People see what we want them to see. They hear what we want them to hear. Especially on social feeds.
Here is what this picture says: Look at this beautiful location. Look at this peaceful setting.
Here is what this picture doesn’t say: This has been one of the harder seasons of my life. The outside looks great, but the inside is a little confused. Uncertain. Hurting. Maybe even scared.
But I don’t talk about that much.
As much as I am public, I am incredibly private.
I am in my mid-40s and all the happiness bell curve charts warned me this was coming, but I don’t think I really believed it.
Now, I understand. I understand why this season is so hard and frankly, I don’t think we talk about it enough.
Our children are aging. Our parents are aging. So many of my friends right now are caring for their children and parents in ways they never have had to before. And it’s hard.
Our finances are being strained. Kids are headed off to college. Expenses are on the rise. Our inboxes are flooded with sports fees and school fees and Venmo requests. And it’s hard.
Our marriages are being tested. We are navigating new territories. We are trying to help our kids navigate new territories. We are trying to figure out how to pay the bills. And are realizing we are getting older, too. And it’s hard.
Our time is being stretched. We are managing sports and school events, work and travel schedules, trying to maintain relationships and not just fall asleep at 8:00 on the couch every night. And it’s hard.
Our bodies are changing. Perimenopause and new aches and pains when we do things we’ve done our entire lives. And it’s hard.
I think we need to talk about this more. I think we need to acknowledge it more.
The 40s have truly been my favorite decade. I am more confident in my own skin. I am more certain of who I am, and who I am not. And, recently, it’s also been one of the hardest.
And that’s okay to say.
Admitting it’s hard doesn’t take away from the beauty. It doesn’t diminish the gifts.
But we need to say it. We need to admit it.
This is a beautiful season.
And it’s hard.