Yesterday driving home I saw a cow standing in a vibrant, grassy field stick his big cow neck through a rusty, barbed-wire fence to munch the same green grass he was cow knee deep in. And I’ve never related more to an animal than I did in that fleeting moment. So with that… I reopen this blog site that’s been dormant for more than 3 years. Yup. The dramafreemama is back by popular demand. (Har Har.) And I’m here to talk about ungrateful cows.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide.” It was not, by any means, the most celebrated or quoted line in the essay titled “Self Reliance,” but it was an important one. It gets to the root of how we should view ourselves in comparison to the world. Envy is ignorance. Imitation is suicide. In 2018, we interpret that as “You do you, boo.” But whatever- the point remains the same. Munch your own damned grass, you ungrateful cow.
Recently I engaged in a fun thread on Facebook about how social media makes all of us look at other people’s lives through rosy-tinted glasses. I call them “Social media goggles.” They are like beer goggles, except they make you bring home self-loathing, rather than ugly chicks. But is anyone really being 100% authentic on the gram? The filters, the angles, the catchy captions… they all add to the magic that essentially amounts to showing the viewer the version of you that you want them to see. I am guilty of it myself, in both directions. As in, filtering the fuck out of my face so yesterdays makeup I never washed off looks more like a smokey eye. Or placing a sentimental song lyric under a picture of my darling children rather than saying “These little assholes fought all day and this picture reflects the 4 seconds of peace I had all evening until they finally fell asleep.” Oppositely, I will look at other mamas’ posts and pics and go dang, she sure lost that baby weight fast. Or good lord those are expensive boots; how does she always look so stylish? Why doesn’t my hair do that? How does she always have a clean kitchen? How is her second grader reading that novel? How the fuck is everybody affording these extravagant vacations and still eating? You get the idea.
But here’s the thing… I have some mighty fine grass in my own little field. And so do you. And you know what they say about the grass on the other side of the fence. That mama that always posts gym selfies looking lean and serene? She might be facing terrible anxiety or low self-esteem or a persistent chin hair any other battle you know nothing about. That mama who tags all her designer brand names in every pic? That might be the only thing she has in her life that makes her happy, and she sure can’t take all that “value” with her when she goes. And the mom in the grocery store whose hair is always perfect and her kids are always quiet and tame, even in the cereal aisle? Well fuck her, we don’t need her.
So here’s my takeaway… My kids fight and drive me up the wall <and throw balls in the house, and whine about chores, and don’t always eat what I fix,> but they are ultimately good-hearted kids who love others and live by god’s light. My body is bigger than it used to be, but it’s serving me well and I am learning to treat it with care and dignity. I don’t have a spiffy clean house or the newest model car on the road, but I’m figuring out I’m pretty lucky to have what I’ve got. I could list a million other things about myself or my life that I question, but I’m choosing to set those questions aside and munch my own grass. And I encourage you to do the same. Nobody likes an ungrateful cow.
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