Creativity Nice Life Reminders Pip-Life

The middle matters too

leaves

I recently read a comment on something that talked about how the internet has driven us to celebrate  and live in extremes more than ever – and that might not be a good thing. And that observation made a lot of sense to me.

When you think about it, the things that catch our eye are the best bakers, the most amazing travellers, the saddest ladies, the happiest dogs, the fanciest lookers, the meanest humans, the neatest types, the clueless characters etc etc etc. #gasp

But the in-between things – things that are not gobsmacking or brilliant or shocking or WHUT?! –  are not really celebrated as much. 

I’m talking the regular cooks. The hobby makers. The alright dads. The fairly good mums. The fine writers. The middling gardeners. The good try sporty types. The just-learning photographers etc etc.

Much of the time some sort of mysterious monster called an algorithm steers us to “celebrate the flaws” or “be inspired by the brilliance”.  Extremes.

It’s this one extreme or the other QUITE A FREAKING LOT if you think about it. Highs and/or lows. Good and/or bad.

And another thing? It’s annoying that if you are overwhelmed by the perfect we seem to see a lot of – then you’re nudged towards showing off the very IMPERFECT as some kind of antidote. THE OTHER EXTREME. Another extreme. Sigh.

That commenter was right.

It’s a bit of a shame that the in-between has not really had its time to shine, isn’t it?

What about admiring the JUST FINE THANK YOU or the QUITE GOOD or the ON THE IMPROVE?

Noticing the extremes all the time MIGHT mean that we’re also always noticing the distance between us and them too. A sort of “I’ll never be that good” or an “I’ll never be that shit” type of situation.

It’s not all (extreme) doom and gloom though because when you think about it, somewhere in the middle is where pretty much EVERYONE lives. (Except for an amazing, prodigious few!) It’s all smoke and mirrors a lot of the time. The oft-touted highlights reel.

Even people who do one perfect thing – or one thing very crappily, at the other extreme – are simply OKAY at lots of other things. The distance might not be as vast as we think, at least some of the time. I like this idea very much.

I am gonna try not to be so drawn in by the extremes as a default. And to notice the other bits in the spectrum too. To watch out for the MIDDLE and the FINE and the GOOD ONE CHAMP as well.

Spark a sort of gentler, balanced, okay-noticing algorithm of my own design, if you will. Because the in-between rules too.

And that’s the end!

x pip

PS: I still love that leaf photo!

PPS: Sorry if there are typos. I do try.

12 Comments

  • Reply
    Jade
    June 3, 2019 at 8:50 PM

    Pip, you are such a nice person. I remember having an epiphany (luckily pretty early on) that I was mentally disregarding photos because they weren’t ‘perfect’. I suddenly thought about how the entire reason for a photo is to capture a moment in time as it was, not to impress anyone else or display a fake perfection that never existed. Perfection is entirely subjective and it only matters what I think. X

  • Reply
    Kate
    June 3, 2019 at 5:24 PM

    A few days ago I was walking past Indi’s closed door for the millionth time that day. Indi hasn’t lived there for four and a half months but inside it is exactly as she left it, awaiting her return. But this time as I walked past something caught my eye that I hadn’t noticed before. A few of the eucalyptus leaves she painted once a few years ago when she was feeling down and I pointed her to your books for crafty inspiration and a pick me up. A few of those leaves had fallen off her wall and were trying to escape. I think they were coming out to say hi. Hi! Thanks for inspiring her back then. And thanks for putting into words something I’ve been thinking about a lot. xx

  • Reply
    Janet Grigg
    June 3, 2019 at 4:22 PM

    Yes indeed! I feel a million times better about my little mediocre life when I am not trying to Instragram spam – which just reinforces how small and in bertween I feel all the time. It’s not instagram’s fault, it just is what it is, high school all over again!

