What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?

mediocreWhat if I all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between. Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?

The world is such a noisy place. Loud, haranguing voices lecturing me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. For bigger and better. Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home. Have a huge impact in the world. Make your life count.

But what if I just don’t have it in me. What if all the striving for excellence leaves me sad, worn out, depleted. Drained of joy. Am I simply not enough?

What if I never really amount to anything when I grow up – beyond mom and sister and wife. But these people in my primary circle of impact know they are loved and that I would choose them again, given the choice. Can this be enough?

What if I never build an orphanage in Africa but send bags of groceries to people here and there and support a couple of kids through sponsorship. What if I just offer the small gifts I have to the world and let that be enough.

What if I don’t want to write a cookbook or build a six figure business or speak before thousands. But I write because I have something to say and I invest in a small community of women I care about and encourage them to love and care for themselves well. Because bigger isn’t always better and the individual matters. She is enough.

What if I just accept this mediocre body of mine that is neither big nor small. Just in between. And I embrace that I have no desire to work for rock hard abs or 18% body fat. And I make peace with it and decide that when I lie on my deathbed I will never regret having just been me. Take me or leave me.

What if I am a mediocre home manager who rarely dusts and mostly maintains order and makes real food but sometimes buys pizza and who is horrified at moments by the utter mess in some areas of her home. Who loves to menu plan and budget but then breaks her own rules and pushes back against rigidity. Who doesn’t care about decorating and fancy things. Whose home is humble but safe.

What if I am not cut out for the frantic pace of this society and cannot even begin to keep up. And see so many others with what appears to be boundless energy and stamina but know that I need tons of solitude and calm, an abundance of rest, and swaths of unscheduled time in order to be healthy. Body, Spirit, Soul healthy. Am I enough?

What if I am too religious for some and not spiritual enough for others. Non-evangelistic. Not bold enough. Yet willing to share in quiet ways, in genuine relationship, my deeply rooted faith. And my doubts and insecurities. This will have to be enough.

And if I have been married 21 years and love my husband more today than yesterday but have never had a fairy tale romance and break the “experts” marriage rules about doing a ton of activities together and having a bunch in common. And we don’t. And we like time apart and time together. Is our marriage good enough?

What if I am a mom who delights in her kids but needs time for herself and sometimes just wants to be first and doesn’t like to play but who hugs and affirms and supports her kids in their passions. A mediocre mom who can never live up to her own expectations of good enough, let alone yours.

What if I embrace my limitations and stop railing against them. Make peace with who I am and what I need and honor your right to do the same. Accept that all I really want is a small, slow, simple life. A mediocre life. A beautiful, quiet, gentle life. I think it is enough.

Krista xo

Spring/16 BBC London contacted me to interview me about this article and my thoughts around living a Mediocre Life. What an adventure! The interview aired on August 12/16 at 0830 London Time on BBC World Service Radio. Here is the link to listen to the program (look under the podcast tab).

Because of the popularity of the podcast, BBC created an online feature which will be available through this link as of Monday 22/16.

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573 comments on “What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?

  1. In case I don’t get back here in my rather busy day to leave a more thorough comment, just wow, my dear. I know you and I have talked about these ideas a lot. I love your enough. I love the freedom in just being ourselves. love you. Will be sharing this.

      • The promise of a better life. Ah. Isn’t that the everyone goal? Play the game. Don’t worry if you have to deprive yourself of sleep and meaning and common sense. Just run the maze. That’s the only way to get the cheese. Please.

        These promises are like lottery tickets; sold by the billions with promises of ‘finally not having to worry’, but are based on a manipulative game which, again, promises security if only you buy in. Do we not see the depravity in this? It’s like intentionally making and keeping people sick so that more ‘medicine’ can be sold at great profits, which in turn make and keep people sick, which depletes them, forcing them to come back for more, with the trust and hope and faith that those who are providing the ‘medicine’, food, water and metaphorical lottery tickets actually want us to feel good, to be healthy, to succeed and to win.

        If we were encouraged to be happy exactly as we are – for real – the consumerist predator game and the solutions and ‘cures’ offered would cease to matter to us. If the health and well being of the people in were in fact the priority, then we wouldn’t have ‘fight for our right’ for clean water, clean air, clean food and trustworthy leaders. None of this counter intuitive, counter to a healthy existence crap would exist in the first place.

        When people realize this – that being deprived of sleep, good medicine and simple health in order to meet the demands of a system that seems to have a vested interest in keeping us depleted and ineffectual – I hope that people will collectively stand and say, “Step aside, you self-serving psychopaths. There’s a bunch of new Sheriffs in town.”

        • Krista, I think this is absolutely awesome! It sounds like my teenage dream of happiness! If you can do all that and be happy too, then that’s not in the least bit mediocre, that’s simply amazing. More power to you!

        • Mary, That is actually the same as her feeling judged for wanting to be mediocre. There is also nothing wrong with wanting to be more. I am not happy with just being who I am right now. It’s ok that she’s is and its ok that I’m not, The world needs both. It needs the movers and the shakers and it needs the place holders. It needs the ones who dream of more just as it needs the ones who want things the same. We balance each other out, like a good marriage.

          I love working to meet a deadline, I love working tirelessly to get a better image, (I’m a photographer) I love getting up and working in the middle of the night because I have an idea or because the solitude of working at night Spurs creativity or lends to the solution of a problem.

          There is a welcoming peace in mediocre, and there is also an excitement in wanting more, in the race to achievement.

          So don’t knock the pace setters, or the pace keepers.

          • Lorri, as someone who used to be filled with vim and vigor when it came to my job, my creativity, my love life I can relate to who you are at the moment. But our culture validates the pace setters and not those of us that are no longer or never were setting the pace. This piece is validation for those that strive to just survive–to make it through another day, to not be driven, to be mediocre and to be ok with that.

          • You are right – some folks thrive on activity and stretching themselves to be more, to do more. I am intrigued by them. For me, a little of that goes a long way. I need lots of solitude. Yes the world needs both – and has both! 🙂

          • Hi Lorri, I totally agree. I think slowing down is appealing and at times it’s necessary,. I think we can ease the pressure thought by continuing to strive but being happy and grateful for what we have right now. This is so vital to ease stress and live in the moment. I am and always will be a driver, always seeking balance but I’m a driver. I want to create a life where I don’t need to ‘go on holiday’. I spent many years doing the corporate thing but after having family I decided I needed something else. Now I have my own network marketing organisation, which is hard work but not in the conventional way and it’s allowed me to figure out my passion – making healthy cakes. I strive every day to be better and to help others because contribution makes me happy. Basic human needs mean that we are happiest when we are contributing. That can be at all levels and the article describes contribution and all the elements of what makes the author happy. Your better life may not be someone elses better life and that’s A okay. I genuinely believe everyone has a gift to discover and once they figure it out, most people want to/feel compelled to, share it with the world. Thank you for writing something that has made me think/reassess and thank you for all the comments.

          • Hi Jo, I agree that we are made to contribute. I am not someone who likes the typical idea of retirement, for instance, as I think we have gifts to offer each step of the way/each season of life. I am someone who requires a learning curve in my life to stay happy and emotionally healthy – so I am always learning, too:)

        • Yes, I really love what you said and how it all came together at the end! “Step aside, you self-serving psychopaths. There’s a bunch of new Sheriffs in town.”
          That’s exactly what we should say.

        • I have often thought that. On a related theme, it occurred to me today that the only people I had personally known who lived the ‘Fashionable City Set, Second Home in the Country lifestyle that advertising tries to make us want, worked in advertising!

        • AMEN! couldn’t have said it better, I know it isn’t healthy but while I need other people, I don’t really want them. I have always believed that it’s unhealthy to withdraw but who told me that? The same people that I can’t please even when I try to play their game and be “normal”. It is never enough which is probably how I became an introvert in the first place. Ironic. I went no contact 8 years ago (was forced to because I won’t “play” and now I just found out during the 8 years I have been locked up in my house, my healthy, normal, sociable family are all fighting over the money and the business, tried to have 2 people killed who are both on the lam now in fear of their own mothers and brothers. Yeah that’s healthy.

        • Well, the only thing is… you’d be poor and life would be nasty, brutish and short. Unfortunately, we can’t have it both ways. People who don’t want to sacrifice for something bigger (fair enough) should laud those who do, because no matter what lifestyle you choose, they are the ones who make all our lives better. Dismount thy high horse and celebrate the movers and shakers.

          • I will vehemently disagree. Many of these “shakers” are actually predatory taking far more than their “fair” share at the EXPENSE of others.

      • wow. The line “swaths of unscheduled time in order to be healthy.,” That’s me.

        What if it’s possible to allow that to simply BE instead of judging it as” lazy” ” selfish ” or “not living up to my potential?”

        Thanks for sharing your perspective and being part of my tribe.

        • Thats perfect. There is something very soul soothing about unscheduled, unplanned, time to take for yourself in order to feel like you actually have ownership over your life, yourself and your time. Its very wise, its not lazy or selfish. You get to be with yourself, look after and know yourself, think clearly and peacefully, healthily, without anything external creeping up on you and contaminating your world.

      • Thank you so very much for this writing….really, I’m not sure I can convey just how much this has touched me to my core. All my jumbled up thoughts put cleanly and in order in this beautiful writing by someone else. I often wonder what is wrong with me or rather society telling me how wrong I am to be content with my calm, slow, beautiful to me life. I had dreams but my biggest dream was to have what I have now and thank you for affirming to me it is my life and no one else’s. Thank you, thank you, thank you….

        • I too could have sworn that her words were mine if I were as eloquent and as persuasive in my writing. And you’re comment above sounded just as familiar, as if they were my own.

        • These are my sentiments exactly! All I have ever truly dreamed of is being a mother. While watching other mothers juggle work and other busy lifestyles with such ease, I have finally accepted the fact that I just can’t do it and being a mother is ultimately enough for me. It has been such a profound revelation. I feel free! I feel happy! Slowing down and having unscheduled free time to create, play and just “be” feels so good. Rolling with the seasons and truly aligning my schedule with what I can manage has been like pure nourishment for the soul. I can feel it! I am the centre of my child’s world and if I am stressed, too busy and unhappy, how can I possibly try and raise a whole and happy child? Living with such authenticity has allowed me to feel more grounded than ever before. I now realise that I don’t want more, I might never be more than a good mother and that’s completely ok with me. I have many interests and invest in my family and friends, this brings me true happiness and (I believe) success. Hats off and yes much “intrigue” for the mover and shakers, but no apologies, it just ain’t me!

      • I love this .. So much permission here . Actually I felt like u were describing myself … It’s funny I facilitate people to be their true self and true voice and make their impact in the world and what I believe that comes down to is being the true expression of source energy whether it’s being a mom or being an entrepreneur or living a simple life .. Simple doesn’t have to be mediocre .. A conscious life is a massive contribution to the world whether it’s around a ton of people or just you . its the energy cultivates not the numbers we are physically around .. That’s my pt of view ..what if it’s not about comparing but just about living whats lightest to us? . Thank u for your article .

      • This blog is fantastic, but for me your acceptance of self and dissolution of the ‘want, want, want’ ethos which found roots in late 20th / 21st century minds is much closer to the sublime than mediocrity. Inspiring read.

          • I actually stumbled across this page and ended up forwarding it to my 20 year old daughter who is both consumed with finding her path and terrified of getting it wrong. We’ve had more conversations about “her path” than I’d have thought possible. She recently said to me “Everyone is always telling me to find my passion-what if I don’t have a passion? What if I like most things just fine but I’m not passionate about anything in particular? I’m good at most things but not great at anything”. I know she struggles because at the same time as she wants impress her over-achieving mother she does not want the life I lead. She’d like more sanity. More balance. Less stress. She is not me and I don’t encourage her to be. I love her with all my heart and perhaps more so because she’s not even trying to be me. She knows herself better. I am a little in awe of that. Of her. Maybe at 20 knowing what you don’t want has as much value as knowing what you do want. After much thought my response to her was “Perhaps what you’re passionate about is living a balanced life”. I wish I’d thought of that at 20:)

      • Wow! I came across your article on NoSidebar and started crying my eyes out when I read it! You touched home on everything…meal planning (I never follow through with the plan and the veggies end up in the chicken coop a good bit of the time), we eat pizza more than I’d like to admit (4 kids, three are teenagers…”I SHOULD be feeding them better than this! I am such an awful mom!”), I love being alone and get my energy in solitude (“if I love my family, why am I locking myself in the bathroom with a book?”). I skipped the gym weight lifting class this morning because I’d rather go for a walk (“but bathing suit season is around the corner and I need to tone up!!! A walk is not enough!”). I have a demanding job that I want to scale back (or do something completely different), but I know I’m sending out vibes of fear and scarcity rather than peace and abundance. Your article came to my life at the perfect moment…thank you so much!

        • Honestly, Michelle, I think first step is being completely honest about how you feel just like you are doing right now. Get it out of you where it festers and destroys us. Heading out this morning and don’t have much time to respond but sending you a virtual hug. xo

        • My husband and I are so different in many ways and over the years have slowly merged in some areas. But I think this is why we do what we can, we take responsibility for what we can, and make peace with the rest. I cannot control my husband or children – nor would that make for a very fulfilling relationship – so we just discuss, love each other through our messes, offer respect even when we don’t quite understand.

    • Thank you, thank you for articulating so beautifully the feelings I struggle with every day. It is perfect. God bless you for being courageous enough to put these words on paper and share them with the world.
      Laura❤️

      • I think that using the word mediocre was perfect. It was enough.
        Thank you so much for sharing your heart Krista! It certainly touched mine. xo

      • Although I love the theme (and it describes me well :), I agree about the word mediocre, which can mean, among other less pejorative things, “uninspired, lackluster, forgettable.” And my simple humble quiet life – nor yours, I’m sure – is none of those. I am totally down with the otherwise beautifully described POINT!

