Tag Archives: honest

Perception is reality

What is real and what is not?

Often people perceive that your life is prefect, especially when Facebook only records the good times. But in reality, all is not always as it seems.

But does that even matter?

Is someone perceives that things are all rosy, then it must be the truth right? There is no point asking questions, when everything seems fine and would you even want the real answer anyway? People believe what they want to believe after all.

I’m all for focussing on the positive things in life, and a lot of being on social media is about big noting yourself so that people think that you are awesome/want to be your friend/want to give you that next job.

We all do it. No pictures of tired eyes as you have been up since 3am looking after a baby, instead there is the picture of your bundle of joy smiling and laughing. It doesn’t matter if this only happens 10% of the time.

No pictures of Saturday night at home in your tracky dacks on the couch, instead a picture of you and your girlfriends having cocktails at the latest cool bar. It doesn’t matter if this only happens one night of the year.

No pictures of the dusty motel you stayed in on holiday, instead Instagram pictures of the gorgeous beach that was a half a day drive away. It doesn’t matter if you never even had time to set foot on the sand.

No job title of blogger on LinkedIn, instead you are an award winning published author. It doesn’t matter if you’ve actually only ever been paid once in all those times you have been published.

So should we all just be more honest? Or is it easier to just go on through life thinking everyone has perfect lives with adorable kids that never cry, a hectic social life, fabulous holidays and the best job in the world?

If perception is reality, then maybe we are all better off with the perception and after long enough, perhaps this will become your reality anyway. It’s all about positive thinking right?

Or perhaps the key is finding out who you can be honest with and choosing who you want to let into your reality. Otherwise aren’t we all just living a lie?

Related posts: Dreams vs Reality, I’m happy for you, Having it all?

Who are you?

How much do you ever really know someone? You can think that you know someone and then they turn out not to be what you thought they were at all. It’s when you find out that they were deliberately hiding their real self from you that you get a little mystified.

Perhaps you are only seeing one face of their multiple personality. I’m a pretty honest and open person myself, but sure, I may act a little differently around work colleagues than I do with my bestie.

It wasn’t always this way, but experience has taught me that it is often not wise to be yourself around certain people that may choose to use this against you. Perhaps this is a wisdom that comes with a little age?

Others seem to be themselves all the time no matter who they are with. Either they don’t know or don’t care what others think and it doesn’t bother them.

I am like this to a certain degree, but also recognise that we still live in a society of people where others may get hurt if you are 100% honest all the time. There’s no harm in a little sugar coating it a little every now and then and modifying your behaviour. Or is there?

You might think you know what it’s like to be in somebody’s shoes, but you can never really know. You can empathise, but you didn’t go through their life experiences and you are not in their head, so you can never really know what it’s like to be them.

You can’t know what it was like to grow up in a particular home unless you were there, and even then you experience of and reaction to it may be different. You may think you know what your husband is thinking (and sometimes you do), but how can you really ever know?

The other day I judged someone I had just met on my first impressions of them, which turned out to be wrong. I guess everyone does this sometimes.

What I forgot was that this was just a small part of who this person was that I was seeing. It was the part they chose to show me, perhaps in nervousness. I think I sensed that they were not being their real self and I didn’t like that.

In reality it takes time to get to know someone, so it was a useful reminder to not immediately judge. After all, aren’t we all weird in our own uniqueness?

Related post: I’m happy for you, Is it just me?, The seven year itch, Relationships: my five (per)cents worth

I’m happy for you

We say this all the time- to our partners, our parents, our friends and even our enemies.

But are you really happy for them? Or just jealous and this is a nicer way of saying it?

And quite frankly, to paraphrase Seinfeld- I’m happy for you, but what is it really doing for me?

But you can’t not say it can you?

You are expected to be happy for the newly engaged/newly pregnant/new home owners/new job getters even if a) you don’t want these things for yourself and/or b) your life is really shite at the moment.

So you smile, and say it, even though on the inside you are mentally taking a journey on what the implications of this news is for you.

Sure, I’m happy if my friends are happy, but how do you know if someone is really happy?

I guess you can only go on what people tell you and hope they are being honest with themselves and with you.

So, what is happiness?

Wikipedia states that it is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.

The one I remember from high school Society and Culture studies is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Needs are psychological (physical bodily needs), safety, social (love and belonging), esteem (respect) and self-actualisation (values and morals).

So maybe by saying “I’m happy for you” we are actually performing an act of esteem by being respectful of others.

And really, there’s nothing wrong with that I suppose? If respect is returned to fulfil your needs. Or is that an ultimately selfish notion?

Ok, we got a bit deep there! Just be happy I say and the rest will follow.

Related posts: Is it just me?, Random Public Holiday Ramblings, Friendship: Great Expectations?

Is it just me?

This week is Post Natal Depression Awareness Week.

