Reading Challenge, week 1: Present Over Perfect

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The Reading Challenge we are doing as a family has begun. The first book for the year, and one very fitting for my stage in life was:

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living.

Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback | Audible

This book met the criteria from the Popsugar reading challenge for: Book Recommended by an Author you love. This one was recomended by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom.

I purchased this book on Kindle from Amazon.

A lot of this book was a little bit of “more of the same” to me, but I did find a few gems that have impacted my way of thinking.

“Picture your relationships like concentric circles: the inner circle is your spouse, your children, your very best friends. Then the next circle our is your extended family and good friends, then people you know but not well…..and so on til the outer edge. Aim to disappoint the people at the center as rarely as possible. And then learn to be more and more comfortable with disappointing people who live at the edges of the circle…people who do not and should not require your unflagging dedication”

My problem is, and often has been my desire to say yes or please everyone, sometimes to the detriment of my family. But this chapter, reinforced later in the book by the following:

“Because I was on a dangerous track where I was giving the best of myself to people and things “out there” while the tender inner core of my life and home were increasingly stretched, pressurized, brittle…..Now the most beautiful, well-tended, truly nurtured and nourished parts of my life are the innermost ones, not the flashy public ones.”

I’ve already had a few opportunities to make adjustments to the commitments I make

And finally, there is this, which resounded with my very deep desire to take better care of my physical body:

In her discussions with God she says: “I will never again be so careless, so cavalier with the body and soul you’ve given me.

They are the only things in all the world that have been entrusted entirely to me, and I stewarded them poorly, worshiping for a time at the alters of productivity, capability, busyness, distraction.”

There were also some things in this book that reminded me a whole lot of what other authors in this age are so fond of saying: Slow down, appreciate the moments, looking backward and being quite self-depreciating about the past. Those books have their place, but I have seen quite a lot of them, and I was glad to pull out a few of these gems which were very well written and added something new to my way of thinking.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

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