    • WOW. !!!! you took the words out of my mouth. I am 50 years old and have done the fast rushed non stop stressful life with a marriage and 3 kids. Trying to be everything for everyone and trying to “fix” everything. I’M TIRED!!! I love when my life is uneventful. I feel guilty and lazy sometimes but it feels so good. I think we have stressed our kids out also with so many activities that they can’t be a kid and just play. Thanks again. Just knowing I’m not alone.

      • I know exactly what you mean 🙂 I worked full time in many jobs for 20 years while battling chronic illness, followed my husband’s job around the country, then had a terrible pregnancy, then the baby and post natal depression. I’m tired, I know what you mean. I am a stay at home mum, my health has never been better. I’ve done my bit now, thanks.

    • Wow, I was just thinking about this today. I love to be alone. Just to sit and drink a cup of coffee. After work I listen to all the activities my coworkers have planned and it sounds exhausting to me. Thank you for this.

    • ❤️THIS❤️ You just described my life! This is what I try to explain to others . And to myself. That being a SAHM is an important job in itself. I don’t have to have a home business or work part time or go back to work when the kids are older. I am enough. My life is enough. Thank you for writing it!!!!! It is hard to stand in one’s truth in this busy world, but I cannot function any other way than “mediocre” ! ❤️❤️❤️

    • If I were a more gifted writer, this is exactly what I would have written about my life. I went to a high powered college (think Secretary of State and Presidential candidate) , and have struggled my whole life with the feeling of having let everyone down by not wanting to rule the world, and the reality that in order to feel whole and healthy I want and need a simple, slow, low powered life. I will keep your essay close to me from now on.
      Colleen

    • Whose definition is ‘mediocre’ and are we letting someone else’s definition define us? Why? Many of the things you call mediocre I would not call them that. I believe the Bible calls us to excellence in all things. Where does being ok with mediocre fit into that? Do we use this philosophy of it being ok not to strive, as permission to be lax and undisciplined because it’s easier and simpler, and call it a form of godliness? Just some questions that came to my mind as I read.

      • Amen! When we accept being mediocre we don’t keep growing. We settle for less than ALL we were created for! That is not loving our full potential! That is letting ourselves off the hook! God has WAY more for us than we can EVER fathom! We need to ask ourselves, “whose dream is attached to ours? ” Who will miss out if I do not keep dreaming & becoming the best version of me? Maybe other words like restful, intentional life would work? I’m all about carving out quiet time & not “going. non-stop!” But I don’t consider that mediocre. I’m always evaluating where to make shifts & make the Most of what I’ve been given!

        • I really enjoyed this. I think the cry here is to put an end to perfectionism and busy busy busy all the time. There is a MAJOR issue with people trying to be and do everything perfectly. We have a society of very stressed out children and they need us parents to slow down and not try to keep up with the jones’. When I read this, I did not like the word mediocre because of the stigma. Most people don’t make a huge amount of money. Most people don’t get noticed by a newspaper or news station and these days I see so many women, many SAHM wanting to get noticed by selling lipstick or candles or oils. (I love many of those things and use them, but I think it can distract from our most important influence). Many many people base their worth on how many followers on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter. But what if you are just a normal average person? You matter too! I think that was her point….that average and ordinary are where you make a difference. I have a friend who has created a non profit benefiting families in Haiti. She and her husband created it and its absolutely amazing. She has been featured locally and on various news channels in our state. I think that’s great! I haven’t and may never do something like that and that is OK. I have a small singing group fro girls. It’s not huge, but I can contribute in my small way there. But you know what? I am doing amazing things in my little family on a daily basis. Nobody will feature me and I won’t be remembered by most and that’s okay because the great work of the world is not done by the big things, but the little things that make a difference in small ways. You are right…we are called to be more to improve and use our talents. We are all special and unique, but we forget that when we focus too much on what others think instead of just doing small and simple things to make a difference wherever we have stewardship. I think our society has led us to believe that all those things are mediocre. Actually they are amazing and hard and underappreciated. So whatever your calling is, fulfill the measure of your creation. It doesn’t have to be big to be beautiful and to make a difference in someone’s life.

          • Oh my word, yes yes yes to this! Your truth is mine also, such sweet relief to acknowledge and feel it!

        • But this is not the way everyone thinks. My mom is a huge “doer” at the expense of being able to form authentic connections with people. She’s just not that comfortable with a lot of conversations, but her self-discipline is through the roof. She happens to be a Christian (Catholic). I am not as much of a “doer” but a listener and observer who is very comfortable with my kids’ sometimes messy emotions. I put an enormous amount of effort into their physical and mental health that my mom never did. Things like housework are a bigger struggle, but I do strive to continuously improve. Does this mean I am lazy or talented in a different way? Which is better? In my opinion, it is foolish to define talent and discipline in only one way.

      • I believe you can lead both a slow and simple life while still doing “extraordinary things”. Never underestimate how small deeds and intentions can send out ripples with tremendous effect. This could look like anything! Perhaps being a completely genuine, kind person to all in your world. Or intentionally striving to always see the very best in people. Imagine touching people with such acceptance. Who knows how someone might bloom or grow or be inspired. How wonderful and no doubt at times challenging would that be? There are so many more examples. Achieving excellence can look so different. A simple life does not mean a lazy life without challenge, and success doesn’t always look like degrees and kicking career goals or going to that “next level” of whatever!

    • This is beyond beautiful!!! It took my husband passing, losing our business and filing for Bankruptsy to finally understand that I have a wonderful but mediocre life, and I love it. Thank you for putting into words what is in my heart!

    • Thank you so much for putting it out there! I feel like this all the time. Sometimes, it isn’t all about pushing yourself into what isn’t your comfort zone for years, only to realize that you never really enjoyed your comfort zone to the fullest. This seems to be contrary to everything we’ve been told, especially us women. We are told that we have to be pretty, all put-together, but also break the barriers and prove to the world that we aren’t just pretty, be these super moms and supportive, sexy wives and if we don’t have these ambitions, we just aren’t worth noticing. Everyday, media, culture, social media, society reinforce these ideals. This, what you’ve just said never gets appreciated.

    • I agree with your article. I continuously try to simplify my life and slow things down. My philosophy is to lead a balanced life and I have made peace with many parts of my life that I feel are good enough. As I get older, i become more and more convinced that I am heading in the right direction.

    • Great little piece. It’s the mediocre (ordinary and perhaps considered average) people that make the world work. Most good managers didn’t graduate from an Ivy League school. There are magnificent doctors and nurses who weren’t atop of their class. Those who build roads, houses, bridges and great structures were rarely the most academic students. Of the numerous mediocre people I’ve encountered over the years a few characteristics remain static: these people are typically quite reliable and have integrity in all things. I’ll take mediocre. Just be what you are. Thanks for sharing.

    • I can’t believe this, you’ve spoken my heart at a time when I most needed someone to recognise those feelings. I need to think on what you have written, re read it and breathe it. Thankyou xxx

    • Referring to paragraph 5. Always offer the small gifts they are always enough, ALWAYS! To me it is a ripple effect. Love the ones close to you, spread kindness to the ones close to you (family, friends, work mates, neighbours etc). Spread the kindness within your community (give without expecting anything & I mean anything in return), swings & roundabouts in this world. Give & receive. Give with love, receive with love. Keep it simple. If you are a stay at home mother or father, please value yourself. Value yourself & others with value you. Enjoy the journey, yes slow down!! You are the only one who has the control to slow down, drop back a gear or two or three. Second or third gear works just fine. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

    • Thank you so much…..so much of the well meaning “self Improvement” movement has kept me in a continued search for _______ what? There are so many things about my life right now that are great, yet not on the list of making a HUGE difference. I do know I make a difference to a few and that means a lot! I love to continue to learn AND I choose to believe I am perfect just as I am now enjoying the process of learning something new and interesting!

    • I definitely have had these thoughts. My husband was go, go, go and at the time I thought that was the way life is supposed to be. My current significant other is an introvert through and through. A quiet spoken man that thinks a lot but is thoughtful about what he says. I have struggled with knowing if he is right for me but am at at peace when I am with him. I think mediocre is accepting that I am not going to be the picture of a person I once thought I would be but rather someone as significant in a far different way.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Krista.

    • Beware the barrenness of a busy life. ~ Socrates

      Love this article…because all I really want IS a small, slow, simple, beautiful, quiet, gentle life. I KNOW it is enough.

    • I agree. The modern age is plagued by everyone always feeling like they’re never enough. So it’s so nice and peaceful when someone points out how in fact the best things in life are simple. I don’t even think the term ‘mediocre’ is fair – it shouldn’t be thought of a derogatory. I was thinking how the recent Olympics is such a prime example of the insanity of overachieving. People spend every minute of their life for years focused on shaving 1/1000th of a second off their score – just to win and think that ‘Gold’ means anything. It’s really sort of neurotic – and all those athletes who break down into tears from all the stress. Meanwhile, back in the ravelas of Rio there are 100,000 people living lives of quiet despair in grinding poverty. No medals for them…

      Anyhow, I think there is a lot to be said for accepting one’s self. I think it was Walt Whitman who championed the loafers who are wise enough to savor the insignificant moments of everyday life. I’m a writer and artist and I often have my best ideas when I’m loafing – relaxing and not thinking of anything. That’s often when inspiration strikes. I actually got lots of great ideas for a new story from reading this lovely blog’s theme.

    • Krista y René no sé si hablen español, sin embargo quiero decirles que me encantó la idea de la libertad de poder ser nosotros mismos, es maravillosa, y les confieso que es algo nuevo para mí. Have a wonderful day!

    • Krista, to live a simple life of love isn’t mediocre, it’s everything. To touch the heart of one person deeply is just as important as touching the lives of many. To listen to our hearts and follow what has meaning for us, what is authentic, regardless of what others might tell us, is the absolute definition of a successful life.

    • This article was me. It felt wonderful to see it in writing. I’m a simple woman with a simple life. .. and better for it. Thank you for putting into words.

    • I just read this and it struck me as exactly what I felt before I left our hustle bustle life in Canada, what I yearned for was simplicity, freedom and time, Thank you for writing it so eloquently and for being so open and honest about it!

    • What if you stopped caring what other people think about what you do and whether you are living the life others think you should.. What if you didn’t allow news sites to repost your blog to get more followers. What if you were just happy in your own skin and stopped telling the world about your own insignificance. What if you stopped comparing yourself , your life ,your choices to everyone else’s. Maybe these should be the questions. you ask yourself. Maybe then you will be free to live your life exactly how you want it.
      But being a responsible human being about who you are and what you choose doesn’t make people sit up and take notice Maybe just complaining about it does .So that everyone else can agree with you about how they want their lives to be and how you remind them of them. I am happy and fulfilled in my life because I choose how I live my life and be damned anyone, everyone else’s opinion. I know what I am saying to you will be highly unpopular because I am not speaking into your agenda .But realise it makes no difference to me because I live a life I want .Apparently You don’t

    • This is brilliant, Krista and exactly how I feel! I’m just average and want to stay that way. I’m not into writing a book, becoming a CEO or running a marathon. I, too, don’t want to kill myself at a gym just to feel the power of looking good. I’m so glad I came across your article.

  2. This is beautiful. I found your post through Renee. Thank you so much for writing it! I think about this a lot, as the high school valedictorian who was supposed to do ALL THE BIG THINGS and hasn’t. I used to feel guilty about that. Now, I see the things that I have done as being pretty big in their own right. Thanks again!

    • Renée is one of my best friends and I am thankful for her as she and I get to chat and hash out ideas like this – the ‘am I enough’ question – and she gets it:) I have so much admiration for the work people do in the world, writing, speaking, loving children… but no desire for the pressure and striving and needing to always be creating and growing and doing more. It feels soul crushing to me. But I find joy and peace in the small and simple. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts, Jennie.

    • Great comment, Jennie. I like that what you are seeing in your self now is pretty big…that’s a great realization! When I go back and review my life and all I’ve done, I’m amazed! I’m working at simplifying and coming to a more “mediocre” place in my life, too.

      • To me it doesn’t mean to stop growing, or laying down and die,or get sick and deteriorate. When you remove all the guilt the expectations. the fears, angst, then we can perceive our life as we really want it to be,,,and it well be might mediocre…but that is enough. Thank you.

  3. I love this! I feel like I could have written much of it. Except I don’t really write and that’s going to have to be ok! But I’d want to add that if we live our simple lives fully, with gratitude and awareness, then our lives become extrodinary. And I think there are many people who live lives that look extrodinary on the outside, but if they do not stop and appreciate it, their existence may actually be pretty mediocre.

    • It makes me so happy to hear that others understand this. I did figure I was not alone. And I agree that there is an extraordinary beauty in offering the small gift. In just being who we are knit together to be. In not comparing or striving and just choosing peace with who and how we are. Thank you for sharing here, Peggy:)

      • This reminds me of a post I wrote a few years ago…I totally RELATE to this post!

        SMALL GRACES
        I have walked a quiet path today. I have done no great good, no great harm. I might have wished for some dramatic occurrence in order to create something more memorable. But there was no more. This day was given, and I have tried to meet it with a humble heart.

        I have far too often sought perfection in my days, always wanting more for myself and my life, and striving for goals often unattainable. I live between the vast infinities of past and future in the thin shaft of light called “today”. Yet, today is never enough.

        Where does it come from, this strange unquenchable human urge for “more” that is both my blessing and sometimes my curse? It has caused me to lift my eyes to the heavens and thread together pieces of the universe until I can glimpse a shadow of the divine creation. Yet, to gain this knowledge, I have sometimes lost the mystery of a cloud, a rainbow, the joy of a single step in that journey of a 1000.

