Hello book people!
You may remember from many of this summer's life lately posts that we moved and so now I have a commute. I've been playing around with what works for me during the commute-- podcasts, music, talk radio, etc. A few weeks ago I decided to try Audible because they are always running free trial through Amazon. Even though this is not at all an ad for them, they give you two free books during your trial (which is worth like $30-$40! ) so I thought I'd give it a try! I'm not usually an audio book fan BUT I've found my commute going faster when I have something else to occupy my brain ( I'm also a safe driver, promise! ). I think this audio book worked for me because I don't have to pay attention to every single detail in a self-help / memoir kind of book like I would with a true story.
Present Over Perfect is pretty much what you'd think it would be about -- the desire to be more present than perfect. The author talks about being BURNT OUT trying to do it ALL, and perfectly at that. She talks about how all of the stuff in her life ( obligations, work, things she thought she had to do, dishes, etc.) took up so much time in her life that it had come to the point where she was missing out on what she wanted in life -- rest, connection, time with family, heck, JOY! If you can't relate to this feeling then this book won't be for you. If you can, pick this one up!
I love that the author said a lot of relatable things and used stories rather than just preaching at you the whole time. There weren't a whole lot of strategies for how to do this but I guess it's more of a memoir than a guided self-help book. Especially at the beginning there were so many times that I nodded and went, "YES, THAT'S ME!" and I know it's a good read when that happens.
She did put a lot of emphasis on God so if you're really not into religion then it also might not be for you. I don't mind a little religion sprinkled in but I think a little goes a long way and I found some parts too much, to be honest, but it was definitely still worth the read. I did like that she talked about how our drive to do so much is really because of two sins--pride in trying to prove ourselves and gluttony for not wanting to miss out on ANYTHING. I had never thought of it this way and appreciated the perspective. It certainly makes me feel better about feeling like I need and want to rest more and just DO LESS.
I really did enjoy that she didn't take a single moment to say that any of us are doing it wrong. She talked about deciding what's wrong for her and how we all need to do that and learn to take better care of ourselves. I never felt like she was shaming me into resting more, which is nice since a lot of us get shamed (often unintentionally) into doing more.
You need this book in your life if you. . .
-are feeling worn out
- feel like you're missing out on important things for unimportant things ( HELLO LIFE! )
- like the self-help / memoir genre
- are a writer or creative person
- are really BUSY ( uh, hi all of America )
Honestly, this year has been SO MUCH and I really needed this book at this time. In part of the book she said that as adults we have to be responsible for ourselves and that means taking care of ourselves. There's no joy in wearing yourself out to prove yourself. It made me think about what I really NEED to do and what I tell myself I need to do ( no, the dishes don't HAVE to get done tonight; no, I don't have to make dinner every night or meal prep every Sunday; no, I don't have to browse the internet! Yes, I do want to do LESS -- and that's a GOOD THING! and so on). If you're feeling tired and wanting to do less, I highly recommend this one!
"'Have you really read all those books in your room?' Alaska laughing- 'Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ‘em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.'" -John Green