Thursday, November 27, 2014

Life: Near and Far

I've always wanted a kitchen window
Not long ago, I was having a conversation with an acquaintance while shopping at the grocery store. She mentioned that she always wanted to write, but never took action. I encouraged her to write. I shared that I have a blog and that writing helps me declutter the brain. She said, "Oh wow. I don't know how bloggers do it. I love to read blogs, but I couldn't compare. They have such pretty houses and nice things and such pretty pictures. No one would want to see pictures of my house."


I certainly don't have a pretty house or nice things and I was, at the time, a little puzzled by her generalization regarding bloggers. I later did some internet searches and discovered "lifestyle bloggers," which is what she may have been talking about. I see what she means - lots of (filtered) photos on blogs and Instagram showing very bright, cheerful, organized homes and pretty, fancy, sparkly things....mostly from HomeGoods and Target, it seems. I was all, "ooooh" and "aaaaaaah."

I decided, I need in on that action. I can be a lifestyle blogger. I can show you pictures of my house. Right? Sure, as long as you don't mind reality. I'll show you the perfect pretty moment and then the big picture. There is always a bigger picture.

NEAR: Look at my pretty, pretty plate. Isn't it nice. I am obsessed (bloggers are supposed to say that) with these plates. It's Ikea. Such a nice plate. Simple design, evoking nature. I bought it because it's and oak leaf and I like oak trees.

FAR: This is where it was residing when that close up photo was taken. Mmmmm....dishes.

NEAR:I am a belly dancer. I write out class notes in a little journal. I also use it to write notes about upcoming performances, costumes, music, etc. I noticed a lot of people take close-ups of their journals, usually with some religious verse written down...and a vase of peonies written down. Bonus Jesus book in this photo along with one of my flower hair clips.

FAR: The reality of my dinner table. This is the "clean" version.

NEAR:Next on our tour: my desk. This is where the magic happens. This is where your Funky Little EarthChild writes all of her words. I have a minor office supply fetish. I am not ashamed to admit this. I spend more time than necessary in the office supply aisle of various stores. Back to School time is like Christmas for me. I'm sad to see my son go back to school, but I love me some pens, paper clips, notepads. Whew...I need to stop talking or I'll need a towel. Here we have my favorite Inkjoy pens in a cup thing. It's CHEVRON!!! I'm so fucking trendy. Also, a container of paper clips, binder clips, and thumb tacks. Wanna get turned on? That cost $0.44 cents on clearance. I know, right?

FAR: Behold, the wonder that is my desk. There's even an empty box of a filter sponge for fish tanks. Why? God only knows. There are receipts, yarn, half finished crafty projects, thank you notes..... Reality:

NEAR: My bedroom is a sanctuary of rest, relaxation, and beauty (and cats):

FAR: When we zoom out of this photo, we get the laundry pile of doom. It has no beginning and no end. It is nothing, yet everything. It will eat your soul. Also, cats.

NEAR: Books are important to my family. We all love to read. I may have gone overboard in my time when the Scholastic fliers came home from my son's school. A nice bookcase will help keep you organized. Yeah, there is a book called "EARTHCHILD" - pretty cool.

FAR: holy fuckballs, we are overloaded with books. Good books. Books about every damn thing imaginable. I need my own library. The bookcase is also a catch-all in this room. As shown here, sometimes me husband just randomly flings books onto a shelf.

NEAR: Finally, there is artwork. I love art. Most of the art on my walls was done by my son. Here and there are prints and paintings that I have picked up along the way years ago. This is one of my favorites - it's bright and cheerful to me. It's an Ikea. So posh.
FAR: This is the adjacent wall. The artwork here is a collaboration of two Renaissance masters: Monkey and Squishy. Monkey first began this piece at the age of 2. His young study, Squishy, added her own interpretation when she reached the age of 3 years and discovered the joy of sidewalk chalk.

You see, there is always a bigger picture. As humans, it's in our nature to compare ourselves to one another. Sometimes this is a great catalyst for making positive changes in our own lives. At other times, we get caught up trying to measure ourselves against what other people present and letting ourselves become a little green with envy.