        I must learn to value the “small” as well as the “great”. In the book Micah, the prophet says,” And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God ?”

        Confucius told his followers, “Bring peace to the old, have trust in your friends and love ones, cherish the young.”

        Do I really need much more than this? To honor a dawn. To visit my family. To talk to a friend. To contemplate a rainbow. To cherish a meal. To live as if it was my last day on earth. To bow my head before the mystery of the day.

        Are these not enough ?

        The world I will shape is the world I will touch-with my words, my actions, my dreams. If I should be so lucky as to touch the lives of many, so be it. But, if my lot is no more than the setting of a table, or the tending of a garden, or showing a child a path in the woods, my life is “no less worthy”.

        At the end of my day I crawl into my bed, feel the growing warmth of the covers, hear the quiet sounds of the night. Outside the wind blows softly. It is coming on summer now. The birds are chirping, and the night sounds majestic. But soon the leaves will rustle with the sound of an oncoming fall as everything begins to lose it’s covering to stand barren during the winter. That is life, seasons.

        To do justice. To love mercy. To walk humbly with our God. To bring peace to the old. To have trust in our friends and family. To cherish the young. Sometimes , it seems,I may have ask TOO much. Sometimes, I have forgotten that the SMALL GRACES are enough.

  4. Sent here by dear Tonia. This was such a gift to me to read today. Especially this bit:
    “What if I am not cut out for the frantic pace of this society and cannot even begin to keep up. And see so many others with what appears to be boundless energy and stamina but know that I need tons of solitude and calm, an abundance of rest, and swaths of unscheduled time in order to be healthy. Body, Spirit, Soul healthy. Am I enough?”

    I can fake it for a bit, but always shrink back, retreat farther.
    Thank you so much for writing this.

    • Me too, Missy. I can expend outward energy and ‘do’ and ‘create’ and ‘keep the balls up in the air’… for a bit. But then, honestly, I feel I begin to crumble. Not on the outside, perhaps. But inside. And all I want is permission to rest and be and think and accept who I really am. A very strong introvert, with a heart of compassion, who loves to teach and encourage, and who just wants a small, slow, simple life.

      • I completely relate to this and no longer have to feel guilty about it now that I know so many other women feel the same. I must say it took me a bit to get through it though because of the tears in my eyes. It was beautiful and I needed to hear. Thank you!

      • Wow. Love your last sentence about being a “very strong introvert, with a heart of compassion, who loves to teach and encourage…” – You managed to put into words how I see myself. And have judged as not being good enough because I haven’t managed to find a socially acknowledged form in which to express these values. A form such as doctoring or social work or social justice activist. Reading your beautiful words is like applying a healing balm to a lonely soul. To know that others share values of simplicity and quiet caring is a gift – thank you for writing and sharing your thoughts.

  5. I really enjoyed this post and it resonates with me in many ways. I am often encouraged by the truth that the God I serve is the same yesterday, today and forever. That means He’s the same One who took a boys’ offering of a few fish and a couple of wee barley loaves and MULTIPLIED them for His glory and to feed a multitude. That’s Who I live for – and He’s just picking up my small offerings – faithfully serving my family and my church family in such simple, quiet ways – and He is faithfully making them so much more. All for His glory and my good. It is enough for me.

  6. Wow! I so relate to this post, I could have written it but I hate writing! I will be keeping this for reference. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Kirstin. I never expected this level of feedback but I guess it shows that many of us are weary of trying to be who we are not and to fit into a world that can feel too busy, and noisy, and action-oriented.

      • I too have been wanting to write an article about how “ordinary people” are actually the ones that make the world go round. There is too much praise and emphasis on those that do great things…in every sphere but they forget that they can only do that because someone else is looking after their children, cleaning their clothes,cooking their food,feeding their soles and ego . it is the ordinary hard working caregivers that make those people possible. Sure, we too ,couldn’t live without those that bring in the bacon….keep the economy going….but it seems that society has forgotten to give the glory for those who actually make those “incredible people” and keep the world ticking. Wake up society ,and to those hero’s its time you all stop to think about how you got there and give thanks to those who made you great !

  7. I love this! Have often had similar thoughts and asked similar questions. My favorite bit:

    What if I never really amount to anything when I grow up – beyond mom and sister and wife. But these people in my primary circle of impact know they are loved and that I would choose them again, given the choice. Can this be enough?

    Yes, even just that would be enough. 🙂 Beautiful!

    • Hi Kelley, I suspect that so many women wrestle to some degree with this question – especially as moms. Is motherhood enough. Is it significant enough work. ‘Should’ I be doing more, or more important work. And yet I know the truth… that the most important work I will ever do is in loving these people, right here in my home. I will never regret this work.

  8. Beautifully said, Krista. It’s my experience that honouring who we are and accepting that in others is one of the greatest gifts we can give (and receive). And that is enough!

  9. So… I enjoyed reading this, but I can’t relate at all. I definitely have an “achiever” personality. I always want more, more, more and I hate rest. It’s the worst.

    BUT while you will get lots of ladies who agree with you and feel the same, let me offer some perspective from the other side.

    YES you are enough. The life of “always have to have more” isn’t everything its cracked up to be. It’s full of discontent and stress. It’s unbalanced. I know I miss out on so much because I don’t live on the present–i live in the future. You aren’t missing out.

    And also–achievers need nonachievers to help us find balance, to learn to slow down and be present, and to help fill on the gaps.

    The world needs nonachievers too. Just as much.

    • Hi Brittany, how fun to have a response from someone on the other side of the fence. I do believe that we are all differently gifted for a purpose AND we each need to learn how to balance the strengths and weaknesses of our personalities. My big sister, whom I admire, is a driven person – multi-talented, adventurous, higher energy, … and I have watched her burn out on occasion. So I get a sense of what you might be referring to. Thank you for your comment.

      • Yip I think that is why God gave us the notion of resting because every personality type needs rest. A little or a lot. And I think the A types the achievers the hunters all need the ‘presenters’ to balance them. I do not resonate with the word mediocre, but a life of being present which means to stop refresh and REALLY listen makes the life of Reatfulness. Time to be , relax , is often what the artists in life require. Pets often help us to destress we can learn heaps from watching them. A carer of others is an amazing thing in itself. To love care and listen and celebrate life. Thank you for steadying me with your article

  10. Nothing you’ve said speaks mediocre to me. It’s being exactly who God created you to be. And a refreshing reminder to one who gets caught up in the pursuit of having it all instead when in truth, I’d rather live just like you 🙂

    • Thank you, Cari. I never anticipated this post resonating with so many others. May we all have freedom to love and accept ourselves as we are and to set aside what we feel we ‘should’ be doing, for what will truly bring us peace and joy. Or at least greater calm:)

  11. I think this is an lovely, encouraging piece! We should talk and write about this reality so, so much more than we do. I would beg to differ, though, that your life is mediocre It sounds similar to mine, not flashy and fast-paced or perfect and pretty, but it is beautiful and wonderful, just as is yours. I really appreciate what you have to say here.

  12. A friend posted this on facebook and it really resonated with me.

    Someone started a thread called “Who’s got a bucket list?” and here was my reply:

    “No, just enjoying each day as it comes.

    I’ve spent decades hiking with my husband in Rocky Mountain National Park and don’t have any desire to travel further. I’m glad I did all the longer hikes I did, because there are some I’ll never be able to do now, and that’s OK.

    When I felt death closing over me during my stroke, before the blood thinner brought me back, I thought “I could be dying, and that’s OK.” Since then I’ve had the feeling that I’ve done enough. I’ve had a great life, and every day is a gift.”

    When someone accused me of saying “I’m done” I replied “I didn’t say I was done living. Just living in the present more, which in many ways feels more like living than ever.”

  13. When I saw the reply from the other Jennie (with an ie) who was valedictorian and supposed to accomplish great things, I thought, “But I didn’t read this article yet!” I have been told for decades that I would be more – more than just a math teacher, more than a stay-at-home-mom – because I am destined for greatness. But I don’t want more. I love serving inconspicuously and being a mom and wife. I love being home. I love being married to my non-famous (but amazing) husband. And I am okay with that.

    • Interesting how being ‘encouraged and affirmed’ in a sense about your abilities can actually create a pressure to perform. If I am honest, there are times I do dream of more and have wished I was capable of more – but then I come back to this place of good enough. Of being clear and real about who I am and how I want to live. This quiet, simple life.

  14. This may be the best thing I have ever read. Thank you so much for this, Krista. This has been an on-going battle for me, and now I feel like I can lay down the weapons and just live.

  15. I’ve thought this for a long time. The high flyers and the ‘low flyers’ get all the attention, but what about the ‘middle flyers’? Isn’t it time to encourage them (us)?

  16. Krista, thank you for sharing this. It’s good to know I’m not alone, but in reality, it doesn’t or shouldn’t matter. I’m learning not to compare my life to others’ and what I think mine should look like. I want it to be the way I want it to be. Much lower key than the fast pace I see out there. Definitely a struggle for a long time now. Thanks to all for sharing. This really helps.

  17. From a momma of three – been married for 21 years as well…just chillin’ in this regular old life of mine. Let me tell you ….You nailed it!!

    plain ol’ , walmart jean wearing, roast and potato cooking,
    Kristy

    • This is spot on for me..Beautifully written..Peace and contentment are what I strive for today..But I am learning how to live like this one day at a time..My 25 year marriage ended and 5 children later..its learning to press into who God created me to be..All for His glory..Thank you and may all us women come to peace within ourselves..

  18. Ii don’t need encouraged; I’m happy not being the best,first,star,standout. I don’t have the want to be any of those; the middle is fine.

  19. I truly and unappologicically feel that contentment is one of the best qualities humans can have. There is nothing wrong with striving towards goals-however being content with what you have and where you are in life is a gift not many people have.

  20. This is the exact imprint on my heart that I’m always so nervous to share, so hesitant to reveal but so content to receive. Thank you for your vulnerability, kindness in perspective and modeling you offered us like-minded as we continue to learn and lean into the beauty of the everyday.

  21. I have been thinking this same thing for some time now, and have thought about it very specifically the past day or so. Thanks for putting words out there that I can share. It made me feel validated to read this and that God is aware of me and my thoughts this morning. I wasn’t questioning it, but it was a nice surprise.

  22. Oh yeah! For most of my life I have been ambitious and driven, and it made me nothing but unhappy, chasing desires and goals that were not my own. I had no self-knowledge or self-acceptance, and I listened to those loud, haranguing voices that told me “go for it! Make it happen!” Make what happen, and why? I never asked myself those questions. Your post is very timely, because I have finally acquired this wisdom. I am calming down, feeling gratitude for all I have, no longer worrying what anyone else will think. My only ambition now: to have a good time. Sigh. One gets too soon old, and too late smart.

    One quibble: Your life is far from mediocre. You are living your truth, and that is very, very special.

  23. Oh my goodness. I could have written every word of this (but I didn’t because I’m busy being mediocre!) I so agree with you. In fact, I wrote a similar post on my blog and it’s the last post I’ve done. That was in April. Not saying I won’t blog again but it’s interesting that that’s the post I “went out on.”
    I’m taking a step back and soaking in my ordinary life for now. (And selling some Usborne books along the way to help with the finances.)

    Thanks so much for writing this!
    Here’s that post if you’re interested but my site is a mess. http://bethcranford.com/us-called-ordinary/

  24. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to comment. I haven’t been able to reply to each and every person but I so appreciate your humor and honesty and encouragement. I figured I was not alone in this but had no idea just how many of us there are out there in the big world:)

  25. This is wonderful. Not everyone can be a super star or a best selling novelist or have those rock hard abs. I don’t think those fairy tale romances really exist. I, like you, love my quiet life, a walk in the woods, dinner with friends, an evening watching TV with my husband, writing for my friends and only about what matters to me. Thank you for sharing this.

  26. Your words bring joy to me. I’ve been a recovering alcoholic for over 15 years and struggled to put into words what I want from my life. This pretty much defines me. I find it amazing that through a simple share on a social media site that what you wrote clicked the switch in my brain. My heart has known for years what it wants but I could never identify it, or vocalize it. Thank you! I will be sharing your words and your site (with your permission) to my friends.

  27. My brain is racing right now, replaying the countless moments I’ve thought these thoughts. Thank you for writing them in such a way that brings some peace to my feelings of inadequacy. To help me confirm in my heart that it really is ok to live my life at my pace – in a way that is natural to me – and not to strive for the expectations of others. For in the moments where I am untrue to my self, I am not fully present for those in my life who need me or whom I can serve. Thank you.

  28. So thankful someone shared this on Facebook so I could read this. I struggle with wanting more, wanting to be more. Thank you for putting my life into perspective.

  29. I love this article and all the comments. Finally someone is stating the fact that we don’t all have to be superstars and we don’t all have to push ourselves almost to death to prove we’re at the top of everything.

  30. I am the complete opposite of the personality you so beautifully describe… But your piece was such an encouragement to me as I strive to love the quiet introverts, deep thinkers, and laid back harmonizers in my life for who they are, as opposed to pushing them to be more like me.

    • Sara, thank you for your comments! I’m always touched when a “mover and shaker” like yourself can open her heart to accept the “other kind” as worthwhile, as people who have their part to play in Life too.

      I say we can be good for each other! Sometimes I, as one of the other kind, NEED a little push. Sometimes, I might encourage you to pause and smell the roses, to collect yourself, before entering the fray again!

      Thanks again! I appreciate it!

  31. It’s nice to realize that we are not all built the same…we all want and strive for different things. Some of us tend to listen and look “outside” for direction and acceptance and it seems when we become quiet and really hear “inside” that’s when we find who we are or who we want to be. I think as I age that’s one of the best changes I’ve noticed in myself. I’m finally finding the real me in the quiet spaces of time that I gift to myself.

