Let’s talk for a minute about perfect: perfect has become as near a dirty word to me as hustle, prove, earn, compete, and push. Perfect is brittle and unyielding, plastic, distant, more image than flesh. Perfect calls to mind stiffness, silicone, an aggressive and unimaginative relentlessness. Perfect and the hunt for it will ruin our lives—that’s for certain.
The ache for perfection keeps us isolated and exhausted—we keep people at arm’s length, if that, and we keep hustling, trying trying trying to reach some sort of ideal that never comes.
I’ve missed so much of my actual, human, beautiful, not-beautiful life trying to force things into perfect. But these days I’m coming to see that perfect is safe, controlled, managed. I’m finding myself drawn to mess, to darkness, to things that are loved to the point of shabbiness, or just wildly imperfect in their own gorgeous way. ~ Shauna Niequist
Oh y’all. Today on the podcast I talk with one of my favorite people, Shauna Niequist. She is a bookworm, a beachbum, and a passionate gatherer of people, especially around the table. She is married to Aaron, and they live in Chicago with their sons, Henry & Mac.
She is also the New York Times bestselling author of Present Over Perfect (excerpted above) and a few other fantastic books. Shauna and I met when we launched IF:Table a couple years ago. And I truly adore her. I know you will too.
- IF:Gathering and our video at that first IF:Table
- This book of hers … you need it: Present Over Perfect
- Cold Tangerines
- Don Miller’s Create Your Life Plan
- Nancy Ortberg has some amazing books.
- Info here on Present Over Perfect Study Guide. Look how pretty the video is …
- This question: “What would it take to leave behind the things that no longer serve you well in order to get to the heart of how you were made and how you were made to live?” Ahhh. Who’s in on this one?
- You’ll want to pick up (great for gift giving): Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are
- Shauna’s Caesar Salad. YUM.
- Teacher Gift Tip ~> GET A GIFT CARD.
- Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Bread Pudding
- Lindsay’s Green Chili Strata ~ the one that is included in Savor.
- Shauna’s Lemon Dill Chicken Soup. It’s so good.
- My favorite: Mimi’s Pumpkin Pie
- Kristi’s Eggs Benedict Casserole
- Laity Lodge: The Quiet House
- Thomas Watson’s book on contentment.
- Do you know Tara over at Royer’s Round Top Cafe?
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
When you feel like you are failing at the most important things, change things.
Are you administrating and caring for your children instead of just being with them?
Do you try to “out responsible” other people? That’s something to think about …
Do you tend to over-value your work life in exchange for a deep inner life?
I am not going to bow to the pressure to always be on. ~ Shauna Niequist
Design flaw of hustle lifestyle: “If I do this, then I’ll get this. But that’s a faulty mechanism all the way through.”
“You know what? You’re allowed to stop.” ~ Shauna Niequist
CONNECT WITH SHAUNA