Facebook Doesn’t Need To Change, I Do


It’s November again, which for all of my American counterparts means that we are gearing up to celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving. Again, if you are one of my American counterparts, you might be seeing your Facebook newsfeed filling up with the “30 days of thankfulness” status updates. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that it’s basically where you post a status update everyday talking about something that you are thankful for. 
Because I think I might be a bitch, this has intensely irritated me in years past.
No, in all honesty, I truly am happy that my friends are leading the lives they are, I really am. As we talked about in the post “Mind If I Pop You With My Stick,” I know that everyone has different struggles and just because someone has something I would like to have doesn’t mean that they have an entirely perfect life. I get it, I really do, and yet even though I truly am happy for them, I find the green monster of envy and bitterness whispering in my ear a little louder every November when I read ten statuses in a row about how wonderful everyone’s husbands or even superficial things such as all the holiday shopping that everyone is doing, knowing that I can’t afford to shop for anyone and no one is likely to be shopping for me.
Sigh. I would like to say that I’m above all jealousy and always handle myself in ways that I’m proud of, but I would be lying through my teeth.
Like I said, I might just be a bitch.
Last year I found myself becoming quite bitter by the end of the month and having to take an actual break from Facebook because I was so annoyed that my friends had so much that I wanted.

Who does that!?
Jealous people, shallow people, possibly bitches, me. I did that.
Again, I can’t say that I’m too proud of myself….
To be blunt, I will never have everything my Facebook friends have and if I don’t want to be the bitchiest one of the bunch, I’m going to need to get over it.
This is clearly my issue, not theirs.
So this year I decided to re approach this whole thing. As I said, I don’t have what everyone else has and I never will. Not that my life won’t get better, or that it’s not good now, it’s just most likely a statistical improbability that I will somehow acquire every single thing, experience, and attribute that I have ever desired.
I really don’t see that happening.

Despite the fact that I haven’t always been thrilled with the circumstances of my life, I’ve never been naive to the fact that my life is definitely not the worst one that someone could lead. I’ve met people on my mission trips that were in far worse situations than I am in and I’ve worked with women who have unfortunately not made it out of their abusive situations, and to be honest, I’m not sure they ever will.
It makes me feel like a complete bitch that I whined last year when I have everything that I have, especially as someone who blatantly talks about looking below the surface of a situation.
Last year I was very much in the pit of despair when it came to a lot of things. I was grieving the loss of a family that never was, a good chunk of my life revolved around my Boy Child’s intense therapy schedule, I was at risk of losing my home, and basically I just felt like a black cloud was hanging over me and a green envious monster was clawing at my heart.

But as I said, in the post “They Came Softly,” most blessings come softly.  As I enter this holiday season, I feel, for the first time ever, that I finally have a foothold on my own life. I look back at what has changed over the course of the year and I can see where I failed to take my own advice, places where I was so caught up in the rain that I failed to see the rainbow.  
This year as I watch everyone shopping, celebrating with their biological families, and a multitude of other things that I won’t be doing, I’m going to work a little harder to focus on the blessings that I do have in my life. I have custody of my children. We are fully clothed and living inside four walls, under a roof, with clean water, and heat. We have friends that love us and we have our health. What I choose to do with those life saving blessings is up to me.

I can overlook the fact that I have everything I really need, or I can be thankful that I have everything I really need.

It’s not until I stop looking at the dirt on my feet will I finally be able to look up and see the rainbow over my head.

As I look around me this November, I see life. I see the life that I have lived, I see the lives that I have brought forth, and I see the lives that have opened up to include us. I see every basic necessity I need for this life and I see the hope of my future days to come.

I don’t have everything that I want, but I have enough, and the rest is really just left up to perspective.


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33 Comments

  • Mzfuzz
    November 12, 2014 at 3:28 am

    YAY!! Love this post. The green-eyed monster eats all of us at some time or another. And Facebook drives me nuts, because everyone is one-upping each other to be perfect. I hate Facebook during the holidays particularly. And don't even DARE to challenge me to the “1-5-10-whatever Days of Blah Blah Blah.” Screw you. You don't get to demand anything of me, and you don't get to guilt me into it by being perfect in your statuses. Anyway….I feel ya, Eden.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 12, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      So….I can’t challange you to say, “30 days of strange things that happened to me today?” Because I’d like to read that.