  32. Your post was so honest and inspiring. You kept it “real” and I so loved that. Thank you, it’s just what I needed to read today. I was so touched I used a quote from you in a blog post I wrote about my One Little Word for 2016 ” What if I never really amount to anything when I grow up – beyond mom and sister and wife. But these people in my primary circle of impact know they are loved and that I would choose them again, given the choice. Can this be enough? “. I am striving for balance and “being enough”, so thank you for your honest thoughts. And a big hi from Edmonton!! 🙂

  33. Hi Krista! I found your blog through our mutual friend Miss Lara? You have captured my thoughts exactly. I loved my very small life in Peace River, my small house, my little family, our lovely friends (of whom Lara is/was one) and my very big love with Greg. Our little life was filled with very extraordinary, ordinary moments and was more than enough for me, I was so content! Greg has passed and now I strive to rebuild a small life which of course will be different but will contain echoes of my life past with twinkles of its own. I can feel it’s possible again, now, after a lot of healing. Thank you for articulating my heart. Blessings to you and enjoy every moment of your small life.?

    • Hi Cara, thank you for sharing a bit about your life and for your kind words. Lara has mentioned you on more than one occasion and I heard of your loss. Greg was my flute teacher many moons ago:)
      P.S. Lara took the beautiful photo used in the post

  34. This is beautifully written and eloquently expressed. And it seems to me based on the sheer number and depth of the comments, that your mediocre life is one of tremendous influence. How wonderful.

    • Tisha, I read your bio and encourage you to continue sharing your story. This- “I still have a voice. I am just trying to discover exactly how to use it.”- really speaks to me. I, too, am still discovering my voice but trying to use it by speaking up about my journey through pain and struggle in the hopes of encouraging others. Keep going!

  35. Beautifully written Krista. Purpose and joy have different meaning for all of us. I love your words, “progress over perfection”, to me this means be happy in your achievements how large or small they may mean to others, they are yours and that is enough for today. Tomorrow is a new.
    – thank you Lara for sharing xoxox made my day

  36. This just resonated with me so much! I have been struggling with being mediocre all my life, the sort of person no one remembers for long. This struck a chord deep within me.
    Am I enough? Well, I have to be, considering it is all that I have got!

  37. Love this!

    1 Thes. 4:11 – make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands

    Phil. 4:11 – I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

  38. Love this post. Two books I enjoyed along this same thread of slowing down and living by gratitude and in the present….ONE THOUSAND GIFTS by Ann Voskamp and a gift from my son, who lives this way now….THIS ESSENTIALISM THE DISCIPLINED PURSUIT OF LESS. Greg McKeown
    More is usually less and the quality of life should be more important than the quantity! Thanks for sharing!!

  39. I thank Sonal for sharing this thought provoking narrative. The world is going on the shoulders of people with “mediocre” life weather someone rarely writes about them or almost always ignore them.

  40. We are all absolutely perfect exactly how we are. Every minute of every day. We have enough, do enough, are enough. Exactly as we are. Thank you for this piece. You are not mediocre. You are you. You are living a perfect, happy and contented life.

  41. Thank you for that! I am always struggling with why I don’t want to achieve more in my life. I work full time, am a mother and wife, and love simplicity. Even though I try not to compare or listen to society, it still gets to me. I am not an academic person, I don’t feel I need to change the world, but am there for my community around me. I love the simply things, and to focus on my family which is the most important thing, that’s what makes me happy.

  42. Wow…this resonates with me. I mostly live the life you’ve just written about, it’s just who I am, and there are times where I don’t feel that is enough. I appreciate your thoughts and words as I feel that we can all be more at peace with accepting who and where we are and not trying to live an unauthentic life. It’s ok that some are movers and shakers, that is fantastic and I so admire people who make great things happen. Personally I’m just slower, quieter and more at peace when I’m just living my mediocre life and that is perfectly ok with me. I do what I can on a smaller scale, I still try to make a difference and to honor the life I have been given and serve the people I come in contact with in any way I can. I still dream occasionally of a bigger life, but I think that the reality of it would be completely different than I imagine it to be. Anyway, thank you for your post, it really was like reading about my life, as if I would have described it in a journal, however, I don’t have the talent for writing what I think or how I feel very well, and this article says it perfectly!

  43. Thank you so much for writing what it appears so many of us have been feeling and living our lives as but were unable to put a label on it. I USED to try and be an over achiever, the kind of person who could NEVER say NO when asked to help out. I DID want to write my own cookbook/open my own resturaunt. I baked cakes for everyone’s special events. I would die a thousand deaths if someone came to my house unannounced and there was a SPECK of dust anywhere or a dirty dish in the sink! THEN….. 5 years ago I was struck down by a very rare, incurable, excruciating PAINFUL disease called RSD/CRPS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). It is ranked as the MOST PAINFUL disease known., with no real treatment available other than narcotic pain killers which really don’t do much to take away the feeling of being burned alive 24/7! Now….. I am struggling to just get back up to he mediocre again, and for this I would he GRATEFUL BEYOND WORDS FOR!!!!

    • There is a substance called Kratom that might help with your pain. I have been using it for 4 years. I have found it very helpful. You can buy it from numerous online distributors. It is a natural substance that many have found to be as good as prescription pain relievers, without the bad side effects. My name is Laura Voykin Tokgozoglu and you can friend me on facebook and private message me if you want any more information. ( I dont sell it or anything, I just try and share about it, it has helped me so much)

  44. I really have a strong negative issue with this statement from your blog “What if I never really amount to anything when I grow up – beyond mom and sister and wife. ” Being Mom and Sister and Wife are hugely important. There is nothing you can do in this world that is more important. Nothing. Being a Mom influences generations to come. Being a wife teaches your children how to have successful relationships. Being a sister is a lifetime commitment to caring and family. These are not mediocre. These are not nothing jobs. It is enough and more to be successful in these areas so vital to the success of our existence.

    • I am glad you experienced that strong reaction, Marta. Although it is true I wrestle with the feeling that I ‘should’ be doing/accomplishing/able to handle more, this post was challenging the idea that those ‘titles’ are meaningless or less-than. The truth is, family was and is my primary dream.

  45. I absolutely could have written this, but without nearly so much grace. I often think that I must be “wasting” my time, my intelligence, my investment in education by being merelyv the mom and homesteader that I am. Surely, I have a bigger imprint to impart upon the world. Why would I be gifted with insight and empathy les I was intended to use it for the greater good? And, repeatedly, I come back to the notion that I just want to be Me. No amount of ambition, desire to make an impact, and lust for glory can negate the fact that the “Me” I want to be is simple and cushioned from the insanity if the world. I fluctuate between contentedness and craving for more; always wondering if I am choosing the right path. I fully appreciate your take and stand beside you in solidarity. Wonderful post that I have shared 🙂

  46. This is me. Totally and completely. Thank you for putting into words the constant struggle I have with feeling that I will never be enough. I don’t have dreams of grandeur. I just want to love and be loved. God Bless you and yours.

  47. I love your vulnerability and honesty here. You describe what I think of as a moderate life, a life in touch with who we are, where we are, embracing that and simply being. It’s contentment. I wonder if we are so busy trying to force growth that we end up missing it . . . the kind of growth that happens when we’re not looking, the kind that gives us goosebumps when we know THAT was God working in us. A life that avoids, even shuns, the extremes, something that our culture honors and elevates, is anything but mediocre. It is spectacular.

    I am “working” on this! My ambitions have often left me with an unsustainable lifestyle, with wildly swinging streaks of success and failure, and my eyes well up as I wonder what I’ve missed along the way to my imagined improvements.

  48. This is so perfect for me! I am living a mediocre life and I love it!! Lately i have felt the pressure to go out and do more. I have been a stay at home mom of 4 kids for 15 yrs ( my oldest is 15 and youngest is 5) and as my youngest started kindergarten this fall I have been expected to leave the nest and do more. I love being at home and taking care of things of things here!! I love my simple life. Not very many people understand this though. so thank you for this post and as I’ve read through the comments I can see Im not alone in this thought!!

  49. Thanks for this. My thoughts too although I could never really articulate them. I will definitely save this and refer to it often.

  50. Thank you so much for this! I loved your comment about dusting….btw you dust more than me…I NEVER dust! After homeschooling my 3 children through high school, I sometimes feel pressured to do more now that they are married and in college. I am an introvert who acts like an extrovert. Recently I have been thinking about getting my Real Estate License…because I love homes….but I don’t know if I want to sell homes. I think I just like having a happy one! Your article was very helpful as were the comments that others left. I will be passing this on to my sisters, friends and even my husband! I think there are many men who struggle with some of these things.

    • I get this. One of my issues is I LOVE LEARNING. I was recently contemplating returning to school as I have always wanted a Masters degree. But then I looked at my ‘Big Rocks’ and ‘Core Desired Feelings’ and decided that returning to Uni at this stage of life would not align with who and how I want to be. I find I regularly need to give myself permission to rest and breathe.

  51. I have never read anything I love so much…it is so me. This validates all of who I am and mediocre is enough because now I see I am not alone. We are enough. Thank you, from one Krista to another. <3

  52. If my life were food, I would want it to be a bowl of home made soup and a grilled cheese sandwich (maybe sharp cheddar…with a some bits of blue cheese to sharpen it up more). I would not want it any other way.
    That’s what makes me happy. I don’t need caviar and champagne. So, what food makes you happy. What would you be. Be happy being you. All of your decisions you have made up till now have made you what you are. If you are not happy being what you are now, reorder.

    • Haha! As a nutritionist and lover of good, simple foods, I enjoyed this comment. While I certainly enjoy a glass of champagne or prosecco on occasion, I am mostly a black-eyed beans/onions and piece of crispy toast – or perhaps a hearty salad with baked potato and organic butter kind of girl:) I want to point out that no where did I suggest I am unhappy; In fact I identified my life as “a beautiful, quiet, gentle life.” Thank you for your engaging thoughts.

  53. I AGREE! It seems I was battling inside my head because of the pretense that you have to better than yesterday, make more money, just more ….
    About a year ago i voiced out loud to someone that I was not looking to climb the ladder at work. It felt good to say it out loud and really be okay with it.
    It is the same for mother and wife. I do the best i can. Iam not perfect by any means. I am satisfied. I have uphill battles just like everyone else and i deal with the as they come the best that I can at the time.

    It is confirming to know other people feel the same….thankyou

  54. This reminds me of a quote from the movie Ira & Abby. I guess all I really want to do is love (my son and my future hubby….and my family of course) and be loved by them. That would make me happy. All that other stuff is just stuff to me.

    ABBY: NO, I JUST MEAN WORK..AT SOME JOB…THAT YOU LIKE..AND MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO LIVE. WHY CAN’T THAT BE THE PLAN?
    IRA: I DON’T KNOW, I MEAN DON’T YOU WANT TO BE SOMETHING?
    ABBY: I AM SOMETHING
    IRA: NO, OF COURSE. OF COURSE.
    ABBY: WHAT IF I JUST WANTED TO BE YOUR WIFE? IS THAT FANCY ENOUGH?

    Then there is this quote, that I love and try to live by.
    “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  55. I was so happy to hear someone else feels this way, I was thrilled, I thought I had a “problem” or some kind of medical condition. I am in the process of downsizing my home for the second time, simplifying all “my stuff”. Thank you very much

  56. I will be 69 this year. Have been through working years, raising a family, illnesses of husband, mother, other loved ones, (took care of uncle also) and friends..helped raise grand babies, continue to help solve problems of/with others, volunteer, and through it all I thank God for the life and strength He has blessed me with and He continues to give me any strength I need. I am healthy, I am blessed…but I SO want a small shack in the woods, with a flower and veggie garden and a pump for water. No phone, ringing off the hook (for the most part,) a warm, peaceful space, my beloved and a cat!! I need to get off this merry go round and look at the outside world from the inside and know that what I have contributed so far has been helpful and “enough.” But, I don’t know if He’s through with me in that area yet, so I continue to ask for His guidance and if the day comes where that shack in the woods comes to fruition, I am packed and ready to move! 🙂

  57. Loving God is enough for me. Everything else “falls into place” if that is my number one goal, above ALL else in this world. Peace an d Blessings……..

  58. I love this. I would only change your use of the word “mediocre”, because when someone recognizes they are enough and have enough and are content and satisfied with living their lives as they do, there is nothing “mediocre” about it. There is grace and peace and a higher level of understanding in it than anywhere else, for them. Mediocre is a comparison word, and when we reach a level of clarity that shows us how our own choices and ways of living are just what we need them to be, nothing else compares to what we have found. I think you know this from the way your write and express yourself! You don’t live a mediocre life by any standard. You have found peace where many do not. And that’s well above mediocre!

  59. Pretty sure you, somehow, took all of my thoughts and feelings about this subject and wrote them down. I relate to this in every way. When my children were small, I realized I had to make a choice between pushing them academically, or nurturing their spiritual lives. All three of my kids struggled academically because of ADD, and I wasn’t willing to turn homework into a war zone at the expense of my relationship with them. So I taught them to believe and trust in God, and He would make of them what He wanted and needed them to be. While I have never regretted this decision, I know I am judged by others, including my own sister, who do not understand the battles ADD people face every day.

  60. Wow, I can also relate to these words. I always feel like I need to prove something to myself. I am one that needs self-assurance because I always feel like I’m second guessing myself. So because of this, I wonder, why the hell am I doing what I’m doing if I am second guessing myself. To me, that means I’m not really happy at what I’m doing. I need a change and this year will bring that, probably more than I want at once, but I’ll get through it somehow. Trying to be positive and write down all the good things to come to help stay motivated and stop worrying so much. Thank you!