Let me state up front, that I have not had Post Natal Depression; however I was told that I was borderline post natal depressed at my local Early Childhood Health Centre.

This diagnosis was given after I completed a short computer survey at my first appointment post the birth of my daughter.

I am ashamed to say that my first reaction was complete fear at having it and my second reaction was- well, really, who wouldn’t be a little off after not having slept for 3 weeks whilst trying to keep a small helpless human alive?

When I told my husband, he was angry and said they must have just caught me on a bad day.

When I told my GP, he was horrified and demanded to know who it was so that he could complain.

The whole experience was entirely unhelpful and I never went back to the Early Childhood Health Centre again.

Was it a wise move to cut myself off from local community support? Perhaps not. But it was necessary to have the confidence to keep raising my child.

According to the Post and Antenatal Depression Association (PANDA), the symptoms of Post Natal Depression are:

  • Sleep disturbance unrelated to baby’s sleep needs
  • Appetite disturbance
  • Crying
  • Inability to cope
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Negative obsessive thoughts
  • Fear of being alone
  • Loss of confidence and self-esteem.

Personally, I have experienced most of these to some degree since becoming a mother. Not all of them, all the time; but some of them some of the time.

Maybe that’s the difference between having post natal depression and the normal stress levels associated with being a mum? Am I the only one who feels this way? Or am I just a little bit too honest?

Everyone’s experience of parenthood is different and I won’t pretend to have all the answers. But I do have a healthy, happy, affectionate little girl who is always laughing, smiling and continually exploring.

And that makes me smile too.

The seven year itch

I have been to 50 weddings in my life, 40 of those in the last seven years. This is not an exaggeration- I have counted. I know it seems a little excessive, but the only explanation that I can give is that of a Catholic family and country school mates. Or maybe it’s just that I am really sociable and a fun wedding guest?!

My husband has been dragged to many of these wedding with me and vice versa. He has been in many bridal parties, has been the MC and an usher- while I have sat at the singles table. The only wedding that I have been in the bridal party for was my best friend’s wedding earlier this year.

What I know about weddings could fill a book. I have been to big weddings, small weddings, full catholic ceremonies, quickie celebrant ceremonies, church weddings, house weddings, reception hall weddings, hotel weddings, RSL weddings, fancy restaurant weddings, cocktail party weddings, sit down weddings, stand up weddings, garden weddings, beach weddings, winery weddings, weekend away weddings, destination weddings, a wedding in a courthouse, one in a library and a wedding on a tugboat.

I have been to weddings in Terrigal, the Hunter Valley, Berrima, Mount Wilson, Wollongong, Kangaroo Valley, Berry and Sydney. I have travelled to attend weddings in Melbourne, Hobart, Cairns and Darwin. I used to have a no overseas wedding rule, but after getting married in Thailand myself, I couldn’t really use that as a reason not to go anymore. So I have now also been to weddings in Fiji, Hawaii and Canada. The money I have spent on travel, accommodation, kitchen teas, hen’s nights/weekends away and wedding presents is a sum I don’t even want to think about- but it was all in good fun and each wedding has been special in its own way.

With my events background I would probably make a great wedding planner and I have considered this. I have a friend who does hair and make up, one trained in floristry and a friend that does photography. But the bottom line is that I could not deal with bridezillas.

Even the most sane and sensible people who swore they would never get caught up in the commercial hoop-la end up worrying about things like what is on the place cards. For my own wedding I did not give a toss about the details- I just got the hotel to do it all and make all the decisions. The cake was hideous- but who cares- I didn’t even want a cake and I didn’t choose it.

It dismays me when I see people getting caught up in all the little things, succumbing to family pressure and losing sight of themselves and what’s really important- two people making a commitment to each other and an excuse for a really good party. No one else is going to notice if the vase on table 1 is different to the vase on table 2, so just relax and enjoy the day.

The cost is also ridiculous- just mention the word wedding and the price triples. That’s why I was “shopping for my thirtieth” when I found my red wedding dress. Why would I wear white when red is my best colour? The average Australian wedding costs 50 thousand, which is enough for a long honeymoon and a good start on a flat deposit. Who wants to start their married life in debt?

And then there is the question of the second weddings. I have not been to one yet, but with a few friends divorced, it could happen. Do you automatically get an invite to the second wedding if you have been to the first or are you automatically excluded? Wether you go or not, do you have to buy another wedding present?

At the end of the day, each bride (and groom) needs to make the choice about what they want and be happy about it. If a big wedding with all the trimmings and a white dress is what you want, then go for it, but just be honest and say that is what you want from the beginning.

Related posts: I first started writing, Home is where you make it, Travel rememberings, Friendship: Great Expectations?, All Creatures Great and Small, Canada, 1990, TV replays and Movie Marathons, USA, 1990, By special request