And this is what Denise told me: she said it’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, she said, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about. Her words from that day have been rattling around inside me for years now, twisting around, whispering, taking shape.
–p. 54, Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet
I am really really bad at giving things up. Terrible at it. Even if that thing is terrible for me. But this quote comes in the middle of a chapter of Niequist’s book about trying to do everything better and failing completely. We can’t do everything, and we certainly can’t do everything well. But what we can do is love the things we love, do them to the best of our ability, and scrap the rest.
Niequist then goes into a list of what she does and doesn’t do. Those are hard lists to make. When you’re trying to make the one about things you don’t do, you try to think of ways to do those things, because you need to do them. Why? I don’t know. To be happy? Probably not. Those don’ts will drive you crazy because you probably don’t love them. They’re not the things you were created to do. They’re the extras, the things that life tells you to do to be a good woman or mom or worker.
Tonight I was sharing this concept with Jessie, and we started listing things that I don’t do. Here’s a few:
–Join worship teams (even when there are cute boys on them as well)
–Cook extravagant recipes
–Garden (not hard, considering I have no outside yard)
–Blow-dry my hair every day (honestly, I practically never do)
That’s the short list. All of those things I’d like to do (in varying amounts), but I just don’t have the time, the energy, or the ability. I only have 24 hours and I like sleeping, eating, and I’ve got a job. That leaves a very small window, and I need to fill it with people and tasks that give me life. Like:
–Read good books
–Write even when it’s hard
–Go to Jimmy Mak’s or shows or other artistic events
–See my friends, even if I have to drive far to do it
–Do the dishes (yeah, I know it’s weird)
–Watch witty television shows/movies
–Go to the gym…sometimes
–Go to church even when I don’t feel like it
–Talk with my roommate even if I had other plans for that time
It’s the little things. It’s all about the little things. So that worship team is just going to have to do without me. The cute boy can call me, though.