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When life is brutiful and you are unsure whether remaining in the present is a good thing.


The flowers I bought myself last week are wilting and lately even coffee doesn’t bring the satisfaction it once did. As I sit here to write, my two-year-old has her arms crossed and is shouting “I have juice Mummy, I have JUICE!”

Considering she has already consumed two glasses this morning, my soft and consistent no seems to be redundant.

Motherhood is hard,

Marriage is relentless,

Being a daughter is tiring and I wish I could escape the present not embrace it.

The journey of this book “Present OVER Perfect” by Shauna Niquest, was enthralling when I was knee deep in rice paddies as I read it overseas on holiday, but reality lately has been biting and you know what? Staying busy seems to hold a greater reward.

When I slow I ache with dissatisfaction.

I would prefer to sleep for days and not face the complexity of what my present holds.

My son this morning drew on the class news bag, with a permanent black texta, declaring MAX and drawing a pretty divine airplane. The problem is that it is a shared, special bag across the whole class and showing up to the teacher, is like walking to the principal’s office and finding my messy, creative self in trouble again for breaking the rules.

Yesterday I took myself off to a counselor’s couch and I held this book firmly in my shaking hands and began to unpack the nerves it had been hitting. The present makes me shake with the brutality of it all.

Then as I walked my feeble heart back to the car and I reminded myself of the journey and the brilliance of holding my heart raw, rather than calloused and brittle.

Mary Oliver reminded me in the last page of the book with this…

The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice-

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do–

determined to save

the only life you could save.

What did you learn from this journey?

Thanks for walking this journey Book Club friends, I kinda feel like I need to start the book again and re-read its offerings.

Amanda Marie

4 thoughts on “When life is brutiful and you are unsure whether remaining in the present is a good thing.

  1. I know what you mean about the re-read. I have re-read it twice now, and feel like it could take another look. Not sure where else I could underline though! I have markings all through it!

    Oh the nerves this book touches. There is one in particular on responsibility and an inability to have fun that I am trying to unpack. It may well need the help of someone wiser than me on that too!

    Thanks for your honesty in sharing, and peace be with you

  2. Marriage is relentless. I hear ya. It’s clear to see you’ve got a good one there though. x

    p.s You could make a better bag? 🙂

  3. I would love to this book as a devotional with my husband after we finish our current one. It’s so good!!
    What I’ve learned is that slowing down is hard for me and takes work – constantly. I may feel I’m doing well in one area but then I’m challenged in another. I actually just withdrew from a class I was going to take to finish my degree because I’m not slowing down enough but also I’m enjoying the slow I do have! A victory!

  4. You are doing life beautifully and more so as each year passes. Well done, my friend. I love Mary Oliver! xxxx

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