  • Joel
    November 12, 2014 at 4:27 am

    For a long time, I kept a fortune cookie fortune in my wallet. It read: Enough is as good as a feast.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 12, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      I suddenly think I remember you telling me that before. What a great motto to live by 🙂

  • Katy Anders
    November 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I don't have facebook, but when I did, I experienced something similar. I'm not sure that what people show on facebook is necessarily an accurate depiction of their lives. Maybe all my acquaintances do spend most of their time skydiving and mountain climbing, though, who knows. For better or worse, my life – which consists of writing, listening to music, and keeping my kids from blowing themselves up – doesn't generally make for the best photo ops. That's okay.Just keeping it together is a big accomplishment.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 12, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Haha! Mine friends seem to be people who spend all day taking pictures of their food at restaraunts and having their husbands bring them coffee.

      I agree, at the end of the day I’m like “kids are breathing, award please!!”

  • CD
    November 12, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I saw a lot of that “30 Day Challenge” going around a couple months ago, I guess a lot of people you know are doing it now because of Thanksgiving. It kind of irritated me too, mostly because it just turned into bragging, as is usually the case when it comes to Facebook. And when it comes to the things in life I'm grateful for – and there are many – it's just simple things that I either never had before, or had then thought I had lost forever, which I now have and now know the value of. Not really the kind of stuff I want to talk/brag about to 300ish people, most of whom I hardly even know.At the same time, I've definitely made my Facebook life look more interesting than my actual life… but I think we're all guilty of that. Haha.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 12, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      I think we all filter to make facebook look a little more fun. No one wants to read “I’m folding laundry! I’m grocery shopping!” and I know this because I hate reading stuff like that when people post it. It’s like on one hand I don’t want to read your boring shit but on the other hand I don’t want to see how wonderful your life is, and if I had another hand, I also don’t want to hear about all your complaints. So basically, just tell me a joke, post a funny meme, and then shut up. I don’t leave them much to work with 🙁

  • Lisa Matthews
    November 12, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Don't feel bad, I see others Facebook statuses and think “yea, I know you in real life, that's a big, fat lie!” I put mushy Facebook posts about my husband, because it's easier to put that than to post “Holy cow-balls, I love him but this PTSD sucks. Can I get my old husband back? Can the kids their their old dad back? Is the happy or angry dad coming home from work tonight?” Also, I think we all live a fairytale life through Facebook.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 12, 2014 at 8:11 pm

      So true! I know this one woman, she is falling apart, really struggling in a lot of areas. I really do like her and help in any way I can but if you only know her on Facebook she is Betty Crocker meets Martha Stewart. I mean I can’t really judge though because no one knew how bad my life was….

      So funny about your husband posts!

  • Anonymous
    November 12, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I know a woman who has a terrible abusive marriage but if you look at her facebook page she is in a lovey dovey relationship where her world and husband is so perfect. I feel sorry for her because I know the truth! Don't feel bad Eden. I feel the same way as you! And I have family! They do absolutely NOTHING for the holidays but sit around and moan how everyone else has it so good! Go figure!! No one has it all!!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 12, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      That was me a few years ago. Just a week before my ex left I posted a picture of him taking my daughter to the daddy daughter dance. He threw a HUGE fit about going, refused to take a shower, was just a terrible human being that night, and yet there was the smiley photo of the two of them.

      I try to remember that when I see how “happy” everyone else is. 🙁

  • Anonymous
    November 12, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    This totally made me wonder what a very snarky person who used to be in abusive relationships would write for a month of gratitude:”Today I am grateful no one shoved me down a flight of stairs.””Today I am grateful no one stole the money out of my wallet and told me they had a legal right to do so.””Today I am grateful no one violated their restraining order.”& so on. I am a bad, bad person.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 12, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      HA! I should try that…..

  • afairytale84
    November 12, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    I sometimes get bothered by the “I'm grateful for…” posts too. There was a good bit of the green monster rearing its ugly head in me. Oh, you're grateful your daddy bought you a brand new Mercedes? Good for you. You're grateful you just bought a second beach house? How nice. You're grateful your husband makes enough money that your “job” is to just go shopping? Bugger off, you!While I don't see myself ever enjoying those “I'm grateful for” challenges that pop up from time to time, I do know that it's more about me and less about the challenge itself. I have a roof over my head, usually enough food to eat, a car that runs, and a job with benefits. It could be so much worse. And I really, truly am grateful for what I actually DO have in life.But gosh darn it I see those posts sometimes after a particularly bad day when I'm looking at the $5.25 in my bank account and wondering how that'll give me enough food to last the 4 days I have left until payday, and I can't help but feel jealous.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 12, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      I hear ya. I’m up at the crack of dawn trying to get everyone ready to get to the food pantry on Saturday’s and I’m reading posts that say “Im thankful my husband brought me breakfast in bed and told me to take the morning off” and I am not proud of what goes through my head.

      It happens to all of us!

