscious thing at the time, but my thinking and outlook for my boards began to evolve.  I moved back to a place where it was fun.  Instead of pinning that To Do list that was constantly growing with little dent in its progress, I started pinning only things that inspired me, made me come alive, were beautiful or useful to me.  Now, when I look at my pins, I want to see beauty, lovely lines, old and new, nature, photos of life and family and the everyday, encouragement, words that speak truth and love (and of course some food that I may be able to make, or at least convince someone else to ;)).

Sometimes I wish I could do more fun crafts with my kids, but with the exception of a few activities here and there, it's just not how I'm wired.  Thank goodness for blocks, coloring books, puzzles, trains, dozens and dozens of stuffed/plastic/magnetic/felt animals, the great outdoors, play dates, the imagination of a 3yo and a 1yo, and being able to embrace a silly spirit that runs in the family (Okay, okay!  AND Netflix and an iPad... what are you, the electronics police?!).  Without these things, I'd be lost as a stay-at-home mother.  And when I need parenting advice, I have people and other resources in my life that I can turn to.  I no longer feel guilty for my lack of parenting and crafting boards.

I am wired with a love for homes, inside and out.  I'm interested in curating a well-lived home with a lifetime of collected memories, and I want to find ways to make my life work better... how to arrange this or that so it both pleases the eye and is more practical for everyday use.  I want to find ways to display the things that hold incredible meaning to me and my people, that show where we've come from and give us the confidence to know where we're going.  I know this is a luxury.  And for that very reason, I don't want to take it for granted.  I allow Pinterest to be an outlet for something I enjoy, a hobby.  It brings me a bit of happiness.  And can we agree that we should grab onto the things that do that?

But if Pinterest doesn't bring you joy, by all means, do without it!  What do I know, anyway?  Maybe it really is the root of all evil.  You can decide for yourself.  Also, here's what I pin, and then some pictures...

For the occasion, I clearly picked some of our most pin-worthy photos... ahem... or, maybe not, but oh well.  *  I love clothes and yet I'm in running shorts and a T shirt the majority of the time, because I gotta be comfortable and I gotta have room for food (that right there might be at the tip top of my words to live by).  *  While I do enjoy Pinterest quite a bit, it hasn't helped us tackle our laundry situation (rude).  Since the pile in our bedroom seems to have become a permanent fixture, I've been wondering lately if it would make me feel better to just re-imagine it as a settee.  The clothes above are only on the table and not still in the basket on the floor, because my sweet mother-in-law folded them when she was visiting recently.  I wish I could tell you they were put up by now.   *  This boy loves puzzles.  *  This girl is quite the climber.  *  And we're in a pillow-and-blanket-forts stage.  Who doesn't love that?! 

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