Ignorance is Bliss

Monday, December 3, 2012

A few days ago, I reached information overload. The more I read about how to "simplify my holiday," the more complicated it all became. The more stressed out I became: What did we do last year? I couldn't remember. Should I add new activities? Make daily advent crafts? Prepare a baking schedule? Make a gift list? Decide to downsize? Start shopping? Stop shopping?

Serenity now.

I took a deep breath, sorted out my thoughts, and wrote this post. It helped me, and I hope it helps you:

(Better Homes and Gardens)
We all want to simplify. We yearn for an easier era, when life wasn't so hectic. Was there ever a time when we didn't feel holiday pressure: to look sparkling fantastic, have a showstopper house, and make our own recycled, hand-pressed wrapping paper? Did that ever exist? I don't know, but it seems like it must have.

It must have existed when we weren't in constant communication with two-demensional people. "Back in the day" women weren't comparing themselves to virtual models on Pinterest and blogs. They compared themselves to women down the street (or at least in their town) who appeared to have it all together, but every once in a while . . . a flaw. You could see these flaws because life was in 3-D. You could enter a neighbor's home, and see the bigger picture. The problem with today's virtual comparisons - or comparing yourself to someone you don't really know - is that all we ever see of each other is perfect. That's fine, if you remember that everyone is putting her best face forward online. You are comparing yourself to (and perhaps envying?) a partial picture.

You see her gingerbread cookies. You don't see her messy kitchen. 
You see her gorgeous outfit. You don't see her unpaid credit card bill. 
You see her happy Christmas chart. You don't see her angry children.

It's not that every pinner, blogger, maven or trendsetter has off-screen disasters . . . but when you start believing that "everyone else" has it all together in a way that you can't possibly achieve, you've lost perspective. You need to close the magazine, turn off the T.V., shut the computer, and get in touch with some real, three-dimensional women. 

A media fast can do your holiday some serious good. If you miss an advent craft, a starlet's makeup secret, or a tutorial on how to make a sandwich look like Rudolph, remember this: Ignorance is Bliss.


A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30

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14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Ignorance is Bliss”

  1. Lovely thoughts Courtney. Reading blogs and stepping into craft stores can be wonderful things, but they tend to increase my never done to-do list. I think I need to check my list twice to see whether it will make things nuts or nice. ;)

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    1. Love that, Andrea. "Will this make things nuts or nice?" - that is going to be my new yard stick!

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  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing Courtney. And thanks for being a blogger who doesn't write in a way that makes it seem like you always have it all together because after all, we are all a work in progress, right? :)

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    1. Aw, thanks Megan. I'm glad you see my writing that way. I am definitely a work in progress! In fact, you should see me right now. I'm a far cry from the glamour girl folks will see on our Christmas card this year. Right now I'm a picture of dirty jeans, pony tail and a face that needs to be washed. That card is part of what got me thinking about this. So often, we just see a snippet.

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  3. I really like this post. A while back a Proverbs 31 Ministry devotion said something like this that really clicked with me and relates to your post...

    When we compare ourselves to others, we are comparing our inside to that person's outside.

    Thanks for this post, it was really good.

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    1. Thanks, Jessica. I'm glad you liked it. And yes, I like that quote - it fits!

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  4. I couldn't agree more! We really do suffer when we don't choose to live in 3-D. I love that analogy.

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  5. Very, very wise words. I try to be "real" in my posts, but it is so easy to put forward the good and hide the not-so-pretty. Comparison is the enemy of contentment. I really don't think one can co-exist with the other.

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  6. You are right on target, Courtney. I was talking to a friend about this Sunday. I love the Proverbs verse at the end. I'm striving for that heart at peace!

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  7. Oh what truth in your words. Three-dimensional friendships are best! Great post.

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  8. Love this - none of us is perfect - if we were, how in the world could God use any of us!!??

    I thought for half a second you might have found perfection until I saw that the picture was from Better Homes and Gardens. :)

    Love the verse - a heart at peace - better than any earthly perfection. Thanks for the reminder.

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  9. It's so easy to compare ourselves isn't it? I like that you are taking time to be with 3-D women.

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  10. Haha... I just picked up some AMAZING gingerbread cookies at a supermarket. Does that count? You're absolutely right, though, and Pinterest honestly scares me for inadvertently promoting this unhealthy mentality...

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  11. I really needed to read this today. Sometimes, we put way too much pressure on ourselves. It is such a challenge not to compare. After all, we want to do all the "right" things.

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