I’m reading Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist very slowly. Slowly because I honestly don’t read for pleasure that often, and I like to savor the self-help/spiritual sort of books instead of plow through them. I know it’s not new, but a friend lent it to me and I can’t really think of a better time to read it than the beginning of summer. I’m just shy of halfway through and while I am not exactly Shauna as she describes herself (busy, extroverted, over booked), a lot of what she writes feel familiar to what goes on in my own head. I get overwhelmed easily, so I’m learning how to respect my own pace. I’m trying to ask my mom for help and book baby sitters a week in advance so I can work, I need at least a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood for my sanity but more time to exercise is ideal. I know that one play date in a day is usually enough for my introverted self, that I don’t like taking both kids to a grocery store, and NO ONE accompanies me to a mall. I am quieter in groups and feel most connected relationally in a more vulnerable, one on one conversation. I have learned most of these things by not having them and missing them. It sounds high maintenance written out, but I’d like to think of it as figuring out who I am and what I need and just owning it. She describes it as learning when to say “no.” She has these few paragraphs that made all those feelings feel permissible:
“What’s changing everything for me is a new understanding that we get to decide how we want to live. We get to shape our days and our weeks, and if we don’t, they’ll get shaped by the wide catch-all of “normal” and “typical,” and who wants that?
“You can live on a farm or out of a backpack. You can work from your kitchen or in a high-rise. You can worship in your living room or a cathedral. Isn’t that beautiful? And exciting? And so full of freedom? …You get to make your life. In fact, you have to. And not only can you make it, you can remake it.”
And then a few chapters later she says, “and I know that should is one of my warning signs – that frequently I pay more attention to how I should feel about something than how I actually do feel about it.” That all seems related and familiar to me. Anyway. Perhaps I’ll have more nuggets for you when I get to finishing it, but I like sharing things I need reminding of myself in the meantime.
I book marked these waffles from Nicole’s new book that focuses on poetry inspired by food and cooking and eating and all things involved with that. She shares poems, her notes and a collection of recipes that are tied to the writing for her. This house is an easy sell on waffles of all kinds. The kids prefer sweet and I insist that an egg in the morning helps me stay full so I made a savory version for myself and Hugh. You don’t have to complicate anything, they are perfectly fine with butter and maple or plain yogurt. To wake up to them halfway done, I’ll make the strawberry sauce the night before and then mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl so all I have to do in the morning is mix in the wet ingredients. Spoken from someone who gets the request for waffles often.