I’ve been thinking a lot about perception and perspective lately. We are engrossed in this world of glamour and perfection when we scroll through our social media feeds and I wonder what it is doing to our mental health. I feel people are craving reality, and I’m loving the shift towards snap chat and periscope where there is #nofilter (well, actually there is now, but you know what I mean).
When I started Food Prep Sundays, in the first fortnight of blogging about what I was eating, I literally sat down at my food to eat, whipped out my iPhone (and cringed that I was taking a photo of my food) and snapped whatever was in front of me. I didn’t consider lighting, props, emotion or glam. I just took it, as is. And then when I first started my Instagram page I had 20 photos on there, and they looked horrendous, and I was like “holy crap, I wouldn’t even want to cook that! So why would anyone else?” Enter, the art and science of Food Photography (which I am still very much in rookie stages).
But my biggest issue hasn’t been with the technical side of it all but the BS side of it all. I wanted (and still want) my blog to serve as an authentic letter to people to give them real, practical strategies about how to get on top of their health and I felt I wasn’t being true to that by doing all the staging etc. But I’ve since learnt this is just a necessity of having a food blog. After all, we eat with our eyes.
Sometimes on my blog days when I have been working for over 12 hours straight, I literally want to just go and get McDonalds for dinner and this is the reality of the behind the scenes of so many different blogs, businesses and lives. So I wanted to share with you a week I had recently, which my husband quite aptly named ‘Da Funk’.
It was the week after our anniversary weekend away, and I was just feeling flat. I don’t know why and still don’t know why but I was just grumpy and negative and lazy. I was talking to my mother-in-law Rose about it and she suggested that I should write about it; lift the veil if you will. So here it is, my choice of adjectives for my mood that week:
What a ball of fun!
But the main thing I noticed was how much I blamed others and also how resentful I was towards other people’s success and wins when I am usually everyone’s number one fan. And all of a sudden all these things that justified woe-is-me moments started compounding.
On the Monday night I got held up with a client, then stuck in traffic and therefore was late to yoga and therefore missed yoga… And my reaction to this (not (usually) a big deal) was “I’m never late, and other people ARE ALWAYS late, and they always get let in and the one time I AM late…. Etc. etc. *continued self-pity*
AND THEN I received a text from my husband, which was a PERFECTLY acceptable text, based on years of trust and respect, and he knew I was going to the supermarket after yoga and asked me to pick something up for him, and my response was literally “WHY DON’T YOU GET OFF YOUR ASS AND GO PICK IT UP YOURSELF, I do everything around here, I am so busy, I am the cog of this life of ours, you ungrateful…. Bla bla bla *continued self-pity*
AND THEN I was walking through the grocery store and wasn’t able to find a couple of ingredients that I needed and I was huffing and puffing and sighing and being a condescending cow to the 14 year old stocking shelves who probably not only didn’t know where the LSA was, but has never even bloody heard of it, but she SHOULD, she bloody works here, why don’t IGA train their staff better… rah rah rah *continued self-pity*
So as a result of these little events and my horrendous mood and perspective on life, everything continued to get to me. I didn’t look objectively at situations, I made fast and inaccurate judgements and this just all seemed to make it even harder and harder to sort my life out.
For the rest of the week I didn’t get to any of my yoga classes, I didn’t do my one shop on the Sunday, therefore I had to waste time each evening feeling stressed trying to work out what to cook, or I didn’t cook and then I didn’t have any lunch and then because I was busy and hadn’t planned ahead I didn’t have access to IBS friendly options so I ate food I shouldn’t have and then I felt sick so I didn’t go to yoga, and then I cancelled on a friend and then I yelled at Josh and then…
And in hindsight (which is ALWAYS 20:20), it was a nice little reminder of how hard it can be to get out of that slump or ‘Da Funk’ when you’re in it even though pulling yourself out can sometimes seem like you are climbing Mt Everest.
So the point of this post is to remind myself and anyone else reading that despite what it may seem like from the veil of Instagram, we are all simply human, we simply have crap weeks and sometimes make crap decisions that result in crap outcomes and that most importantly, THIS IS OK.
We can choose to be kind to our minds and our bodies and rest when we need to, keep in tune with our fatigue and stress levels and MODERATE (without kidding yourself). Life shouldn’t feel like a contest or a constant push.
But how do I get out of it Anna? Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has written a great little article about breaking out of it.
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