Shauna Niequist (dear daughters 9)

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.

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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?

the talented lindsay letters hand-lettered quote | click on graphic to visit her site

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



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