You could have really made a good 2-3 minute trailer of me looking like an absolute arsehole yesterday.
As I tried to get 3 kids ready, around a museum, home, fed, clean and to bed – I snapped, cajoled, threatened, bribed, carried and ignored.
If you just saw those moments, then I would have looked like one of the most unsuccessful and unlikeable fathers in Christendom.
On balance however, the day was really good. For each shitty moment of parental-desperation-versus-child-set-to-weapons-grade-misbehaviour, there were lots of good times and a couple of absolute gems.
You could have probably also made a trailer of these highlights – although I suspect the audience for them would be pretty damn small.
And yesterday wasn’t a stand-out day because of these highs and lows – it was par for the course. Every day is filled both with moments we’d rather nobody saw and others we’d wish that nobody missed.
And this is precisely what we see of other people’s lives. We see moments. We see an edit. That’s all we get.
Sometimes we get the highs, sometimes we get the lows and sometimes we see a more balanced mix – but it’s important to remember that we’re only ever seeing a trailer. No matter how good or bad someone looks in that trailer, the full story is undoubtedly more nuanced (and mundane).
Similarly, it’s worth keeping in mind that other people are only seeing a small edit of our days.
Yesterday was a good day – but there are about 25 people floating around London that probably saw an edit of me yesterday which was probably worthy of a scathing mumsnet post.
It’s worth us remembering that other people’s stories began before we were paying attention and will continue long after we’ve drifted away.
The only reason that some end with “happily ever after” is that someone yelled “CUT!” before everyone in the story got explosive diarrhoea*.
* Thanks to Justin Hamilton for this wonderful idea.