The Lowlight Reel

Have you heard the expression, “don’t compare you lowlight reel to someone else’s highlight reel”? Simply put, this means don’t compare your worst moments or days to everyone else’s best moments or days. But really, I don’t need to tell you this; I need to tell myself.

This week, I saw a slew of friends suddenly start to follow @2sisters_angie on Instagram, so my curiosity naturally led me to check her out.

In case you haven’t heard the buzz about this amazing four year old, you can check out her story here: fashionbyMayhem

The short of it is this: Four year old Mayhem (nickname, not actual), makes amazing dressing out of construction paper and tape and her talented mommy snaps photos and posts them on Instagram. Her creations recently caught the eye of numerous national media outlets and now her story is all over the web.

I saw this story after two weeks of struggle, frustration, and anything but picture perfect parenting of of my two sons. In these moments, it is so, so easy to compare yourself to what everyone else is doing around you. It is easy to catch glimpses of everyone else’s “highlight reel” and to use it to beat yourself up.

We all do it. But I wanted to take this week’s post here at His Girl Friday to give you a lowlight reel to show you that you aren’t alone when things aren’t easy, to show you that what we put on Instagram is the exception, not the rule, and to hopefully make you laugh. So here goes. Here is my week’s lowlight reel. Be prepared, to not be envious:

IMG_1986Potty training. The bane of my existence.

IMG_1985Theo messing around when he should be eating. Theo getting stuck as result of said messing around. Theo throwing a fit.

IMG_1969We are currently on week three of Theo getting up anywhere from 4:45 to 6 AM, which is especially frustrating as I’m still up every three hours through the night nursing Oliver. One morning, he woke up and I told him to go play in his room. This is what I found a few moments later.

IMG_1942I make homemade muffins. I feel good about providing such healthy,homemade treats for my family. Theo refuses to eat homemade muffins, eating only the store-bought treats brought to him by great grandma.

IMG_1937I make a delicious cast iron skillet pizza for dinner for me and my hubby. It tastes so good, I make another one the next day for lunch. And eat the whole thing. By myself.

IMG_1928Mommy and boys go grocery shopping. Theo pretends he is a puppy the whole time and will only ride on the bottom. Cue the strange looks from other customers. It is clear they think this behavior is strange, not charming.

pause. rewind. start again.

In the midst of chaos, disappointment or frustration, it is easy to focus on the negative. It is easy to assess your day as “terrible,” fixating on the bad and forgetting the good. I recently read that one of the most beneficial things you can do as you go through your day is to look for the “joy nuggets.” I know, this sounds a little cheesy, but trust me, when you are in the thick of an overwhelming situation, it won’t sound so cheesy then. When you are in the middle of frustrations or fears that threaten to overtake your day, and you choose to pause for a brief moment to look outside of the negative in front of you for something positive, it can drastically change your day. It’s not easy, and for the most part I failed at it this week. But it’s not too late. Here is a look back at my joy nuggets:

IMG_1930“Pages and Puppies” at our library filled my boy with laughter and my heart with joy.

IMG_1971My boys are loved by so many wonderful people. We love our Granny Shamp!

IMG_1936 Thrift store find: brand new sparkly gold shoes.

IMG_1979

Theo conned his great-grandpa into letting him watch TV, after I told him he couldn’t watch any for destroying his room (see photo from lowlight reel). This was too cute to  interrupt.

IMG_1964

I’ve got a great husband who is as helpful as he is pleasant to be around.

IMG_1995

Traced Theo’s foot. Cut out tracing. Took tracing to Stride Rite and bought shoes without toddler present. I can’t tell you how happy that made me.

IMG_2003

My mom treated me to a new dress. Love it! Can’t wait to wear it.

IMG_1958

No matter what, I have the privilege of having my family close to me, and that, is a joy nugget if I’ve ever heard of one.

That’s a Wrap.

So no matter where you are today, no matter what you are in the middle of, I want you to do two things: One, don’t compare. And two, look for joy. It is there, I promise you! And as always, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know how you found joy in the midst of your crazy day.

Instagram

Want to keep up with my highlight and lowlight reels? Click the “view on Instagram” link. (In case you tried to do this in the past and found that the link wasn’t working, try it again, it should be working now!)

9 thoughts on “The Lowlight Reel

  1. 3 Things: 1) I could not have been more proud of you than when you said that you ate the whole pizza yourself! Good job! 2) Those people who gave the cute little puppy strange looks are strange. A toddler puppy under the cart would be adorable and clearly the only sane response would be to pat his head, give him and treat and bark a friendly greeting to him. Where are you shopping?!? 3) It was so good to see pictures of Grandma and Grandpa Shamp. Please give them big hugs from me.

  2. Craziness tends to engulf our busy lives, most of which is completely draining. You are right. We can easily focus on the negative because it is EVERYWHERE! Any ol’ Joe can do that. I am not any ol’ Joe nor do I want to be. Thank you for the pep talk to focus on the joy nuggets. What a simple, cost-effective way to make your day better.

  3. Thank you for the reminder to look for the nuggets in life that God brings our way, each day. He encourages us with the little joys of life that if we are not careful, we will miss them. Thank you Rebekah for your blog and the joy you are to me. Love you…mom

  4. Thank you for the reality check that my life is normal considering I have boys similar in age as Theo & Oliver and I sometimes wonder how other moms have the time or ability to do what they & thier kids post, show or talk about. Life is short so make it sweet! With sweet being whatever makes your heart smile. Don’t stress yourself out trying to be an unrealistic superwoman no one expects you to be except yourself. I need to remind myself of my own advice too! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the refreshingly honest sharing…and for opening up and letting ‘us’ [your blog readers] into your daily living. 🙂 I’ve enjoyed reading each week!

  5. So well written Bekah! Like you said, we all do the comparing thing but I need reminded not to do this constantly. So I very much loved reading this. You should also know our “lowlight reels” look very similar haha. Also, if the ever do the pages and puppies thing at the library again you have to let me know! I’d probably be just as excited as Theo lol.

    1. I’m glad you can relate :-). And yes, I’m sure our days look veeeery similar ;-). I think Orrville Public Library does “pages and pups” every Thursday evening. Let me know and we can plan to meet there and enjoy it together!

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