I’ve been reading Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. Let me tell you all, that Shauna has some good advice in her book. (I have written more than one post about what I am learning from her). Something that she writes about, that totally struck a chord with me, is choosing to not disappoint the people in her inner circle over her outer circles.
“Aim to disappoint the people in the center as rarely as possible. And then learn to be more and more comfortable with disappointing the lie at the edges of the circle- people you’re not as close to, people who do not and should not require your unflagging dedication.” ~Shauna Niequist
This statement both makes me cringe and gives me a kick in the butt at the same time.
I don’t like to disappoint people and I worry about what other people are thinking about me way more than I should (probably way more than they are actually thinking about me as well.) I’m working on it. The yucky sinking feeling of someone thinking ill of you is a hard thing to work against.
I’ve spent years of my life doing things because I think other people think I ought to. Maybe it’s true maybe it’s not.
On the other hand I want my children and my husband to know that they are top priorities on my list. Their emotional and physical well being, theoretically take top priority in my life (just below my physical and emotional well being. I can’t be my best self for them if I am a crumpled heap).
At first the idea of not disappointing my inner circle brought up all sorts of “super mom” ideas. Road trips, explorations and adventures. Elaborate crafting and cookie baking. These are great things! We will probably do these things a lot over the coming years. It’s kinda how we roll.
But I am also realizing that there is great value in indulging in the simple things of home. Lately we have been watching an episode of Gilligans Island all together after supper clean up is done. We’ve been having jolly games of Pass the Pigs. It’s not important what we do it’s that we make the time to regularly do something as a family.
Craig and I have instituted something we call “special night” (get your head out of the gutter). It’s a one on one date night with each of our kids on a rotating basis. It’s supposed to be on Friday night, but if there is something else going on we tend to shuffle the day around. I wonder now if we are just being flexible or showing that special night is not as important to us as XYZ other thing that is happening.
It’s going to feel all out of sorts when I say no to an outside event in order to play Pass the Pigs and sip tea with my five year old. And I probably will make some vague excuse as to why I am declining the invitation.
The truth will be that I am building up my core. My inner circle. I’m feeding my soul by pouring into the people I love the most.
Title Photo Credit: Sunbeams and Freckles Photography