My sister-in-law recently posted the following quote on Facebook; “If only your life was as good as you make it out to be on Facebook.” I got a chuckle out of that. So what’s not to believe about my Facebook life? Of course I spend every day hanging out, hiking, biking, attending concerts and ball games, and enjoying an adult beverage. Oh and I smile non-stop as well, because I got that Facebook kind of life! In reality, I spend less than 5% of my time doing things that I would post on Facebook. Who wants to see me sitting behind a computer screen, in traffic, or eating potato chips while watching Andy Griffith reruns? But this is one of the great things about humanity. We are optimists and we remember life grander, funnier, and sunnier than when we first experienced it. Facebook becomes a tool that projects our optimism.
My parents are a great example. They recently bought an RV, class A. The kind of RV that you see and just know that Bruce Springsteen or Tim McGraw must be riding inside, playing the guitar, laughing, and whistling the tune to The Andy Griffith show. My parents joined an RV club and set out on several RV trips across America. I called them often to check in on their adventures. I heard about the low bridge in Pennsylvania that decided to borrow the satellite antenna, the Florida rain storm that took the awning for a magic carpet ride, the frozen water heater that spilled 100 gallons of water down the Georgia highway, and the automatic sun shade that they had to tie up with yarn (do people still buy yarn?). Each trip revealed new challenges. However, in Facebook-land, their pictures conveyed the perfect trip, a journey of a lifetime; sunny days and happy faces. Looking at these pictures you just knew they were cooking s’mores every night by the campfire! “Honey, throw another log on and bring more marshmallows!”
Even with all the mishaps, they have enjoyed every trip, each one it’s own adventure. My parents are fun loving people and have made new friends with every new town and RV park. On one trip, they ended up at Mount Rushmore during Sturgis. There they were, a huge RV among all those thousands of Harley’s. Next thing I knew, there was a Facebook picture of my parents on a Harley!
If every day was a Facebook day, life would be too predictable. It’s the twist and turns in life that make it exciting. When my folks talk about their RV adventures, they laugh the hardest when they describe the things that went wrong. We have a great time listening to them tell their stories. Situational humor is the best kind of humor, it reminds us that we aren’t as cool as we might think we are. One night, in the dark rain filled evening, my mother entered the wrong RV and asked the lady on the couch what she was doing in her RV! When my embarrassed mother stepped back out into the rain, she laughed harder than she had in a long time! I’m sure the couple inside were calling the mental hospital.
My Facebook life boasts of great friends, an awesome family, and great times enjoying the outdoors of Colorado. While accurate, it will never capture the everyday adventures of my life, the things I do during the other 95% of my time. I believe life is BETTER than what you see on Facebook (I learned this from my parents). It’s the collection of moments that aren’t captured in a picture, quote, or “thumbs up” icon. The moments that become memories, good and bad, and remind us we are alive. Like the exhilaration of completing your first Tough Mudder or first Marathon, or feeling the trail rash on your arm after ditching your dirt bike down a steep hill (actually that’s not a great example), or the simple smell of Aunt Bee’s cooking. The point is, it’s great to share and stay in touch through Facebook, but take a cue from my folks and enjoy your real life as well!
“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein – The choice is yours!
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