Confession: Peanut butter and jelly is my very best

Sometimes my best is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. It has been a long day and, yes, you can have three servings of string cheese with that sandwich. You will poop eventually, I am sure. Plus, the house is a mess, no one has clean underwear, and we were supposed to be somewhere an hour ago and I just remembered.

Peanut butter and jelly it is.

Other times, my best is a homemade meal that took over an hour to cook. I have got time, energy, and a well-stocked kitchen. I also got a shower today, I am wearing something other than running shorts, and I found the strength to finally unload the dishwasher. This is a red letter day, friends.

Depending on the day, my “best” is laughable and embarrassing or highly impressive and envy-inducing. I have either got it all together or I have none of it together and I also do not know where my children are and why the dog keeps throwing up on the couch.

Some days surviving is a breeze and other days it is the opposite of a breeze (a tornado, perhaps?). I think that pretty much sums up the human experience. Some days we feel like we have got it all together, we are kicking butt and taking names. And then the very next day, the world kicks us while we are down and not one.single.thing is going our way.

RELATED POST: “Celebrating the every day”

That is life, friends.

While it is easy to forget the bad while we are in the midst of good, it is also hard to remember the good when we are knee-deep in the bad. It is true for real life and it is also true for the internet. The world wide web is this place where so many people share beautiful pictures, inspiring stories, and perfect days. Where we come across sparkling living rooms, clean kids, and happy marriages everywhere we turn. Where Pinterest is overflowing with easy steps to get washboard abs, homeschool our kids, and pay off all our debt in less than thirty days. All the things I want, but on even the best days do not have.

Maybe my best for today is just average, but tomorrow, tomorrow!, I will shine.

And you know what?
There is nothing wrong with that.

It is easy to feel less than and not good enough when you spend just a few minutes on the internet or around that one friend who just seems to do it all. Without even thinking about it, we compare our moment of ugly to someone else’s shiny and posed. We compare a staged picture to our messy kitchen. We read a funny story about someone’s spouse and wonder why our spouse is not that funny.

Or funny. Ever.

The thing is I understand “good” better when I know everything is not always good. I appreciate a clean house more when I know it will not always be like this, it actually took work, a little yelling, and lots of time to make it look good. I appreciate the beautiful more when there is some mess thrown in the mix too. In theory, I want a sparkling house and freshly pressed clothes, but in reality I want my kids (and my cute dog) still living in my house so sparkling is not an option, and plus, I do not even own an iron so “freshly pressed” is not in our vocabulary. If the dryer can’t get the wrinkles out then you don’t need to wear it.

Sometimes our best days are ordinary, quiet moments that weren’t planned, but just feel warm and fuzzy. And sometimes our best moments are well-planned, internet-worthy snapshots.

More often than not though, they’re just passing points in time where we look for the magic, acknowledge it, and then move on. Like while eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on a worn out couch while watching Johnny Test reruns with our kids. Those are some of my best days.

Mary Graham, Trusty Chucks - Indy's ChildMary Graham is a lifelong resident of Indianapolis, Indiana. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and rescue dog, Blue. During the day, she teaches high school English and at night (after the girls are asleep), she writes for The Huffington Post, Pearson’s Teachability, For Every Mom, her own blog,, and various other print and digital outlets. Mary’s work has also appeared on In her spare time, she likes to read, travel, eat chocolate, run half marathons, and then eat more chocolate.


Find Mary on Twitter and Instagram.

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