Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blog Envy

Reading other people’s blogs is something I love, strolling through snapshots of other lives, finding new friends, enjoying a clever phrase here, admiring ideas and envying tastes of other countries. It’s a distraction from my own life, expanding horizons, filling gaps.

There are times though, when I’m in a grumpy slump that I find myself gritting my teeth, envying in a resentful way rather than a gleeful one, feeling that I fall short because I haven’t achieved those things that I would normally be admiring: that larder stuffed full of home-canned organic produce, that beautifully made art work, that perfectly styled and thoughtfully devised new recipe.

That’s when I have to kick myself sharply, remind myself that my blog only shows the highlights, the public smiling face. While I’m busy going green over some other seemingly more perfect life than mine, there may be readers of my blog who sometimes have to grit their teeth in envy of our seemingly idyllic life.

Because it can be idyllic, but it is also life with all the gritty bits. Some blogs manage to pour out woes as well as triumphs and still be absorbingly readable, but it needs a perceptive honesty and a wry sense of humour to air the downsides of your life as well as the ups. Something I’ve not even attempted here. Not that there are any huge tragedies, but who wants to read about the small wearing  difficulties of life, the price of petrol that makes living on a farm out of town ever more expensive, making you think twice about scheduling any extra activities, the rutted dirt road that shakes all our cars to pieces... I’m not sure that I even want to write about them and give them space, rather keeping my rose-tinted spectacles firmly wedged on my nose, putting my fingers in my ears and going lalalalala....

So instead of berating myself for not having accomplished all the best bits of everyone else’s achievements, I need to accept that we’re all different and get on with my own, even if they seem less interesting and more mundane to me. Writing, posting, social media stuff, interspersed with feeding ducklings, hanging out laundry, picking up kids from school, planning tomorrow’s birthday treasure hunt, a bit more writing, ticking off the list of articles and pushing aside the accounts again until they reach crisis point... again. Seems I’m human, not perfect after all, hard for a Virgo to admit!

So do you suffer from blog envy too? Is it OK to grumble out loud on your blog, or do you also feel the need to put on a smiling face for your readers?


  1. Oh yes I suffer from blog envy. But I am also guilty of only blogging about the "good" stuff...maybe as a way of tricking myself into thinking that my life is always rosy. It's not. For instance, I'm having issues with my 14 year old but I feel like it's too private to put out there on the internet...but I sometimes wish I could blog about it to get some feedback...

  2. Or maybe it's just that we want to preserve the good stuff for posterity and are quite happy to let the less rosy stuff drift into a blurry memory!
    Sorry you've hit the teenager blues... hope things get easier. Maybe we all need an alternative alter ego blog to throw about all the issues that we want to remain anonymous?!

  3. Guilty of blog envy too, especially food bloggers who go to beautiful restaurants around the world! But when I think about the amount of work that goes into their posts, then I just feel exhausted.

    I am barely keeping me blog alive at the moment, and am reading posts from bloggers who like me, are suffering blog fatigue. Maybe a bit of warts and all blogging would save me from that!

  4. I love France so much that perhaps not guilty of blog envy, but yes I am envious of anyone living in South Africa, it was my home for so long and Africa is in my blood. My ideal would be 6 months summer in France and 6 months Summer in Southern Africa. Have a great weekend Diane

  5. Looking forward to your warts and all, Charlotte! Blog fatigue sets i every now and again here too, especially when I spend my working days writing and posting.
    But then the whole point of having Google Reader is to keep up with old blog friends who post less frequently than recommended by blogging gurus.
    I always leap immediately on your posts when they show up in my feed!

  6. Diane, I suffer envy in reverse of all my blog friends living in beautiful corners of France and Italy. I used to spend loads of time each year traveling in all the best parts of Europe and miss it. But then I wouldn't swap where we are now for the old nomadic life!

  7. You know, there's nothing more annoying than someone whose blog makes their life look *so* incredibly perfect. Yeah, it's fun to read them for a while, but inevitably I get sarcastic and suspicious that they're actually living in a ramshackle hut and writing about their mansion on the riviera.

    So please, do go on and whinge whenever you feel like it. A touch of reality always brings things back in balance!


  8. Marcheline, you've rumbled me... our farm is actually located in an inner city ghetto, the ducks are rats, the border collies are mangy street curs and our car turns into a pumpkin at midnight!

  9. Oh I can relate. I try to be realistic but at the same time I feel awkward putting too personal of things out there on the world wide web. But sometimes I'm so jealous of other bloggers--they seem to have no money worries (or rather to be able to afford all sorts of things I can't) or have perfect children! And when I'm in certain moods, I can't read about people living overseas, because I miss it too much. I can only read other American blogs. But I have a feed reader, so I just save up blog posts for when my mood is better. (Not why I'm late now--this is a time issue.)

  10. edj - saving things up on the feed reader until a sunnier mood strikes is a good idea. Except that it's often when I'm in a bad mood that I seek distraction from the money worries or whatever... by reading blogs, catch 22!

  11. if we all are proud of our own achievements, things would be amazing - there would be less competition and comparison and more self validation :)


Thanks for your comments - I appreciate every one!