  61. This article spoke to me so well. Thank you for putting into words the way so many women feel by the push and shove of society telling us everything we have to “be.” I’ve been called “basic” on numerous occasions, and it used to absolutely enrage me- then this morning I saw this article and thought, “you know what- basic is enough.” I am content and happy with the life I lead. I have goals and I have things I excel in, I have flaws, and that is “enough.” Thank you ?

  62. Wow! What a timely post for me. A friend posted it on Facebook and I had to click. I’ve been thinking these exact thoughts almost daily lately – mainly related to my career. I accepted a promotion because I thought it was what I was supposed to do. That I would somehow be less worthy if I didn’t want to climb the corporate ladder. I was happy where I was. Still trying to figure out what to do. Thank you for this post.

  63. I found this post through se7en, and I really enjoyed your thoughts. This is my life – and I love it. Thanks for sharing!

  64. Could not love this anymore. I keep finding myself waging the internal battle of “is this enough” “am I enough” while also feeling the worry that i’ll disappoint others if my answer is “yes”.

    Thank you for writing this. I needed it.

  65. Thank you for your transparency, your thoughtfulness and the eloquence you brought to this piece. You have such a fresh perspective and it’s inspiring.

    There is lots that can be left up to interpretation and what “mediocre” means to each individual but I think you really nailed a framework for discussion over a huge societal truth.

    Thank you for a beautiful and inspiring article.

  66. Love EVERY WORD. This is how I feel TOTALLY. Come over for a cup of tea and we can watch the backyard birds together here in Decatur, GA! 🙂 I need more friends like YOU.

  67. Having been employed w/ corporate America’s workplace, living thru a near death experience, living in the ‘hurry around’ to get-it-all-done so u can profit to buy material things lifestyle, and never feeling like I was being my authentic self, I can definitely attest that living a Mediocre Life is simply enough! My husband, currently semi-retired, is learning this lesson as well. In his 60 yrs of life, he’s never really listened to our dog snore, been quiet enough to hear the refrigerator or humidifier running, to hear the crackling of our registers on a cold winter’s night, or the whipping of our American flag on a windy night. It’s a blessing to discover the simplicity life has to offer @ no matter what age.

    Thank you ladies for ur own words of wisdom!

  68. Sometimes you read an article that embodies all your thoughts and feelings that you’ve had floating around inside but haven’t been able to put together in a cohesive thought. This is that for me!! I spent the whole time reading this thinking ‘Me too!!! Yessssss!’. Thank you for putting all my thoughts into one place and for letting me know that I’m not alone. I’m not the only one that feels like this! Fantastic article!

  69. Thank you for summing up my feelings so eloquently. My husband is forever saying “Why can’t you…?” Start a business, create a new and fantastic product, etc, etc, etc to increase our net worth. But really I’m fine with what we have. Would I love new carpet or a larger savings account? Sure, but at what cost? Less sleep, less time with our daughter, more stress. No thank you! And i’m not the kind of person to throw caution (or my job) to the wind for a ‘maybe, someday’ dream. I like steady and routine. I’m happy with a bit of dust on the furniture or a few dog hairs on the couch. My house and my body are comfortable, far from magazine worthy but I’m okay with this. I don’t dream of owning the world, I dream of giving and receiving love.

  70. As a sixty year old woman. Who tried in life…. Married 40 years. Four kids and six grandkids. Consider myself a Quaker today. Which Quakers honor simplistic existence.

    I “get” you…. The gifts of simplicity, gift of quiet, gift of thankful living… “that my life is enough”.

    The beauty of: daily gratifulness…..

    To not rush through a day. Just cherish the moments…. Even in mundane work…. Knowing the purpose and sense of security it placed in the lives of those I love. So they can just breathe.

    Blessings to you and yours. Quaker Grandmother.

  71. This article has kinda validated the inner struggle I’ve had for years and years. I’m now 62 and my two daughters are grown, married with beautiful families of their own. I was always comparing myself to all the other mothers and wives who seemed to do and have it all. It always made me feel guilty that I wasn’t giving my all, that there was always something else I was supposed to be doing. Now that I am older, I have a calmness in knowing “it just doesn’t matter anymore”. And by that I mean that there really is no need to sweat the small stuff. I do the best I can and that is enough! Enjoy life with your kids and especially grandkids- which I do as often as possible!

  72. I am a 72 year old woman and I’ve lived your so-called “mediocre” life for 53 years, and for the first time I feel validated?, vindicated?, by your wonderful article. I reared two outstanding children in spite of the fact that I wasn’t able to make every game or school assembly; have always loved my alone time; love my husband even though we’re both retired and occasionally get in each other’s hair. Thanks from all the ordinary women in this world who are considered mediocre and just don’t care.

  73. I enjoyed reading this immensely. It is fantastic to know that my slow, simple way of doing things is not unacceptably lazy, boring or lacking in ambition. I do, however, note one thing – your role as a sister, wife and mother is, of itself, an achievement.

    I am 28, cannot seem to find a man, and am afraid of never having children. It’s a lot different when the mediocrity consists of a very ordinary job and an apartment that is not a home and needs no manager. There is no-one to quietly and privately share your spirituality with and no-one to need space from.

    Just a thought.

  74. I feel like you have read my mail. I am so thankful for the friend who posted this. I will be sharing it with others.

    It is so easy to try and spend your life being what you think you should be or what others might expect instead of being true to how you were made. I often suffer guilt, as a church leadership team member, that I am not driven to go door to door and seek all these outreach plans. I prefer organic contact with friends or divine appointments where I can share my faith. I often feel others will not understand this, or think I don’t care for the lost. So when you spoke of your thoughts on evangelism, Krista, it really ministered to me. Thank you for sharing.

  75. This is a beautifully written and inspiring piece. I am glad to know that I am not the only one who enjoys the slow and simple.

    Note, however, that your idea of mediocrity is something that many women aspire to. Simply being a mother and a wife is not always that simple.

    I am 29, have a very ordinary job, live in a small apartment and am finding it very difficult to meet a man who is interested in me, without whom there is no prospect of children. Having a ‘home’ to manage, a non-fairytale romance and children to affirm and support in their passions is the excellence that I aspire to.

    Just a thought.

    • Yes, I know, Al. Thank you – the thing is, I chose the word “mediocre” because it would challenge and even annoy some people. My life is beautiful and full of purpose and I also am tired of feeling not enough in many areas and aware that I can’t sustain the often crazy pace encouraged by this society. My goal is to encourage others to decide for themselves who and how they want to be. True, marriage and family may be part of the dream and you cannot control that, so you craft a life of meaning (a beautiful, quiet, gentle life?) in other ways.

  76. An interesting read. How to respond. I know that when I embrace my comfort zone (Mediocrity) I am content. But for me it is a waste. I value learning and growing. You cannot expand your mind, imagination and understanding of the world in a state of comfortable mediocrity. It is too closely aligned to smug to be good for us. My life Life is worthliving because everyday I hope to be come across little gems or big amazing ideas or feel moved to have an opinion or do something that for a moment lifts me from the humdrum. For many mediocrity is a state of mild depression and embracing that is sad. For others mediocrity an unobtainable dream in a mind that is constantly ill at ease and I can see the appeal of mediocrity as a Nivarna for those people. But for the rest of us we owe ourselves and society more. We are social beings with a responsibility to our community. It is not enough to want everything to be peachy and to be content with ones peachy lot . Our comfort is dependent on the comfort of others and as long as others don’t have the luxury of choosing a mediocre life we should at least try in some way to make a difference. Just a little difference really ! Embracing the mediocre side of our lives feels a little like a cop out. “Mediocre-of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate”. Do you really truly , hand on your heart want that? Really? Your blog ” A life in progress” tag line is “Pursuing a life of purpose, health, and JOY. ” Trust me you don’t want a mediocre life.

    • So many assumptions made in your comment. Nope, I want a beautiful life, one of growth and learning and loving people. One in which I offer the small gifts I have to the world (perhaps they are bigger gifts than some people have and smaller than others’, hence ‘mediocre’ or the place of in between). One in which I remember my worth comes from Being and not Doing… and yet action is birthed from this place of self-acceptance and self-compassion. A world where I push back against agendas that tell me I am a cop out because I cannot accomplish more without losing my own peace or sanity. I am wholeheartedly pursuing Purpose, Health & Joy – in my introverted, quiet, ‘mediocre’ way and it is enough.

      • Thank you for addressing that! Penny’s reply, while insightful, is that pressure I feel from an extroverted based society who can only define greatness by how much they do or achieve. And you are right, the term ‘mediocre’ DID challenge and annoy me. I’m not quite sure how reinforcing society’s perception is ‘encouraging’ to those who choose to live within their abilities and means. I’m frankly fet up with the chronic competition in order to defend my worth’s identity. We should never question if ‘we are enough’, we should stand on a mountaintop and yell ‘I am enough’, then maybe extroverted society will back the hell off and the rest of us won’t use THEIR definitions to describe our joyful, simple, beautiful, creative, discovering life’s as…mediocre. So I guess you were right in the choice of the word ‘mediocre’ because your encouragement EMPOWERED me to stand on that mountaintop just now..ah, now I get it, thank you…well done!

  77. Thank you for this! I related to everything you said! I wish I could have a calmer simpler life too, alas is not possible at the moment. I agree with what if I just accept my limitations and it’s been a long journey for me and I am slowly getting there! Thank you for validating it for me!

    • We are all on a journey (our lives are in progress;)) and I am ‘not there yet’ either. Not completely. I wrestle everyday and tilt one way or another but am learning more and more about accepting and loving who I am… just as I offer that respect to others who choose differently than me.

  78. I identify with every single sentence you wrote! I used to be the opposite; big plans of starting a charity, striving to always be better in my career, the best body, busiest, most friends, etc etc. And then my brother died in a very traumatic way. And then I became a mom. It turned out none of those things I was striving for would bring my brother back. None of those things seemed as important as time with my daughter or recharging myself after I spent my time meeting all her needs. Now, all I want is exactly what you described above. I’m so, very appreciative of you and this piece for making me understand it is ok to want that and lifting the weight of the guilt that can come along with wanting that. Thank you so, so much for this post. ❤️

  79. I seriously love this. Lately I have been thinking that “There must be more to this provincial life” (Thanks Belle) – and yes, there probably is more – but what I have is enough. What I am is enough. More than enough. PLENTY in fact! And reading your article empowered me to realize that. Thank you, so very much!

  80. Beautifully put! I absolutely think your life sounds lovely, and definitely enough. To me, it sounds very full! I am one that is overwhelmed by the pace of the world outside my door, and I don’t keep up, and I hope to be at peace with that one day. Your post has helped me get closer. Thank you.

  81. I struggle with this too – because I know I “could” do so many world affirming things, and wonder if God isn’t calling me to do more. But then there are so many times where the ordinary wonder of our family’s life and mine feels just perfect – and I continue to ask myself, “Is ok to be content?”

  82. I really love this! I’m the kind of person who really enjoys things calm and mellow. It has taken me a little while to embrace my sensitivity, and feel comfortable being a person that enjoys a simple life. I’d rather drink chamomile tea than alcohol, I love rainy days, I love having a tight sense of community and keeping things local. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  83. I don’t like word from “mediocre”. “Simple” would be more in line with what I am thinking….It’s not mediocrity if you’ve attained what *you* want; it’s success. Mediocrity is complacency in falling short of what you want.

  84. Thank you for these beautiful words, and to Renee for the link. I’ve read some of the comments…you have resonated with so many. It brings tears of happiness to know there is a presence of women who are happy with being “mediocre” in a world that tells us we are not enough. Simply beautiful…

  85. Yes! I just want to sit at my desk and do what I enjoy doing. I don’t want to travel, I don’t want to get pushed into being a manager. I’m not ready to retire. I think we should be able to strive to be ourself and not be pushed into what someone else wants us to be.

  86. I can not even begin to tell you how much I love this!! I shared it on Facebook and emailed it to my bible study group and have talked about it to anyone who will listen. I am even going to print it for my children. Thank you for writing what so many of us feel!

  87. My Mother sent me this after I was asking her the same things. Wondering why it is that so many of us strive to be perfect,to constantly upgrade our lives. To work,constantly,so we can afford homes we’re never in,to have children we dont have time for,because we are always working. Or why,to be a good Mother,we have to schedule every second of our kids’ lives with dance or sports,or whatever lesson is trending,only to have to drag them kicking and screaming to each lesson because they are tired after school and 3 hours of homework. Then we have the fact that it generally takes two incomes to raise a family these days. So we have husband and wife working as many hours as humanly possible,and passing each other like ships in the night,with barely enough energy to give a half smile and a quick kiss good night,just so we can pay for it all. I myself am stuggling with this all as a Mother and wife. I just wonder who made the rules,and why we feel the need to live up to them.

  88. My dear “mediocre mum”, Margaret Mead says “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, commited citizens can change the world, indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. And keep your wonderful ” mediocre job” ! 🙂

  89. Hi, I’m a 22 some odd student and this is something that keeps me up at night. I wonder if I’m enough now, and if I’m not, will I ever be? Has my life started? Should I wait for it to start? Or has it been trucking along the whole time?
    I wonder about who I’m supposed to be. Should I be a mom? Will I make a good wife? Do I even want that? Should I be impulsive and “free” like lots of girls I know who seem to go on endless trips with no return ticket and a backpack? What if I don’t have highfalutin’ goals? Will I still amount to something?
    But for now, your blog entry has calmed my mind for this evening. Tonight, I’m okay to be the me that I am, and that is enough.

