11.19.2011

Pin for Good and not for Evil.

I've got these boots, like the kind of brown knee-high riding boots you see everywhere these days, and I wear them all the time.

I like them just fine in Costa Rica, because not as many people in Costa Rica have riding boots, so when people see them they think they're pretty cute. But when I wore my boots in the states, I hated them because all the girls had boots and all of their boots were way better than my boots. So that made me feel all self-conscious and stuff, like everyone who saw me was judging me for wearing cheap-ass boots that I paid $8 for after buying them on super-duper sale at Old Navy and using a gift card.

The truth is, I will be sick of knee-high riding boots in a year and I'll probably never wear them or want to see them again. And I live on a tight budget, so my $8 investment was the only one that made sense. For me, it was $8 boots or no boots. But still, I felt kinda lame standing next to the girls with nicer, cooler, hipper boots. Which was, basically, all the girls.

Sometimes I feel myself leaning harder into the world than I ought to. And this was one of those times. I felt an inkling of resentment for my chosen lifestyle, coveting the things I want but can't have.

Pinterest messes with my head like that, too. Seriously. It does something to me.

If you're not sure what Pinterest is (and there are only 3 possible reasons why don't know about Pinterest: 1. You live in a cave and have no friends, 2. You're a hamster, so your hands are too small to use the internet, or, 3. You have a penis.), it's an online collection of fabulous ideas, like a pin board for all your most favorite internet finds - which you can then share with other people who can "pin" them on their boards. It's pure genius!

But I've fallen into a love/hate relationship with Pinterest.

I love it because it inspires the artist in me. It gets my crafty juices flowing and makes me want to make my home a better, more beautiful place to live. It pushes me to take more pictures. It excites me to make delicious meals. It leads me to "upcylce" my clothes, and has made my tired, old wardrobe kinda fun again. It has even helped to spur the athlete hidden underneath this veneer of old-lady blubber.

But it does something else, too.

Sometimes it makes me unhappy with what I've got - even when what I've got is perfectly fine, liiiiike pleather boots that make your feet sweat like an oiled hog on a summer day, for example.

Occasionally, as I'm scrolling through Pinterest at midnight, I forget that while I want to live in the world, I don't want to be of the world. I want to be relevant and modern, and I want to be approachable, but the invisible line between "relevant" and "materialistic" is easily blurred. And using the term "approachable" as an excuse to be self-serving is a terrible kind of hypocrisy.

So I made a little list to keep myself on the up and up...

To pin for good and not for evil:

Cupcakes:
Good: Find awesome new cupcake flavor, pin it, make 2 dozen and share with friends.
Evil: Find awesome new cupcake flavor, pin it, immediately drive to bakery to buy one, ok two, at $3 a piece... and a latte. Eat in car. Feel ashamed.

Clothes:
Good: Find cute outfit with pieces similar to what you've got in your closet, pin it, wear it.
Evil: Find cute outfit that you have no hope of ever owning, pin it, drool over it. Get pissed off every time you open your closet and it's not in there.

Food:
Good: Find new ways to cook healthy meals, pin them. Eat up.
Evil: Find new ways to cook crappy food in the form of cupcakes; meatloaf cupcakes, bacon cupcakes, macaroni and cheese cupcakes, pin them. Eat up. Die young.

Fitness:
Good: Find "10 Easy Steps to an Ass You Can Bounce a Quarter Off Of", pin it. DO IT!
Evil: Pin ALL the glistening, hard-bodied, 110 pound girls. Hate self. Keep surfing Pinterest instead of working out.

You can see how easy it is for me to slip into that weird place where rather than being inspired to do something awesome, I become either self-indulgent or self-loathing. The key for me, as I'm clicking around on Pinterest, or playing the comparison game with chicks with cute boots, is to remember to ask myself -

Will I use this to conform to the pattern of the World, or will it lead to the renewing of my mind (body or spirit) which pleases God?
....          .....         ....


Are you on Pinterest? or are you a dude... just kidding.
Have you experienced the dark side of pinning?
What would you add to your personalized "Pin for Good and not for Evil" list?

Oh, and if you're interested, here are my boring boards on Pinterest.