I finally bought Shauna Niequist’s Present over Perfect and it’s one of those books where you have to stop reading to find a pen to underline a passage. There are so many take-aways that it is impossible for me to document them all here, so just do yourself a favor and buy the book. It is relevant for all ages, but as I approach 30, this book has a different meaning for me than it would have had ten years ago.
There was one sentence in particular that left me motionless as I read it: “Years ago, a wise friend told me that no one ever changes until the pain level gets too high.” I wasn’t even one chapter in and Shauna nailed it. We have all taken various paths to get to where we are, but I can count on my hand the number of times that one of those painful, unbearable life-changing moments occurred and I was forced to change – for the better. Moving to St. Louis, Denver’s passing, leaving one job and going to another, and on and on.
Often it is not until you experience something that hits you at the core, that you can truly begin again. While no one enjoys experiencing pain, it is the people that have experienced something that are relatable. If they are willing to share those experiences, even better. Shauna discusses vulnerability and while it’s never easy to share your innermost thoughts about heartbreak, it is certainly liberating to do so.
While I typically finish a book in one day and this is an especially fast read, I have been savoring this one. I just finished a chapter on learning to say ‘no,’ and it is as if the author knows me. I have gotten better at determining what is important to me, but it is a daily struggle. Being a people pleaser can be a huge cloud over your head, but people will learn to respect you even more if you are upfront and confident in the decisions you make.
Today was one of the best days I’ve had in awhile – it was full of my favorite things: a bike ride, amazing 70 degree weather, and Bakersfield (beer too). This might not be an example of saying ‘no,’ but it is an example of identifying what makes me happy, doing it, and saying no to the other options that I had for today. I also conquered my fear of clipping into my bike pedals. I woke up this morning determined to ride clipped in, so I spent two hours in my pajamas practicing, gripping my kitchen counter for dear life, and clipping each foot in and out. My right foot is much easier, so the hardest part is clipping in my left foot first and then rolling.
I am happy to report I survived – all 18 miles clipped in! There was one minor accident in which two older gentlemen (also clipped in) collided into me and we had a pile-up. I instinctively clipped out as soon as I hit the pavement and picked myself up, bloodied knee and all. I thought of Denver a lot on the ride – she would have been proud. I was secretly, or maybe not so secretly, terrified of breaking an arm or a leg, but she would have demanded that I get my badass-self in spandex and on that bike. I also have my cycling companion to thank – very few people would have put up with two hours of me yelling, “Do I have to un-clip?” before approaching every intersection. I felt comfortable embarrassing myself in front of him and I am happy to have a new cycling friend. The promise of beer afterwards also helped motivate us.
Last night Yelp had their annual White Night party and while it is usually held on Monument Circle, the Circle City Industrial Complex provided the perfect setting. It was an eclectic mix of an urban factory space with a classic white theme. A thousand Hoosiers dressed in white brought picnics, accessories for their tables, and some major swagger. My talented friend Kim personalized champagne flutes for the first 250 attendees and it was a fun night of spending time with one of my favorite gingers. She’s the artist, I’m just the BFF. I am so impressed with Yelp and their ability to pull off events under pressure and always with a smile!
Last week I made cinnamon rolls for the office and I think this is the best recipe I have found. The only stressful part is making sure your yeast does its magic and I recommend a candy thermometer -if the yeast is too hot, it will not work.
You can find the recipe here.
A little wisdom from Cleo Wade for your week ahead!
Xx, Libby and Winston