Book Review – Present Over Perfect

Present Over PerfectPresent Over Perfect is by author, Shauna Neiquist. I purchased this book for my wife, Stacy for Christmas last year.  I had already listened to it via Audible.  Before I tell you why I like the book I’ll tell you about the book.

Shauna is the author of a lot of great books that I highly recommend.  Most of her books are written more for a female audience, but I have enjoyed them as well mainly because I am secure in my manhood. Also, she is an excellent writer with a lot of insights.

There is a great quote from the preface written by Shauna which gives a clear overview of the book:

This book is an account of my winding, messy journey from exhaustion to peace, from isolation to connection, from hustling and multitasking to sacred presence. And this book is an invitation, too – a hand reaching across the pages, inviting you into the same journey, because it has been the greatest, most challenging, most rewarding sea-change of my adult life.  (Present Over Perfect, p.17)

Her story deals with the last 4 or so years of her life as she realized that she had been pushing herself beyond reasonable expectations.  As a mother, wife, friend, and author she was finding that she was pushing herself so hard that her life lacked real happiness and peace.

What strikes me most deeply about her journey is that she recognized that she was looking for a life of everything she wanted.  She pursed her dreams more, more and more, even dream of good things, because she thought that more was better.  In that struggle, she was looking for connection, meaning, and peace.

She kept pushing herself even though she longed to be at peace.  It was affecting her health, her family, and her entire life.  As a go-go person, she was trying to discover a better life with such vigor that she came to the point that she no longer wanted the life that she was chasing.

Why I like the book

In the book, Shauna talks about the “drugs” that we use to anesthetize ourselves from reality.   For Shauna, it was the drug of work, success, and perfection.  This idea of a drug is what we use not deal with reality.  For some, the drug may be their job that keeps them busy and away from their problems.  It may be exercise or hunting or television or the distraction of social media.  For some, it is the constant frustration of people and others opinions that continuously keep people in an uproar.  Yes, even the constant state of being offended prevents many people from thinking and dealing with their own thoughts and problems.

The point is that unless we deal with our hangups, hurts, and opinions, we will never be able to find a peace that lasts.  Vacations end, television shows lack depth, and drugs do wreck our lives.

For Shauna Neiquist, it was the reality that her life would never be what she wanted it to be unless she got off the hamster wheel of a busy life.

Read the Book

I encourage you to check out this encouraging book.  In today’s society where reading books in on the decline it will take you going against the norm to purchase this book and take the time to enjoy!  But, don’t be normal!

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