    How do I keep that feeling though?…

    • Thank you for commenting, Tegan. Honestly, I don’t think we ever completely ‘arrive’ at this pace of constant peace, never questioning, perfectly and solidly assured of who we are and our place in the world. Or at least, I have not arrived. I feel like we are always works in progress, but in our 20’s and 30’s there is also a lot of trying things on, tasting things so to speak to get a clearer sense of who we are and what we like or don’t like. I went through so much angst and do believe and hope, however, that I can encourage and help others so that they can short cut some of that process. I wish I had a perfect 10 step process to share – and with my clients I have them do work around Life Visioning and self-acceptance… but again, we need to regularly revisit this work as we move through seasons of life to determine if we still feel aligned with who and how we truly want to be. I don’t think this has helped you at all – so I will end with my biggest hope for us all, that we would simply choose to take joy on this journey. AS we question, struggle, wonder, test the waters, change our minds, explore, meet new people and new ideas…choose joy. Choose to enjoy the process (yes, your amazing life has already begun!!!) and love ourselves and treat ourselves with kindness and compassion.

  90. May I ask why you think ‘striving for excellence’ means living like the mainstream, building something in Africa, or some other person’s metric of success? I’m also worried about who every told you you were not enough- if they did, they are wrong, and if you continue to tell yourself that, you are too. You may want to grow and learn and love better like we all thrive doing, but that doesn’t mean any less value about what you are doing or who you are being right in this moment. Every choice we make reverberates out from us and changes the world. Even charities and NGOs are unsuccessful in bringing about lasting change most of the time (great New Republic article in Nov 2014). Who are you comparing yourself to? I found your article on a friend’s fb page ‘simplicity circle’ and the entire group actually WANTS to live the way you do. Maybe I’ve lived listening to the choir so long I don’t understand. And I love that you bring attention to the mainstream media’s depiction of ‘happy’ and ‘success’ and ‘worthwhile,’ which are usually ridiculous and based on marketing and making people feel they need ‘more.’ But people who attain success in fame or money or career elevation or just huge amounts of possessions aren’t any happier or more fulfilled than anyone else. The fact that you have a home, a partner, children, and a group of close friends to invest in means you have ‘more’ solid things in your life that I would personally value than I do at the moment- and yet I don’t judge myself as mediocre or not striving for excellence in my unemployed non-home-having state. I feel sad that you seem to feel so resigned or negative about your life, and that it exhausts you to fight against expectations you feel others have. But the judgment is your own, because (especially given the loving comments here) no one else would judge you that way.

    • I have wrestled my entire life with not feeling enough – and yet can also today acknowledge my worth, my beauty, my contribution to this world. And yet, when I am not careful I very easily fall prey, again, to messages I hear (mostly online but they certainly exist in my community) that make me feel that I can never be fast enough, smart enough, talented enough, business savvy, enough… I do not blame anyone else for my baggage. And I am actually in a very peaceful place in my life – but share with honesty some of my personal struggles with others in the hopes of encouraging them, too. That they are not alone, and they are ‘enough’ as is (and of course, that ‘as is’ can look vastly differently). I share these ideas not for sympathy but to challenge others to rise up and declare their own lives enough. Beautiful. Important. The fact that you would never consider yourself mediocre is wonderful – but each of us wrestle in our own ways, I suppose. (And P.S. I know many take exception with the word mediocre and yet that is why I chose it. I am living a life of in between. Certainly NOT in a place of resignation or giving up on life – and not on the hamster wheel of perpetually seeking bigger and better or more… just in an in the middle place.) It is hard to express the fullness of one’s heart and mind in a short blog post:)

  91. O….M….G…..

    I finally found my mirror image!

    I couldn’t have expressed better what I have been feeling for a very long time now!

    Thank you for this post. It’s everything I need to finally be at peace with myself.

  92. This is beautiful.
    I have tried so hard to be stellar that it almost killed me.
    I like being mediocre. I enjoy the stillness and peace I have struggled to find.
    The voice of do more still calls. Is it ok to never respond? Can I actually hold on to stillness and peace now indefinitely?

    I hope so. If you can, I can too….

    Thank you for this.

    Anne

    • For me the word has been ordinary. I look at my definition of extraordinary and realize that when I have felt it, it has come at too high a price for my peace and never lasted but a fleeting moment. Loving my ordinary-ness feels stable, do-able, even on a not great day, and doesn’t leave me out of breath and wondering why I never feel good enough. Thank you for putting this down in words that resonate.

  93. I wouldn’t call this a mediocre life at all. I would all it rich in many ways that so many never even get a glimpse of. Bravo for having the courage to capture what so many of us are feeling.

  94. Yes, yes, yes, yes! This speaks to me on so many levels. I wrote several blog diary entries about being “enough” and how I just want to be “enough” and how that never seems to be possible.

    When you talk about leading a mediocre life and “settling” for normal instead of amazing, that speaks especially to my battle with fibromyalgia. I think anyone with a chronic illness will find that this article resonates with them in that some days their “amazing” is someone else’s every-day-normal.

    Thank you for this article.

  95. I’m totally with you. As someone who is in the marketing industry, I hear messages all the time that tell me I should reach higher, move faster and shoot for better. Yet, I really enjoy my little business that allows me the freedom to live a mediocre life with my Hubby and cat. My business allows me to enjoy my friends, be there for my family when they need me and take care of things around the house. It allows me to play where I want to play as fully as I want to play. That is enough!! (FYI – I just wrote an article similar to yours and challenged the marketing world to start asking what is “BIG” for you, instead of assuming everyone wants 6 figures). 🙂

  96. Thanks for voicing what so clearly resonates with many. The authentic differant drummer who has the courage to say the emperor has no clothes on or to question the “rules” that try to make us feel less than or a failure in our society. I think of myself as a point of light connected to a simpler joyous different way.

  97. I do struggle in this area. As a younger person just breaking out into the world, I want to make an impact on the things I believe in, but how ambitious should I be? They say, “dare to do great things,” as if we all just tried hard enough we could become the next leader of a movement. These days all you need is a popular blog or a youtube channel and you’re internet famous. Or learn a little computer software to make an app and now you’re a millionaire. Is the “American Dream” even relevant anymore?

    I believe in helping animals live safer, happier lives. Should I be super ambitious and try to become a Director of something at the ASPCA headquarters where I can make a difference on a national level? Or do I make my career at a local animal rescue saving 100’s of lives instead of perhaps 100,000’s. My logical side says there’s nothing wrong with either option, but morally I would feel like I could always do more. Still, working at a local rescue sounds more feasible than working at a national organization. “Not good enough” to me is “how big of an impact is enough,” and that is better than wanting money, success, or fame.

  98. Your thoughts echo mine. I’m okay with just having a life, not a super-duper extraordinary one. Thank you for sharing this! Michelle

  99. Thank you for this. This is what we need more of on this planet. This is what I feel good with, but what others tell me is ‘aiming too low’. Thank you.

  100. in a world filled with those who declare your only way to true happiness and release from inner turmoil is through living your great life…this post is it. it is truth. it is honest and real and true. loved every word of it. thank you ❤

  101. This makes me sad; that the author thinks that that life she describes is mediocre… mediocre is by definition lackluster, middle of the road, average – she describes a life of of love, safety and satisfaction. Being in a place where one can ponder this question at all and have the luxury to write about it is a place of privilege and not average at all…

  102. Thank you. One of my favorite things about having lived for almost fifty years is the experiences that have led me to feel quite sure that it is the slight daily improvements to myself that are the true triumphs. That it is okay to be just me. That I am truly nothing special yet infinitely important, worthy, and worthwhile and even perhaps just infinitely amazing while at the same time possitively mundane. I know it is okay to give myself time to regroup and recover. But sometimes at the end of a long, busy week full of serving my family, friends and even fellow man on the corners and roads I go down, sometimes at the end of those weeks in the world, I get tired and forget. I forget all that I have learned. I forget and get down and though I actually spend a day recharging, I find myself depressed at the end of the time feeling that perhaps reading, writing, pondering, and watching the geese fly by is not enough. That was me yesterday. Sad and not remembering. Thanks for reminding me that it was enough and I am enough.

  103. I don’t have the words right now, but thank you. I needed this, like really needed to read this. I am so different from so many, I feel so much pressure but its presure ive put upon myself because of other people, ideas, society. I am enough. My curvy, sensitive, quiet, and oh so many things a part of me is enough. I am enough. Oh look…I did have the words. Thank you x

  104. Hi….I really love what you have said, and I just want to say that I don’t think any human’s life could possibly be mediocre, because no human is mediocre, it doesn’t matter what we’ve done or haven’t done, been or haven’t been; for me it’s about the presence of a soul having it’s own unique and beautiful experience, each one in it’s own way, however that looks, whatever anyone else may or may not think about it, each one of us is a beautiful expression of consciousness, no matter what. Being able to just be THAT, and to release the external pressures to be “more”…wow, I’d say that is a successful life….

  105. This is life-changing, and I’m glad you said it out loud. It’s not popular. We are starting to get what is unsustainable for the planet, but still blind to it for our own bodies and souls.
    That striving is all about buying something that no one needs. It’s not personally sustainable.
    Thank you SO much for saying that. Let’s go shout it shall we?

  106. Sounds like a lovely and loving life. I struggle with this, too. I have choosen to shine my light. In everything that I do. That feels totally different from thinking and striving and improviseer to be better, faster or anything else that I am really not.

  107. i think it is the word “mediocre” that bothers me. it is such a negative word with negative connotations. i think average is a better word. you could even be average with eccentricities. but mediocre? i don’t think anyone grows up to be mediocre.

  108. I like this view a lot! But in my opinion it’s not about being mediocre or not. Mediocre to me means “being like anybody else”. I totally understand that this is not what you mean. And I love, how you put it: It’s about living the life, I feel is right for me. Not measuring my dreams at what anybody else or society thinks is “the right thing”. But instead finding the place in me, where I can FEEL how I want to spent my time, my energy, my money, my love.
    Thank you for this article!

  109. Wonderfully put. I thought of a poem I wrote last year as I read this last night, then had a friend share it with me later saying the same thing. Thought you and readers might like to read it also. blessings to all, may we all feel like enough.

    late night early morning writing;
    A letter to myself and anyone reading this
    A prayer
    When I wake up like this
    In the middle of the night
    With loathing and self doubt
    Afraid
    When fear takes over that I have no savings. Retirement, IRA
    May I remember that I don’t believe in perpetual growth and hoarding and interests on the backs of others labor.
    When I judge my lack of success and accomplishment, may I respect
    The times I was there
    To hug my sister
    To clean up the vomit and diarrhea from the bath room walls and floor
    of a sick friend
    To cook
    Healthy food
    To play with children
    My own
    And strangers
    To look at the worms they showed me
    And to marvel at the wonders of dirt and the sweetness of tomatoes
    The treasure of potatoes.
    When I judge the wasted hours
    May I remember the joy of dancing
    The radiance of painting with orange
    The sunflower seeds
    And the dog petted
    The comfort needed
    The rest and recovery
    When I see all the choices I made
    That lead us here
    Floating, isolated, separate
    The choices we didn’t understand
    The ones I don’t want to sing about,
    When I hide my flaws
    Judge you
    Your use of drugs
    May I see again with eyes of compassion
    The pain we felt
    That sent us down these paths
    And as we climb on the road
    The dirt clay road
    With clumps and holes, rocks
    May we walk, may we climb
    Together
    Back up to truth?
    Back down to connection?
    Oh sing and cry with me now
    For we are so beautiful
    And injured
    I long so much to only love you
    And I am so full of fear
    I am here only to live
    And die
    May I feel safe in the face of imminent doom
    Oh dark mother
    Wise father
    As I slither through this tangled life
    Spaghetti clump worm pile
    Of glory and rightness
    Pain and doubt
    Mother hold me,
    hold me tight and long.
    Father tell me
    Tell me
    It will all be all right.

  110. Great blog! You are enough. And from that space of enoughness, wholeness and fullness, you will find there’s so much more of you you want to express and experience. ON YOUR TERMS. Creating the life you love and love to live.

    It’s not about the status quo, or egocentric definition of what’s mediocre, and what’s not. It’s about you being clear what fulfills your soul and realizes what you’d like to create in life as an expression of you. Mediocre can be interpreted differently. For me, I believe we each are uniquely infinite and divine. Beyond compare. Beyond measure.

    Much love.

  111. Thank you for writing this. It is refreshing to know I’m not alone in feeling this way. All I ever wanted to be was a mom and wife. So my dream has come true, really. Work is work, a means to an end. It’s a way to pay for bills so I can go home to my family. Why do I have to LOVE a career? Do you know what I love? Baking and sewing and being at home. Nobody is gonna pay me to do that, but nobody can take that away from me either.
    Yes, I’ve definitely made mistakes raising my teenager, but he is a good kid. A great kid.
    I’ve got a great husband who understands me, makes me laugh, and is simply amazing.

    Again, thanks for reminding me to appreciate my mediocrity. I love your blog.

  112. Hi , Thank you for writing this and getting all the people who think alike together. It indeed hit a chord deep within me and It’s such a relief to realize,I am not the only one who wants to quit the race !

    But as a student I have always fought against accepting Limits with this belief that, I have this one life and If I continue to embrace my limits and not push harder, will I ever discover the side of mine which excels at something? Am I taking a back seat Or am I being lazy?

    I used to inspire myself by watching and reading about people who pushed harder to achieve what they are today. Let’s just consider they think differently. But I face dilemma if I see them, should I continue to just be and have peace with it ,doing things regular people do or should I find my purpose or Passion?
    Does this happen with you too? Could you please guide me in this?

    • I guess the thing is I AM pursuing my passion and purpose – but it is in a quieter, slower way than some others, a way that honors how I am knit together. I am constantly learning, gleaning, watching others and I admire them for their strengths and giftings. I just do not believe that I must be like anyone else to be valuable. I know that when I did not respect myself I struggled with depression, anxiety, shame, and more. And while I still struggle sometimes, I am so much more at peace, and able to confidently and joyfully offer my strengths to the world, now that I have decided that I can just be myself.

