Today, I'm tackling liberating myself from my notion of "normal."
When I was a kid, the TV families were always perfect.
The Cleavers, the Brady's (a blended family that was perfect!), even the Huxtables - who were supposed to be more "real" - were my examples of family life with kids.
My own family bore resemblence to those I saw on TV only in that there were two parents, two kids, a house, and a dog. The rest didn't seem all that "normal."
It took me a pretty long time to realize that "normal" doesn't exist and that family life takes on the shape of the individuals involved. No family is perfect and the variations that they can have are more numerous than the stars.
When I got married (for the second time), I had no idea what sort of crazy fun I was in for. I had a vision of married life with this man - and maybe kids if we got around to it - but my own vision was not exactly the whole picture.
Now that we have kids, the dynamic has taken on a distinctly un-normal atmosphere.
We, as a group, are authentically crazy - in a fun and somewhat bewildering way. We have our own language, our own habits, our own processes. We are strict about using "Ma'am" and "Sir" but we tell one another how much love we have by using random and funny words - like "I love you two tires and a biscuit." (isn't it more fun that "soooo much"?) We make our kids make their beds every single day, but they are often covered in mud and markers. There is always singing and dancing, very little tv or video games, and everybody reads...a lot.
Now, I won't lie. My uptight, perfectionist self has had a very hard time adapting to all the weirdness that prevails in my house. For example, in conversations I have with my kids, I say things like "don't lick the window!" and pause for just a moment to think "that was a weird thing to say."
At the end of the day, tho, what really strikes me is that it works for us. When I liberate myself from my expectations, from the delusion that there is a "normal" way for any of this to be and just go with what is, I find myself with much joy and peace at the little bit of crazy that we have carved out for ourselves in this world.
For this layout, the orange ombre paper seemed to be a fun place to start. I looked for the wildest pictures - the ones I wouldn't SHOW to anyone and committed to USE them to document how my life really is - FUN, weird, not "picture perfect."
I wanted to sit the pictures on a shelf - like THESE are the family shots that should be on my mantle, instead of the other studio shots that are there.
There is a little messy mist (think markers and mud like above), a little messy outline, and just one or two "perfect" flowers. Now that this layout is done, those flowers sort of make me chuckle, because they match in color, but they are SO NOT aligned with those pictures. Which, when you think about my purpose for this one...is...well...PERFECT.
It begs the question, what sorts of standards have we tied ourselves to that are not really who we are? I wonder about how many people are out there keeping up with the families they see on TV or at the grocery store or the park or whatever. How might liberating yourself from these notions of "normal" look?
Have a beautiful, day, my friends!!!