  • Reply
    Edie
    June 2, 2019 at 4:24 PM

    I nodded a lot as I read this in the bath! And I think you do do that! Is that even a sentence?! But ya know I think you do notice all the other okay stuff. It’s a thing about you! It is!
    I have a chocolate orange to eat! Hurrah xxx

  • Reply
    Cheekie
    June 2, 2019 at 10:02 AM

    Love this read so much
    You are so in tune Pip, like the seasons
    I love the in between, sort of like where the real stuff gets done, not necessarily glamorous or winning , can be but it’s nit the objective. It’s cold, I’m off to make some soup , I’ve walked the dog… life’s good. Love to all who are just doing their thing x

  • Reply
    Deb
    June 2, 2019 at 9:58 AM

    Your post was made for me today, I don’t too often get sucked into the perfect instagram world, I look, I ooh and aah and move on. But today it was getting me down, my house will never be clean enough, the kids aren’t getting a fancy breakfast cooked, we didn’t go out last night and I have nothing very special planned for my Sunday… Then I read your post… And I dropped back into reality in the most glorious way. So today I am going to do laundry, read a bit of my book in the winter sun and finally bake your raspberry and condensed milk cake that my littlest has been banging on at me to make. Thanks Pip.

  • Reply
    Lise
    June 2, 2019 at 1:26 AM

    This reminds me of a lovely article I read ‘What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life’ from Krista O’Reilly Davi-Dagui. I am not trying to set the world on fire. And I am not reacting to those who are. All I want to be is me, little ol’ me, in my little corner of the world, doing the best I can. Social media does not celebrate me in any way. I am fine with that. I am not interested in followers or likes or any of that kind of thing. I am just trying to share my crafting with like-minded people.

    I have found lately that I feel out of sorts and dissatisfied, for vague and unnamed reasons. I suspect it is social media, showing me the extremes. Making me feel the world is so, so OUT THERE. Thank you for this post, to help me put my finger on why it makes me unhappy.

  • Reply
    Reannon
    June 1, 2019 at 10:31 PM

    I think I may have fallen into this trap. I get so fed up with all the so-called perfect, styled, highlight stuff that I try to show my pretty ordinary life & talk about the hard stuff as much as I do the good stuff. I think maybe I’m trying to be conscious of not projecting a life that doesn’t reflect what my actual life is. I’m not sure that makes sense. Does it? ?????
    And funnily, I’m always seeking out the ordinary feeds on Insta, the ones that just show life as it but it’s getting harder.

  • Reply
    Jodi
    June 1, 2019 at 7:09 PM

    This reminds me of a blog post I read awhile ago that celebrated the ordinary. There really is a lot to love about the ordinary, isn’t there. And yet I know, that as a writer/photographer, the “highlight reel” culture has really stifled my creativity. Too much questioning and not enough doing. Thanks for this lovely blog, Pip x

  • Reply
    Kate
    June 1, 2019 at 4:43 PM

    So much food for thought in this Pip. It is very true, life does happen in that middle bit for all of us, even those who experience the ends don’t live there all the time. Since when has average become a dirty word? What’s wrong with being ok? It’s a tricky one, hard to remember sometimes.
    I’ve spent way way too long on social media today and feel like a pretty crap human right now, but deep inside I know I’m not, I am perfectly good enough just as I am.
    Cheers Kate
    PS I love those leaves too

    • Reply
      Reannon
      June 1, 2019 at 10:35 PM

      Kate, you are not a shit human for spending too much time on the socials. You’re just a human searching for something. I think that’s why lots of us do it. We want to connect, escape, be inspired, be seen. It’s not the worst thing you could be doing but maybe if it makes you feel bad set a limit on your phone or set yourself a challenge to read or make something or go for a walk or listen to something before you can look at your phone. Who knows, you might become so engaged in another activity you’ll forget your phone xx

      • Reply
        Kate
        June 2, 2019 at 2:55 PM

        Thanks Reannon for little bit of cheery kindness. You are right on the money, it is about feeling connection and feeling seen and heard. I’m off to do some knitting x

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