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The hidden side of social media

Updated: Jan 10, 2020

We are so SO grateful for our most recent trip to Canada where I got to see our kids develop an absolute love for winter and of my home country. Such precious memories were made, so many new skills learnt and countless joyful moments with the extended family and friends that completely warmed our hearts and souls!

I was VERY anxious about this trip as my health hasn’t been the greatest for quite some time now. We planned the whole trip down to a "T" and very carefully allowing for rest periods in between activities and knowing that at anytime, plans may have to change...and they did. An activity in the morning meant a "chillax" afternoon and a huge catch up sleep. An all day activity meant a super early bedtime followed by a rough next day so we tried to keep those clear best we could. Greg has had to pull more than his weight on a daily basis in order to help create all those memories and I’ll be forever grateful for that man to have crossed my path 13 1/2 years ago. He is such a strong man to put up with all those ups and downs and to step up day in day out no questions asked.

Social media are a great tool to enable all of us users to share all the cool experiences that we live at one point or another. However, let’s not kid ourselves, we all know that the posts/pictures can also be so misleading...we only tend to see the rosy pictures right.

Lots and LOTS of pictures were taken during our trip to make sure we never forget our winter wonderland experience and consequently shared...on social media obviously. No one wants to see the aftermath pictures or hear about the hardship one has gone through to make it through a day or sometimes an hour or of the pills that were scoffed down in order to be somewhat functional.

Person holding a husky puppy
That morning was a huge struggle, but we had dog sledding booked. It was a great experience and the puppies were such a bonus, but you can tell by looking at my eyes how tired I was.

Social media don’t show that for the first time in my life I’ve had to put makeup on to conceal the huge black bags under my eyes, they didn’t show those days where I could barely stand up without tremendous efforts, they didn’t show the constant speech struggle, they didn’t show the pictures with the empty eyes (actually those were deleted pretty quickly to leave room for the good memories to prevail), the best possible smiles were on display but social media didn’t show how much of a struggle it may have been to be physically present at the time in order to be able to share those precious times with family and friends.

Let’s be honest here, the trip was an absolute hit and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat, but saying that it didn’t come with any hardship and huge sacrifices would also be a lie.

This blog isn’t intended to be a negative one but an honest one. Living with a chronic illness is a constant battle. Some days are easier than others of course. But because I chose to be as positive as possible and to keep forging ahead, it doesn’t mean that it comes easy. In our most recent trip, I knew from the beginning that I was determined to give the boys the best of what Canadian winters have to offer so they can in turn relate to some of my own precious memories from my childhood. I was determined to spend as much time with family and to rekindle with some long time friends. In order to do that, I’ve had to push myself WAY beyond what was reasonable. More times than I can recall I came to a crossroad where I had to decide to either sleep it off or make the most of our remaining time as there is no knowing when we will be able to come back next. Old habits die hard so the old me kept me going...somehow. I chose to live in the moment and soak in all the joy and love and risk a payback at a later time.

This picture doesn't show that I stayed in bed until 4pm which is when I finally was brave enough to try to venture outside after many failed attempts that day.

I guess all I’m trying to say is that there is always more to a story than what people decide to show us. Pictures only show a snapshot of a moment in time, they remind us of happy memories and that’s grand. On this occasion, I’ve kept a few less rosy ones that I decided to keep to remind myself that nothing comes without effort (or paybacks), but all in all, some things are absolutely worth it and experiencing so much joy in the past month will hopefully help us carry through the new year ahead with as much positivism as possible.

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