  113. WAO –

    This made me think on how hard is for us to live in the grey area. The place where life actually happens. We compare so much to others that we lose the sense of who we really are, want to do and want to be. <3

    CAMS.

  114. Thank you for this. Almost a year ago I was trying to be “enough”: wife, mom, ICU nurse trying to bounce back from a knee replacement at just 41 and prove that I could keep up with cohorts that I could have given birth to. Working full time, in college, trying to give my family the time they deserved, not feeling like what I was doing was enough…then I got sick. Some viral thing that I blew off at first and just kept plugging away. Over a few weeks I was stripped down to just being able to take care of myself, putter around the house, and let my family entertain me. The illness that rocked my world probably saved my life, because in this I learned that except for in the eyes of your loved ones, you can never be “enough”. People who aren’t worthy of your all can and will often keep taking and taking until you are used up, and then there is always another who can take your place. But not with family. Put them first and do what it takes to be your most comfortable self for them. When you are present, you will always be “enough”.
    My world is considerably smaller these days, some might call it boring or think that it would be lonely. I find it rather peaceful, the people in it are the ones who matter most and it is filled with moments of laughter, insight, and quiet enjoyment. Home is our sanctuary. This new life is enough.

  115. Thank you! Thank you for expressing that being enough is just enough. That we don’t need to be super to be human. That our life can be beautiful and generous without being extraordinary and heroic. That we can just be. 🙂
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  116. Thank you, you have described my life, and yes, I feel like I am not enough, we must have 100 items on a bucket list, multiple annual goals, strive more, get up earlier, sleep less, socialize, have lots of friends, dream big, work really hard, be perfect in every possible way. The cultural bias that one cannot be happy unless they are, or pretend to be, extroverted. This is not me. This pressure has led to anxiety, depression and a total loss of confidence. I am trying to put the pieces back together again. Slowly this time, with care, so that I can stay whole.

  117. It’s like you just went running around in my brain and wrote something beautiful with all the chaos you found. Thank you. Thank you for making me believe that no matter what, I am enough.

  118. To be a person who is loved and loves in return. To be honest enough to see who you really are and live according to that truth, that is not an mediocre life that is a very powerful amazing life. Thank you for this post. It re-affirmed my amazing mediocre life too.

  119. You siphoned off the very words running around in my mind, especially today. What a strange and wonderful experience to see my own feelings written out by someone I don’t even know. I’m not alone. I’m struggling each day to not let those “do it better, faster, smarter, cheaper” messages in the world outside to overactivate my innate anxiety about self worth. Each day. But I have carved out a space to protect and celebrate my own happy mediocre self. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone.

  120. I have always said if I didn’t end up rich or famous I wouldn’t mind. All I want is stability. My biggest critic has always looked down upon that notion. Pushing me to work harder, think harder, just wanting to relax with my coffee and watch my favorite show is being lazy. Wanting a few hours to myself every so often is selfish. If I am not striving for greatness 24/7 I am a failure as a mother, spouse, daughter, employee, human being. My critic points out every flaw in the mirror, calls me a cry baby when I am physically or mentality exhausted. Hounds me that people twice my age seem to have endless energy and drive so what is my problem? Just sheer laziness?! Even though I think I am trying my best odviously it’s not enough because I’m tired, still living pay check to pay check, and can not give much else to my children except my love and support. Like many have said your words have struck a cord deep inside and even if just for a moment my biggest critic is saying you are enough. I am enough. Thank you.

  121. I dunno, I think I’d rather do something big and interesting with my life, even if via small steps. I think you can do tiny little bits of useful things (without too much stress) and look back and find you’ve built something big. The last thing I would want to be is mediocre. I don’t have to be good at everything but I do have to feel like I’m accomplishing something.

    A “small, slow, simple” life is a fine thing to aspire to if it makes you happy and content, and if you are happy and content you are ahead of a lot of people. But me, I want to build something, and be around interested, interesting, active people who are doing things (even if in a slow and sometimes simple way, and even if it’s something the world doesn’t recognise as an accomplishment, like a garden).

    I think you can embrace your limits and still be working towards something. That something, however, might be different for everyone.

    • I think the point is that it is okay to be happy with what is considered “mediocre”. If you want to do big things, great, go ahead, but those who don’t have these kind of ambitions should not be left feeling like they aren’t enough.

  122. YES! YES! YES! Thank you for writing this, completely resonates with me. I think information overload has gotten the best of me and now I just want “silence” ALL THE TIME. I am thinking about deleting all my social media apps from my phone, and no longer search for that “purpose” in life but simply just live my every day and let my destiny take its course.

  123. Thank you for this. You encapsulated, word for word, the 50% of me that has newly emerged….and it is polar opposite to the 50% of me that I have historically been. I needed this right now, at this juncture, to help me put words to the 50% that has had no voice until now. It’s a scary leap to let some of these things go–the perfectionism, the desire for certain things to be pretty as a picture. And I needed this right now.

  124. Hi Krista,

    I am Prem from Chennai, India.

    I wanted to let you know that this post meant a lot to me. Faced with the constant rat race of competition, materialism, social status quo and other stressful stuff all around me, your post came like a ray of sunshine and solace. Thank You. I dont know what else to say. 🙂 So happy after reading this.

    Cheers,
    Prem

  125. This said it all for me: “But what if I just don’t have it in me. What if all the striving for excellence leaves me sad, worn out, depleted. Drained of joy. Am I simply not enough?” Having disappointed my mother and been told by friends so many times that I should do this and that … and been left feeling like a failure and without ambition. By well-meaning people…
    Thank you!

  126. It isn’t just “enough”… it’s perfect. It’s not WHAT you do, it’s the integrity with which you do it that makes your life meaningful. I love this.

  127. I have been a big achiever my whole life- always pushing, always striving for something. But I have also burned out on more that one occasion, ending up on disability leave from my job, and even being hospitalized for depression. It has only been in the last year that I have realized that all the pushing to be more or to be better was something that was pushed on me in childhood, and none of it was what I really wanted. Hubby and I started simplifying, and living more minimally, and just being happy with what is… and I have never been happier! Some may view those who aren’t driven to achieve more, more, MORE as being lazy or unintelligent. But it just isn’t true. There is tremendous wisdom in being able to find happiness in simplicity. LOVE this so much. Thank you!

    • Yes, it has been interesting how some people interpreted my thoughts as meaning that I accomplish nothing, offer nothing to the world, have no desire for learning and growth, etc. This is not true at all. I genuinely admire other people who are built and wired differently from me – but also want to love myself for who I am and how I am wired.

  128. Wonderful. I just recently stepped off the corporate crazy train to pursue a good enough life as a farmer. And I’m thrilled at the prospect of not buying shit I don’t need and growing food for my neighbors. The constant drive for bigger, better, more has made us forget what’s important.

  129. I don’t have enough words to express how beautiful this post is! You’ve struck a chord that lies dormant inside many of us and articulated it masterfully. If you allow me, can I share this on my blog?
    Thanks! 🙂

  130. I disagree with referring to a life with different priorities as Mediocre.
    Not wanting to be The Best, The Richest, The Most Famous,
    the Most Important, Number One or whatever goes with those references never makes one’s life mediocre.
    That puts down your choice of how to live your life, and it is just as valuable or more so that any other goals. Let’s quit worrying about labels and take care of ourselves and our family and friends. Let’s do our best to accomplish what matters to us, not be judged by someone else’s standards.

  131. It was so refreshing to read this. People should write more about people who consciously opt for the so called ‘mediocre’ life because to me they are the ones who actually make life beautiful.

  132. Great post! We have been taught to expect something grand out of life, especially when we are bombarded with stories of people who are living a big, exciting adventure. For most of us, a life of constant adventure is NOT exciting; it’s draining. The majority of the people I know just want to enjoy their time with those who matter most to them. To me, that’s not a mediocre life. That’s a GOOD life, filled with love and gratitude. My goal is to continue to work to simplify life for myself and my family. If someone wishes to call this goal mediocre by the standards of a busy society, I’m okay with that.

  133. Hi Krista,

    I loved the word piece. You know someone recently asked me what my biggest fear is, and instantly without even taking a second, I replied being mediocre. And even though I feel opposite of what you have written in the blog, but I totally understand what you feel because I think we are pretty much on the same extremes. I think there is nothing good or bad or right or wrong about anything we as humans feel in this life. I really believe in doing everything and anything that makes us happy and content in this life because happiness is the only thing worth fighting for. No matter how simple or complicated your goals in life are, no matter how much you give out in the universe, make sure it is positive and kind. This is what I truly believe in. I am really scared of mediocrity as a person but at the same time I also know some really awesome people with simple living and high thinking and they are so amazing purely because they are happy 🙂 Just felt like sharing my thoughts with you. Lovely article ! More power to you 🙂

  134. You have said so much in this. Thanks for capturing things I have felt and fallen short of goals to write them. Your life doesn’t sound mediocre though; it sounds like you are one who ‘touches the people’ in your life, who knows and cares about your circle and gives them value and support, and who does all this while wearing the badge of ordinary. While in fact I find such people to be truly extraordinary. I married one!

    In accepting a gift one honors the giver, and you have blessed me by sharing this. 🙂

  135. I could cry reading this. Thank you so much, it’s just what I needed to hear. I’m still struggling with a friends comment from New Year, that he didn’t think I’d yet ‘reached my potential’. So many ways to interpret that observation, but I read it as ‘what the hell have you been doing with your life?’

  136. I linked here from somewhere else. I’m pretty sure I don’t belong here, but your article resonates with me.

    I spent my high school years striving to achieve. Honors classes, two part-time jobs, side activities to beef up the resume. As a result I was able to graduate college early and start aggressively pursuing postgraduate education, followed by a short tenure in additional training positions, followed shortly by senior staff and management.

    I am not happy.

    I spent so much time trying to “achieve my potential” that I’ve completely missed out on life. I have no hobbies, no interests, no real friends (at least not anymore). I’ve ground myself into something I neither like nor appreciate in the service of success. It’s got some side benefits – I have a nice house, the kids are never hungry, and I can just about guarantee a college education even if they don’t get any scholarships.

    But none of that’s for me. In retrospect, I would have sacrificed much of what I now have to enjoy a beautiful, quiet, gentle life. That can’t happen now. Downshifting would have serious repercussions.

    • Troy, first off you are welcome here if anything I share can be an encouragement to you. Could you start by having a big conversation with your partner… and looking for smaller ways to downshift? Smaller ways to bring more joy into your life? I don’t think this is easy, especially if you are main provider for your family (my husband would benefit from working less and we also depend on his income). But while we have breath we still have choice. My heart goes out to you this morning and I pray and hope you are able to make changes in your life to align with what you really need and want.

  137. It was yesterday that I was thinking if it’s okay to be mediocre. Neither the best nor the worst because those are just two spaces with a lot of gap in the middle. What if I want to be better than I was yesterday but not because that would put me above others. What if I spend a few hours being unproductive each day just because it makes me happy.
    This post answers a lot of questions, beautifully. 🙂

  138. Your post is a gift in that it has given me pause for reflection as I’ve measured my own feelings against the point you’ve so honestly and beautifully made. But I’ve found my life to be what feels at times a moving target, in a constant state of becoming. As for my idea of success, it has never been contingent upon anyone else’s definition, rather, a feeling of self-fulfillment in knowing I am using what I have to give; I’m just fine with letting the chips fall where they may afterwards, but I do want to feel that I am giving my all. It’s a show up, do the work, and leave the outcome to providence mentality, When I heard Marianne Williamson’s quote about allowing yourself to shine in the world, it resonated with me deeply. I think we all have a core of individuality, and its use is part and parcel to our self esteem. I just want to continue to grow and reach for my full potential. I’ve seen too many become complacent, and herein lies my definition of mediocrity. But to thine own self be true. There is no right or wrong here, only what one is willing to accept.

  139. I too have struggled with striving and not feeling enough and especially for us folks who have high powered autonomic nervous system responses it puts you into constant stress mode. I learned around the age of 21 when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that I had to keep my system as calm as possible in order to be healthy. That even though I had these expectations to have a big meaningful life ( perfection money status) I would have to modify and try and make peace with what I could realistically do. That’s lead to tough decisions and sacrifices in my life: leaving a lucrative but high stress job for the sake of my mental and physical health. Taking long periods of time away from work or major family stressors to recharge. I wish I could say I am at peace with needing my calm harmonious surroundings and that I don’t fit in high stress jobs but I beat myself up all the time. I am anxious. Depressed. Feel like a loser at 41. Your post really made me feel that I am not alone. And that honesty with struggle helps to ease the anxiety that comes with it. Thank you

  140. Oh boy, I love this! I’ve been dealing with these thoughts for a while but couldn’t put it into words. People shout, don’t be mediocre, be extraordinary, and it always rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I’m not hustling to build a six figure business or sleeping 4 hours a night so I can get 6 pack abs, write a book and have a pinterest worthy house but that doesn’t mean that I’m unworthy. I’m content and happy playing with my daughters on the floor making beautiful memories. If that’s mediocre. I’ll take it.

  141. This may just be the most awesome thing I’ve ever read. It seems to me that any time I’m in a groups discussing “life” – goals, spirituality, whatever – for me it always comes back to feeling like a failure because I don’t do the big things. I don’t have a talent like music, dance or art. I just plod along doing the little everyday things, the behind the scene things. I feel doubly guilty because not only do I have a “not good enough” job, but I have to also be ashamed to admit that I enjoy the “boring” stuff I do. I truly thought I was the only one in the world. I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude right now.

  142. Dear Krista,

    I love this, your inquiry, your declaration, I love the enoughness of it and would say it is an acceptance and a conversation far exceeding mediocrity. I too struggle with ‘enough’ as in being enough, having enough, knowing enough, accepting, giving, doing…ENOUGH! I get it and it has been a inquiry and area of gnashed teeth and sublime and sometimes fruitful reverence.