The internet is an amazing resource. Various blogs, websites like Pinterest, Facebook groups, YouTube videos all provide us with so much inspiration and instruction. Again, sometimes we get stuck in that rut of comparison, getting down on ourselves because our house isn't Pinterest perfect or because our reality would never fit into the highlighted, whitewashed, filtered photographs on a pristine white background. Life doesn't belong on a white background with chevron sparkles and just a wee bit of blue filtering. Sometimes it's messy.

Lately, I have been hearing/reading a lot of comments from other people, primarily women, who feel bad about themselves because they feel like they can't keep up with that they see. They are down on themselves because their bed isn't made or their rugs are spotty or their kitchen counter is full of dishes from yesterday. They say, "I WISH I was (insert well-known very organized blogger name here)." Stop. Those photos we compare ourselves to our only brief glimpses into reality. Even the most perfect Pinterest queen or household blogger has a struggle somewhere. Some of them probably wish they were the image the present. They have dirty dishes, too.


Angela Sundby said...

I love you, Funky! Thank you for this post!

Dania said...

So true! Just looking around my desk is enough to drive me mad. Lol but in the right light... :)

Anonymous said...

How odd. Not long ago, you were sent THOUSANDS of dollars after claiming that your children were "starving". You have all of that "stuff", but you couldn't afford to feed your children?

Don't bother "not" posting this, everyone's on to you. The sad thing about it, the money YOU took prevents other deserving people from actually receiving they help they need.

Shame on you.

Coco Rogers said...

I love the Monkey-Squishy progressive art piece. :)

Funky Little Earthchild said...

Oh Atlas, you are adorable. You people whine the same refrain over and over about poor people. "How can they be poor when they have "Stuff." You don't seem to understand how poverty works, do you. You know that poor people are allowed to own possessions, correct? You understand that we are actually allowed to keep possessions that we had for years prior to becoming poor, correct? Of course, you must be one of those people who think poor people must sell all of their things in order to be worthy. I'd explain it all to you, but you are not worthy and people like you make up your minds and refuse to learn. I pity you.

Oh, and I wouldn't keep your comment hidden. I have zero to hide. It's linked a few places in my blog and on my page that I wrote Jenn's Words on Poor as Folk. "Everyone's on to" me. Yeah. No secret I have received donations. No secret that it has helped my family out. I know you think I'm some scammer that "everyone is on to," but you are sadly mistaken.

Have a nice day.

Angela said...

are you referring to the clothes, the dishes, or the books? pPoor people should definitely be starving, naked, and illiterate !

Funky Little Earthchild said...

Here is a good post on the subject for those who would like to understand how poor people can have things and still actually be poor:

Erica said...

Hey Atlas. Fuck off, you pos troll.

Coco Rogers said...

Hey, Atlas, not that it's any of your business, but I've been to Funky's house. This is not a family who is sitting on a pile of marketable antiques and assets.

The plates you seem to think are a clear pot of saleable gold? Maybe have a resale value of $2-5. Maybe. That's if you can find a buyer. And then what, pray tell, would you have this family eat off of? What would be "poor enough"? Same with whatever else caught your beady eye.

Poor people have stuff too. Some things are gifts. Some are thrifted. Some are others' discards. Some are left over from an easier, more stable time. And none of them make poverty easier, or less crushing, or less valid. I have first hand observations and information about this family's struggles, unlike you.

As for you, and "everyone" who is "on to" my friend, maybe take your small, suspicious, ugly souls and do something worthwhile to help others, instead of vomiting up vitriol that is based solely on half assed assumptions and classism.

sydney69 said...

Come now, Atlas. Have you nothin better to do? Who pissed in your Wheaties? Why, exactly, are you so concerned with the financial status of Jennifer's family? Did she take food out of your family's mouth? Did you donate money & now 'how dare she be stavrvin again'? Perhaps you saw her at Macy's piling her bag full? Out on the town in a fab dress sportin Jimmy Choos, draped in jewels yellin, "Rounds on me!". Perhaps she was at a designer grocery store, the likes of which I wouldn't even know the name of, having the bag boy heft groceries into her Linciln Navigator?

