Does Anyone Really Have The Storybook Life?

What a beautiful day-Bavaria today







Article by Wendy McCance

I know a man who met a woman and fell in love.  He fell in love after a first marriage of 20 years fell apart. Somehow, he met “the one.”  It was the person he felt and (many others did too) was the person he was meant to be with.  The man and the woman got married and settled in to their happy new life.

A few years went by when things began to take a turn.  The woman’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  For several years after, the man and the woman spent their days caring for the mother.  At the height of the disease taking a toll on the mother, the father was also diagnosed with the same disease.  Efforts were doubled by the man and the woman to take care of two parents both with a most difficult disease.

Years later, the mother and the father had passed away.  The man and the woman stood in astonishment trying to move on and rebuild a life that had been solely focused on the woman’s parents for far too many years.

Several months passed and the man and the woman were getting into a new routine and exploring their life together.  It was a time to focus only on each other.  Then, one day the news came.  The woman was ill and it was serious.  At this time, the news is still too brand new to know what will happen next.

There are so many stories like this in the world.  You only get one life.  What if that life is full of more challenges and difficult times than good times?  What if you look back to the bulk of your life and feel that you were never able to live it the way you thought you would?  Not for lack of trying, but because of responsibilities to others or just plain bad circumstances that turned your world upside down?

Growing up you believe in the fairytale.  You are certain that if you follow the steps that are laid out that you will have a happy and successful life.  Does anyone ever really get the fairytale?  Are there people in the world who bought into the notion that life would be easy if you just follow society’s rules?

If there are people who have truly been blessed with a happy family, solid marriage, terrific kids, good job and no worries about their income, I’d love to hear from you.  If there are people out there who grabbed their dream and ran with it, who were able to achieve their hearts desire, I’d love to hear from you as well.  I am just curious to know if there are people in this world who have experienced on a daily basis the fairytale. Maybe it really is a big illusion that you can have it all.  Maybe you are told this myth so that as life gets more difficult, you are determined to keep going.

I was talking with a friend about this subject.  I asked her if she knew anyone who really was leading an ideal life.  She mentioned she thought at one point she knew of someone who always appeared happy and seemed to have it made.  Then she got to know this woman.  The woman began to open up and tell her bits and pieces of her life.  The woman’s life (my friend found out) was far from ideal.  It was actually not ideal in any way.  But, she had the people around her fooled.  She had created a great illusion.  It was all underneath, just a trick.  A slight of hand so that she didn’t have to dwell on her painful issues.

Why don’t people open up and admit that their life has many bumps in the road?  Why aren’t we establishing a more realistic “normal” as a society?  Would people be better off if they knew what most people really face in their personal lives?  Would it take the pressure off those who feel like they are the only ones suffering?

Maybe the illusion of a happy, content and peaceful life is just easier for us to swallow.  If people felt that life was much tougher and knew everyone was dealing with some uncomfortable situations maybe people would be more inclined to give up and just throw in the towel.  I just don’t know.  What do you think?

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

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19 thoughts on “Does Anyone Really Have The Storybook Life?

  1. I don’t really focus that much on the lives of others, although I do read about successful business people. I try to be happy in my own life as much as possible. You will see that I feel I can open up to others from my latest posts - Especially the post. I have no problem in admitting my life is not perfect and updates of my poorly guineapigs has been featured highly in my recent posts. I think it’s important for people to know why I haven’t been able to blog much lately. I still manage to see some positives in almost all situations and I never used to be able to do that. I think there are things one can do to help make their life more like a fairytale for themselves and I think it is easier to do this if, like me, you are single, because you can just focus on yourself and what makes you happy and not worry about what anyone else thinks.

  2. Why so gloomy, Wendy? Is something going on in your life right about now? Wish you all well - as I am used to seeing you all positive 

    To your question - I don’t think there is such thing as “ideal life”, at least not “generally speaking. I mean, ideal life for me might be a nightmare for you.

    Something stroke me in your post - you say something about mis-belief that “life would be easy if you just follow society’s rules” - that’s it. I would say that the moment you let go of society rules or at least, stop caring what people think and say about you, you are one step closer to *your* ideal life. Everything is about the context, about the perspective.

    Let me give an example. Many people back in my home country might think I am a very unfortunate person because I am of certain age, I have no children, no steady 9 to 5 job, just relocated to another country where people usually go to search for work, etc.

    While in realty, I am a very happy and free freelancer, well paid, who has chosen not have children just yet because she wants to travel the world and explore different cultures by living in various countries (while working online).

    See how the same thing can mean 2 very different things depending on the point of view?

    I am not saying I live an ideal life, I certainly am not (the very least, I still have to work to make money - in my ideal life I wouldn’t have to do that LOL) - but I am indeed living my dream life and I am a firm believer that life is what we make of it. Whatever we want - that’s what we can achieve and make true. Simple as that.

    Sometimes we have unfortunate circumstances (like the woman in your story with 2 parents with Alzheimer - that’s bad and I have no idea how I would handle that?! i hope i never have to find out!) but most cases - it isn’t that tough and we sure can make the best out o any and every situation.

    Hope this gives you some food for thought and bring a smile to your face 😀

    P.S. sorry for the long comment but i had to share 😉

    • I appreciate the comments no matter how short or long. Sorry the post sounded so gloomy. It was nothing personal, just conversations with friends and family. It got me wondering about this topic so I wrote about it. I thought it would be interesting to hear what opinions people had on the subject. Although many of my posts are upbeat, I also like to touch on some of the dreary topics on occasion. Just fascinated with the way people view the world they live in. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  3. I am not sure if they avoid the huge falls, or are better at hiding them. Maybe we only see these folks stumble, but aren’t privy to the bigger, deeper problems that they learn to hide? Maybe someone is financially well off, but can’t hold onto a relationship. We see them as successful, going on trips and out to eat, yet we don’t see them when they head home, alone. I think social media feeds this problem, too, as we tend to see the good, successful side of people, and not the hurt.

  4. Wow! Now that is quite a question! I don’t think there is such a thing as a fairy-tale life. Some days, it feels like you put out one fire, and another begins. I believe at some point, we are just better at managing the pains and bumps, so we can be content with the blessings we do have. I do know that when people see the side of me that hurts, they aren’t comfortable. If someone asks, “How are you?” I am truthful: if I am doing great, I say so. If it is a bad day, I will say that. Maybe you just reach mid-life and you grow weary of the games….I bet your post brings a lot of discussion! 🙂

    • I realize that being open is an intricate game. How much do you reveal before you are turning people off. I am like you, straightforward and rather even when it comes to the emotion I show when I have my ups and downs. I guess I am just questioning what I see around me. Some people really do seem like they have it all. Obviously everyone has struggles along the way, but some people seem to hit only the minor bumps and bruises of life. They avoid those huge falls that are hard to come back from.

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