Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fun Outing Yesterday

Yesterday the at-home kids and I made the trek out to visit the lovely Amy Scott and her six children. Amy and her family moved from Florida to rural KY in September, and now they have a beautiful 54 acres of woods and farm land. My children got to help feed chickens, hike around in the woods, and in general run around and play together, while Amy and I talked while tending to little ones and put dinner together.

Amy has done an amazing job--you can't even tell that they just moved in less than three months ago! I don't know how she does it. Her two littlest children are just 8 months old, and a two year old. I don't think I would have been able to accomplish half as much as she has in such a short time!

I've met a few "internet" friends in person over the years. It is always interesting and fun to get to put a real-life person and life together with what we learn about someone from their blog, web site, or posts in an egroup. It's so easy for us to imagine the lives of others that we get to know through the narrow lens of the internet (or even the narrow lens of Sunday mornings at church, or homeschool support group meetings, etc.). It's easy to forget that other people (even prolific bloggers) are not telling us everything about their life or their relationships. I used to read a blog where a reader accused the parents of only homeschooling their kids for two weeks out of an entire year, simply because the homeschooling hadn't been documented on the blog! (too bad there isn't some sort of litmus test for weeding out readers of one's blog that have such a perspective on things...) I've had people make up huge portions of my life that they actually knew nothing about--all based on some small snap shots of getting to know me in one setting. I enjoy the reminders that we are all just folks. :) We've all got the good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the things we are good at and the things we are still working on. None of us is so perfect that the rest of us should be struggling with our life and wondering why we don't have it all together like so-and-so from the internet.

Now, none of that is to say that Amy was anything less than gracious, lovely, organized, generous, and kind. She was all of those things and I enjoyed my visit very much! Those are just musings that came to me as I was reflecting on the things I've learned over the years about keeping perspective on reality as opposed to some of the things we like to make up in our minds.

My best friend Sooz has a little thing she says. It's "What I'm making up about this is......" This is a really helpful tool, both for putting into perspective that one's own thoughts may be cobbled together, made-up things that we came up with based on what we know about something, and the realization that it is important to check out the facts of whether or not our imaginings are accurate. I've often experienced people in my life preferring to believe their imaginary version of my life over reality. This sometimes results in people thinking I'm way, way, way better at everything than I could ever hope to be, and other times results in people thinking I'm so far away from being good at what I do that I might as well pack it up and change course altogether. Somewhere in the middle is the truth, but we have to check our imaginings at the door to get to it.


Anonymous said...

Interesting...I have learned to say, "The story I've told myself is..." That helps me gain perspective on the fact that I don't know the whole story.

Elizabeth said...

This was really interesting. I've met a few cyber friends with the same results. It's so important to be willing to see the real person behind my idea of them; to accept them as they are. When I come to the real life meet-up, I generally find that honesty is a big key. If the person is honest in their blog--then I'm not surprised in real life. If the person is dishonest in their blog--then it can be a startling disappointment. But for the most part I've only found that the honest people show up, while the dishonest people back out. :)

Rhonda said...

Okay, so now I am jealous. ;) I have wanted to meet Amy for a long time. One of these days...

Ruth MacC said...

Well, mostly I blog to Christian, home schoolling women from America, so theres no chance of meeting up with them concidering I'm from Ireland!

I like Amy's blog too.