Facebook Syndrome

I'm watching the kid and the husband play with the train set.

Do you ever stop and think about what your life would look like from the outside? If someone described my life to me, I wouldn't recognize it.

The R&D Project Coordinator for a locally based assistive technology company, Rowan lives in the suburbs with her kid and her husband. They participate in the neighborhood association, are part of the local Big Brothers, Big Sisters program, and regularly have potlucks with the neighbors. In addition to her full-time job and parenting, Rowan also gets up at 4:30 in the morning to write, and keeps a weekly blog.

My god, who is that woman? You can picture her, can't you, sitting benevolently over her charming family, gently chuckling over their antics with the train set, serenely going about writing her blog.

You can see the Facebook post; the Instagram photo. #MyFamily #JustLiving

Here are the grubby details you don't picture. There are clothes on the floor outside of the frame. One of the basement rooms behind me is packed with stuff that we "haven't gotten a chance" to go through yet. (An aside on that: going through that isn't fun. And there are a million other ways we'd rather be spending our time, even if it means there's a room that we could be putting to better use. We should probably still do it, though. Uggghhhh.) I'm in a Cubs hoodie and jeans that don't fit right. The kid could use a bath. I have a slight headache. None of us got enough sleep last night.

This is not a Hallmark house.

That said, though, sometimes I do have to remind myself of how it looks from the outside. We're very, very lucky. And while that second Rowan in the wrinkled clothes is the one I think about all the time, the first one is also real. Chances are, when people out there in the world think of me, that first one is who they recognize.

How weird, right? How weird that there are people out there who know a person who seems so foreign to me. They might talk to her every day. How weird that the person I assume I am bears so little resemblance to the one with whom they're talking.

I don't really have a point here, just musings.

A woman I knew once told me that there were six people in any given relationships: you and the other person, who you each think the other person is, and who you each think you are.

We think the kid is pretty great. At the moment, anyway, the kid agrees.