Monday, 15 January 2018

Taking The Time To Throw Candy

I have just finished reading a book called Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. And I can tell you, this book had me in tears so many times. Shauna may as well have been writing my thoughts and feelings.

The older I get, the more I feel that I have wasted so much of my life on what Shauna calls 'hustling' - making sure everything is perfect, working hard as a way to prove my worth, never taking a rest as if you are not working you are just being lazy. It was all about the output, the end result. If I had nothing to show for my time, I wasn't proving my worth. It was like I had to justify the space I was taking up on this earth.

The quote I am including here really opened my eyes. I read this and thought, 'oh my gosh, that is me and it sounds just terrible.'

The candy throwing referred to here comes from a trip Shauna went on, where it was a tradition that every time kayakers from a nearby camp passed by your dock, you threw candy to them. Just because.

'I used to throw candy, right in the middle of it all. I used to throw candy no matter what. I used to be warm and whimsical. I used to believe in the power of silliness and memory-making and laughter.
And then I became the kind of person who threw candy as long as nothing else was going on - as long as it didn't get in the way of being responsible. I threw candy at approved and sanctioned candy-throwing time, after all the work was done and things were safe and lunches were made.
And then I got so wrapped up in being responsible that it was never the right time to throw candy.
And then, the worst thing: I became the kind of person who made fun of candy-throwers . . . please - who has time? What is this, kindergarten? I've got a list, people, and a flight to catch.
What a loss - for me, for my family, for our community, for all the joy and laughter and silliness we missed out on because I was busy being busy.'

I read this passage (and many others in the book) and was horrified. It WAS me! I've become so bogged down in the details, so mired in the belief that only I can do things right and if I didn't do everything it wouldn't get done, that I was missing everything. I had become the party-pooper, the boring voice of reason and fun-squashing.

There was another passage where Shauna talks about self-care and says that she used to think people who took time for 'self-care' were babies and self-indulgent. I have had those same thoughts. When friends have talked about having a massage or going to a day spa, I have thought that's all right for some but I could never do something like that - what a waste of time and money. When I think about the self-righteous thoughts I have had along these lines, I am totally ashamed.

SO, to cut a long story short, I am going to use 2018 to re-train my mind and soul, to learn to throw candy again. I need to remember that God will accept me as I am, as He created me - I don't need to prove myself to Him other than to follow His commandments and to live by His word.

Throwing candy - that is my prayer for this year.


  1. Hi Jayne! Good thoughts! I'll have to read Shauna's book.
    If we only knew and believed how much God loves us, right?

    1. So true! Something I always need to remember.

  2. Certainly a thought provoking post, I must read that book.

  3. May you have a beautiful year enjoying those small moments each day. This book sounds an excellent and thought provoking read. I believe God created in you a most beautiful soul with a most beautiful heart. Be kind to yourself, lovely Jayne.

    1. Oh my, thank you for your kind words. You are such a sweetie to say that. It is always easier to be critical of ourselves, isn't it? We are our own worst enemies!

  4. This book sounds great. I haven't read something for a while now so maybe I'll look into this. PS Great to see you back posting.