      Then I look at my kids and I am thankful that they are even here for me to take care of. 🙂

  • afairytale84
    November 13, 2014 at 2:16 am

    “30 days of strange things that happened to me today”That should totally be the next Facebook craze.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Hahaha! I can only imagine! Not sure if I want too….lol!

  • GE
    November 13, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    I quit facebook because some people I thought were my friends posted unflattering captioned pictures of me. Like meme pictures but with me. I think I'm actually an 'o rly' somewhere? But this was almost eight years ago and I'm pretty much over it. Still.I am pretty sure facebook can stand to change a little too.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 13, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      Oh gosh how mean!! That wasn’t very nice 🙁

      Would you like to post some unflattering pictures of them here? I’ll caption them for ya!

      Just kidding 🙂

      Good for you quitting Facebook though, I really need to do that!

  • CD
    November 14, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Yes, EXACTLY! THAT is how to use Facebook properly. Why don't people get that?

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 13, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      Because everyone is too busy trying to one up each other. 🙁

  • Laura in SoCal
    November 15, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    I suppose some people are honestly grateful and perhaps don't see themselves as coming across as braggy. But seriously, if you are truly grateful for the people and things in your life I don't think you need to go on social media and say it for everyone to read. I enjoy my life and have lots to be grateful for, but it's nobody's business about any of it. And we are by no means rich, live in a nice place, buy expensive shit or go on vacations. There used to be a radio show I enjoyed and when asked by a caller how he was he said, “I'm better than most, not as good as some.” I tend to think here in America we can all say that. I don't read others grateful statuses nor do I ever participate. Hell, we are on Facebook, I would say we are all doing well enough. 🙂

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      What a neat reply from the radio host 🙂 Thanks for sharing, I really like that!

      Haha, very true about if we have the accessibility to get online, we are definitely better off than some!! 🙂

      *hugs*

  • Anonymous
    November 17, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Thank you for writing what so many are thinking (and may not realize)!Holidays are not always easy for those of us with less than “ideal” family situations, seeing the posts multiple times a day… day after day sometimes feels like a huge spotlight on our own situations. Reading about what everyone else is buying/where they are going etc… is sometimes hard to read when we know we can never have those things/go to those places.As difficult as it is sometimes, I try to find true joy in the fact that my mortgage is paid… my taxes are paid… my electric bill is paid.No, there will be no big gifts under the tree, but there will be a meal that I can share with the people I love. More than many have.Thank you again for being so honest… It helps us all!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm

      Thank YOU for your sweet words! You are right about the posts feeling like a spotlight on our own situations, good analogy.

      Good for you in finding your rainbows 🙂 Its all starts with a healthy perspective!

      *hugs*

  • Anonymous
    November 18, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Trust me… I don't see the rainbows every day…When I don't see them, I pray that I may.God bless… xo

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 18, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      As long as you see them every once in a while 🙂

      *hugs*

  • Erin Leah McCrea
    November 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    As a big fan of the gratitude thing, I guess I don't always think about how it looks to others going through a bad time. I know that in my life, I feel better when I look at the great moments in my life, big or small. I don't know that every person posting about their gratitude is trying to one up one another (at least not the ones on my Facebook page). I guess I'm not one to talk because I have a whole second blog about why I'm grateful for day to day things. It helps me. It doesn't have to be public, I guess, but I find I keep it up more when it's a blog than writing in a journal. My journal is usually where the stuff I have to work through is, that others don't need to know about. I talk about about the stresses I have, loss, and depression at times on my Writing Blog, but it helps me to focus on the good. I don't know if I'm making any point at all. I understand that you're frustrated with it, but maybe a few of them truly are just trying to focus on the good things. As corny as it is, my life has changed because of my gratitude – gratitude for a hug, or for a good meal, a new baby (not mine), or for more material things like a cheap clothing buy… Just a couple thoughts. As always, I enjoy reading your blog.

  • Erin Leah McCrea
    November 27, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Also – at times, my gratitude is as simple as, I discovered a great and inspirational blog today.

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

      Oh I totally agree, I don’t think people are going out of their way to one up people, the issue it totally me (hence the title of this post lol).

      Good for you in finding a way to shine the spotlight on the blessings in your life. It can be hard to not get stuck in the rut of everything that isn’t working out for us, probably because pain and sorrow are so encompassing, so it’s really neat that you have found a creative outlet to remember how blessed you are!!

  • harryd
    November 21, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    According to NMSTB I am a FB mensch (righteous man). I post funny memes and VERY occasional short rants. I must say I am guilty of posting pro Bernie Sanders stuff that I share and maybe that irritates certain people but I think it is worth it. Feel the Bern in'16!

    • NotMyShametoBear
      November 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Haha!

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