I'd LOVE to bring her down. Let me see the proof, man. Well wait a minute! Proof of what? Ohh yaah. Shame on her! She has a cluttered house! She can't get aid and has inexspensive stuff. Maybe she can take that picture that her kid drew for her off the wall & pawn it. You must have have some ideas, Atlas! Come on, share them with me! How do you oropse we fight poverty with a one time generous paymentfrom a go fund me? I bet you & George W Bush can come up with an answer. But remember...noo Superdome...

Sew What said...

I hate people who think like Atlas. We sold our kitchen/dining table when my husband lost his job we were so broke. We got wayyy less than it was worth. We were like a week away from being homeless so we did what we needed to. Do people not realize if you sell most of your possessions eventually you will have to replace them? I could sell almost everything I own and make due for a short while but eventually its going to have to be replaced. Think of this I sell my possessions out of desperation I'm not going to get anywhere near what its going to cost me to replace them. Thrifty or not. Sometimes selling stuff off is not the answer and people who have enough just don't get that. Yeah Atlas she can sell her Ikea plates for a quarter a pop then have to go back to Target or Ikea when the cost and waste of paper plates is too much. We also all know that a bookshelf full of used books is so valuable or a bed full of used linens is so valuable. If shes lucky and sold everything pictured including her journal which she has written in she would be lucky to collect $45. So she will have no bed, no pillows, no blankets, no dishes, and sell her journey for that. Yeah you have no clue what it means to be poor do you.

Funky Little Earthchild said...

You know, I was quite angry when I read that comment. I'm justified in that because I know how harshly the poor are judged - especially with this sort of tripe. I have to laugh. I'm looking at this blog post (by the way - one of the photos was eaten at some point) with the pictures of "all that stuff" and it cracks me up. THAT is living it up?

Yeah, let me sell my Dollar Tree, thrift store, and clearance goods. That'll put food on the table and pay my rent.

I have to feel sorry for people like that. I can't imagine living with that sort of world view. It must be smothering.

Anonymous said...

You received more than EIGHT THOUSAND dollars from those you duped with your sob story of starving children. Don't you remember? Telling everyone that you couldn't afford to feed them? How your husband, working at least three jobs, didn't have a pair of socks but in the next post telling your adoring followers that you just bought yourself a pair of fluffy socks at Target? The working person in your household has no socks, but nothing stops belly dancing lessons! Kids don't have food, but you donate to one of the most liberal websites on the internet. Yet, your children are "starving". Are you claiming that money received on your tax return? You do realize that money you receive isn't really "free", don't you?

Funky Little Earthchild said...

Atlas, you are a persistent little fellow, aren't you?

Once again, there is no denying I received money from GoFundMe. I do not understand your point? That is public knowledge and I do not hide from that fact. Also, I am well aware how taxes work and all off that info is at the ready for when we get our taxes done next month. So don't worry your dear heart.

You're griping about the $1.05 Alpaca print socks from Target (fluffy? LOL) that my mom bought me? (and hubby a new pack of socks, so you can suck on that, too). Adorbs.

Belly dance? I don't pay for it, sweetie. I would never choose dance over feeding my kids. Sorry if you don't understand the concept of bartering or the concept of gifts.

Donations to the liberal website? Which donation do you want to bitch about? The $2.00 I donated in 2012 or the $1.00 I donated in 2013? Adorbs. Totes adorbs.

I honestly get the need to find fault. There's a lot of shady stuff that goes on over the internet. I, myself, have been a victim and it hits your sense of trust. It's hard to deal with. You just happen to be dead wrong when it comes to me. I don't think you will accept that, though. You seem to have your mind made up and it wouldn't matter how much I answered you or proved to you or talked you through my life. You still have your mind made up. Pity.

bren said...

Yo Atlas,
Get. A. Grip. If you don't like the blog. Don't read it. Pretty simple, right? I am sure there are hundreds of ways you can improve the planet. Go do some of that.

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