    I resonant with everything you said except that to mean mediocrity is also about being uninspired, dull to myself firstly and to others ( i would be lying if i said it wasn’t), so I can’t embrace that particular word at this stage of my journey. There is too much the is brilliant and beautiful in the world, too much (creative?) energy in me, and a need to express to claim the mediocre. Perhaps has usual it is more complicate (for now) for me. Perhaps I have a foot in each world, the simple, the undistinguished, the forgettable AND the complex, luscious elegance of the world…of my own little human life. Thank you for this inquiry today. XOX Tracy

    • Thank you, Tracy. You know – the word mediocre was a challenge to others (as in, even if ‘the world’ would call my life boring or mediocre, I see it as beautiful) as much as playing with words (using the word mediocre as ‘in between’… definitely not in a place of sit around, do nothing, make no difference, not caring but also not on the hamster wheel of needing more, faster, frenetic). Anyways, thanks for commenting. I do like encouraging others to think, consider, reflect and if my simple post did that then I am happy:)

  143. Hi,I so much liked wht u wrote. Its so liberating. I admit and confess to being a prey to the ever engulfing struggle between the performance, pace and soulful satisfaction in life and sometimes ended up confused and sad. Many a times we don’t really know wht we want, what in life will make us happy, give us peace… This article serves for me a perfect recipe ,a perfect blend to mix and match my aspirations in life.

  144. LOVE this! I just want to live MY life and be happy in it. I don’t want to change the world, I just want to be happy and make those around me happy. I’ll graduate from graduate school next year and I could choose the road of bigger house, bigger car, but why? Why bring that extra stress onto myself when my house is perfectly fine, and plenty big enough. When my car is sufficient to get me back and forth? I would much rather use that extra income on enhancing mine and my family and friends lives. I don’t need to blaze a trail, I’m perfectly happy walking along it and taking in the beauty that God has given to me. This life is enough for me.

    • Interesting. Hmmm… I guess I would define ‘hacking life’ as “using tools or techniques that makes some aspect of one’s life easier or more efficient”. Is that how you see it? I do love planning, budgeting, organizing, simplifying, etc. but not with the goal of cramming more into my life or becoming super-productive, necessarily. I do those things because they bring more peace and more wide-open space to relax and notice and BE. That might look like writing, or reading to learn, or just more time to putter and sleep:) I see my website more, at its core, as encouraging mindful living or living with purpose (and this can, of course, look very different from person to person), living with compassion for self and others, embracing the beauty in imperfection or even struggle, taking joy in the journey. But honestly, it is also a place for me to share my own stories – and be real about my own wrestling – because I suspect this can be an encouragement to others. Thanks for sharing.

  145. Aim the star, shoot the sky

    Your points are absolutely valid. My suspicion is you have to aim excellence in order to get mediocre. If you aim mediocre, you get less than mediocre.

    Again, this is my *suspicion*. Not laying it as a theory-buster or anything.

  146. Wow, I’m blown away by this. You’ve just summaries what I’ve been feeling and thinking about in this area for all these years so succinctly! Mediocre sounds just like me and in this competitive age and society I live in, I have a hard time adjusting and ended up feeling exhausted. How do you cope?

    • Well… sisters and girlfriends who love and like me as I am sure help:) I try to live with purpose – regularly reminding myself of WHO and HOW I want to BE in the world and letting go of the pressure (internal or external) to be different. And I am still on the journey with the rest of you.

  147. Oh…this is something I have been thinking about more and more. You have said it so beautifully, sometimes I feel that all the thoughts bouncing in our heads are actually thoughts transmitted by kindred minds and we are able to hone in on them.

  148. read this when someone posted it on facebook so i’m unfamiliar with this site or your other writings.

    I think one thing that is perhaps overlooked here is that a ‘mediocre’ life is also not one thing and in a lot of aspects we have a duty to fight against it because if we live passively there are others who exploit that. On a less simple level there is also that if one chooses to be ‘mediocre’ that, to some, means accepting the mainstream in terms of culture, thought and the arts. Of course i’m sure the main point of this article is about not following the pressure to do more, do better, achieve in a certain way, but there is risk in confusing that with ones duty to oneself to ensure ones creative and personal existence is definitely not mediocre.

  149. This is beautiful, wonderfully written and a spot on description of what I desire. Is it mediocrity though, only if we measure it by someone else’s standards. By my standards it is success – the success of balance that far to many cannot achieve because they are far too concerned with the Jones’ or the idea that materialism makes it all better. Kudos to you for capturing what I consider to be true success!

  150. I came across this quote recently from Jeff Foster which perhaps speaks to this: “Heaven is this moment, Hell is wishing this moment were different”

  151. Krista, you have articulated so beautifully something I have been feeling for some time now and something that I think a lot of people are afraid to admit. I devoured your words and they resonated with me so much. Thank you for writing this. Scrolling through the comments it’s wonderful to encounter so many others who, like me, don’t want lives that are marked out as spectacular by arbitrary standards. Just… wow.

  152. This really spoke to me. It is not that I feel that I am not enough it is more that I feel guilty that I am content with this life. I am happy to grow and move into the things that God has for me but I am not about pushing , pushing, pushing. Thanks for sharing.

  153. Spot on! Coming to you from Thrifty Décor Chick. Just two days ago I stopped and thought “Who am I?” and “What is my Purpose”. Literally! I had those two sentences come to me! I recently turned 47, know I need to get my weight in order now (menopause is almost here for real!), want something more–but not a lot–whatever that is, know I am a good mom and have reared my girls really well. “I am who I am” a Life is Good tees and knit pants and no make up mama. I am good with ME. But I had that moment! In the end I am so happy with my mediocre life. All I want is safety and health for my family. And really I don’t see HOW those other women do it. Even if I didn’t suffer from migraines, no one has that time or energy–right? Wonderfully written!!!

  154. I could not have needed to read this any more than I did right. now.
    “Is my value a match for my salary? Are my contributions enough? Is there meaning and purpose to what I’m doing every day? But I don’t really want more…”
    These thoughts keep ringing in my head as I search to realize that “my mediocre” is going to be ok and is enough for every one around me.
    So well written and shook me to my core. Thank you.

  155. This is me now and then. Everyone, it seemed, knew their paths right after highschool. I was the bird flying against the window trying to get onto that same path only to strike against that cold hard surface over and over again. Hurting no one but myself with thoughts and recriminations of what I should be and where I should be and how could I let myself fall behind like this even though in my heart of hearts, I knew without a doubt it wasn’t the path for me. Here I am twenty years later, finally, FINALLY, slowly, excitedly, being me. No self judgement on my supposed failures, my lack of direction and goals. No comparing myself to others accomplishments. I’ve found I’m pretty darn content and happy to just being me..

  156. “A mediocre mom who can never live up to her own expectations of good enough, let alone yours” I love this line because it is my own expectations that I never reach. Beautiful.

  157. This is a really great post. I wrote something similar about this a nearly a few years ago, questioning my own mediocrity, and coming to the understanding that as long as you’re trying your best (and not using mediocrity as an excuse because of fear of failure) then damn right it ok to be mediocre. Here’s my old post: “Is It Okay to Be Mediocre?”

    http://getyourlifestraight.com/is-it-okay-being-mediocre/

    I do have to add, though, that many thought-leaders and productivity gurus warn AGAINST sleepless nights to as a means to success. In fact, Ariana Huffington wrote a book called “The Third Metric of Success” where she advises against sacrificing sleep for women trying to get ahead. I think it’s okay to strive for more because you have goals and love the challenge; as long as you don’t harm yourself or relationships with loved ones to get there.

  158. I like this a lot – a LOT – but I didn’t like the note of anxiety at the end. It would have been such a strong and free statement without the hand-wringing ‘PS’! I have literally never thought about just being enough before. So leave it at that and leave me to think that your message is something to aspire to (no irony intended). Being Enough is so very much harder than the things you eschew in your post in order to be yourself. It is easier to continually search and strive than it is to find strength in your imperfect self. That’s why ‘it isn’t enough’. Congratulations, you’ve arrived! x

  159. Your words spoke volumes to me – perfectly articulated how I have been feeling , but up until now those feelings have been confused. No longer. It is enough to be me. I think I have finally realised. Thank you so much!

  160. Cheers to you!! This is an amazing piece of writing, coming straight from your heart and soul! And I agree with you completely and totally – although I wouldn’t call your life or mine mediocre but rather a simple, happy life. Not one thing wrong with that!!

  161. I have no desire to be anything other than what I am. A Mother, a writer, an artist, a creator. I don’t desire a big house, fancy car or x amount of money in the bank. I don’t want a six figure business or foreign holidays. I don’t want designer clothes, shoes or bags and I don’t want a bag full of make-up I’ll never wear.
    What I want, is what I am. Humble. To be content in my small, mismatched furnished home. To spend my days, reading, writing, drawing, painting, creating, cloud watching, walking in the woods, laughing and smiling. A roof over my head and happy, healthy children. Time to be who I know I am, instead of what society dictates I ‘should’ be.
    I’ve finally stopped trying to be a round peg in a square hole. I’m happy not fitting in.

  162. The title of this article grabbed me. Then I read it and it resonated with me. I am 49 years old, the county deemed my old farmhouse unsafe almost 3 years ago so my kids went to live with their father and I slept on my nephews couch for 3 months until the social services department and low income housing finally came through with the help they had promised in the beginning. I work from home so I couldn’t work for those 3 months. My ex husband decided to refuse to allow the kids to come back to me so I had to fight to get them back and now they live with me full time., but I had to agree to not having him pay support in order for him to sign them over. I am now paying rent on an apartment and the mortgage on my farm and have to do major repairs to the farmhouse before I can move my family home. I miss my simple life, raising my own food, working in my gardens, taking care of the animals and my family. I love to write because I love stories. I love to create things that inspire people’s happiness. I have had Fibromyalgia since I was 21. I need to take life at my own pace and I hate the noisy neighborhood we are forced to live in. My car was broken into last week in our yard and last Tuesday I was diagnosed with Diabetes. I need to go home to heal myself and my family.
    Your words touched me and then I saw your name. And it felt like I had written this article. Thank you for reminding me to just be myself.

  163. And interesting post. Other than occasional thoughts like “what if I want a beautiful and non-dusty house?,” (i.e., beautiful and non-dusty according to my own standards) it was healing to me. However, it seems to me that you are not speaking, here, so much of a mediocre life as a contemplative one. The fashionable word, these days, for people like us is “introvert,” but I like contemplative. I shared this with my husband, who responded (after many years of living with me):

    “The lives of some saints would be seen as “mediocre” by some people today. It’s a shame that so many see fame and glam and bling as the way to happiness, when it is quiet solitude that brings about more miracles than we will ever know.

  164. Lovely.

    And what if I never wanted to be a mother, and so I didn’t have kids, and I’ve been in quite a few relationships, but I know I learned some great things from each partner, and we mostly managed to part as friends? That, too, is enough.

    What if I’ve made a few really brilliant life decisions over the years, but also a couple of stunningly bad ones? What if I’ve been the supporter and helper of many, the leader sometimes, and even an inspiration to others; but at other times I’ve been both broken and flat broke and needed friends and family to pick up the pieces? It has to be enough, because I own it all.

  165. funny….I see your name underneath your letter…..this could have been written by me…word for word for word. Thank you for putting my thoughts into words.
    However, mediocre I think not….you’re making others happy with your presence, your taking time…your showing it’s not all about hustle and bustle, I strive to do the same. Enjoyed this very much.
    Bless your heart and stay true.

  166. Came over from “Thrifty Décor Chick”. Great post. One of the earlier commenters seemed to slyly call you and others like you “underachievers”. If you are “achieving” what God has put you here to do, who is any human to call you (or others) an “underachiever”? As for me, I sometimes do waaay too much because I want to, and other times (like today), I am just sitting at home in my sweats, reading blogs and taking naps. I, too, was one of those who was “supposed” to do something great. I, too, have had people ask me “What do you DO all day?”, as if I cannot possibly be happy, of good character, or even a person who has a “valuable” life, if I am a SAHW. I worked outside the home for 40 years, sometimes simultaneously holding a full-time job, two part-time jobs, going to school part-time, and taking care of myself and my home, with an alcoholic husband at one point. After a move to another state (long story) I have had the blessing of not being able to find a job the past three years, which meant I got to stay home and take care of myself, my second husband, and my home the way I wanted to, instead of working myself to a frazzle every day. I am busier now than I was 5 years ago; don’t know how I ever worked full-time and did everything else that I do! I am happier, too. Yes, it takes “both” kinds, and all of the “in-betweener-achievers”. God has made each one of us special. All lives matter, not just the ones we so arrogantly think are more worthy.

  167. I love this. I had a discussion with a horrified teacher who thought my bright but very anxious daughter should leave school as she wasnt getting enough excellences or merits. She was simply passing.
    When I told her average is enough and her emotional well being was more important and maybe just being a mother/working in an office was ok too. She balked.
    Our kids are shown career choices that are characatures of reality. Glamorous and important careers. Not quiet ones. The jobs in between.
    My daughter has the intellect of a brain surgeon, enormous empathy, she’s creative and funny. But she’s not driven and that’s ok.
    She needs solitude and authentic friends. And a slowly quiet pace.

  168. Love this article. A breath of fresh air and much in line with my thoughts in the last year. A beautiful, gentle, quiet life is enough, and not mediocre in my books. Thank you for writing this.

    • This is so affirming – I have spent years beating myself up about not being perfect at everything I do and setting myself stupid goals. In recent times I have tried to be kinder to myself and I tell myself that good enough is good enough.

  169. Great article except for one thing…the use of the word mediocre. As far as I’m concerned, you can substitute it with perfect because, in my opinion, being yourself as authentically as you’re describing is the definition of perfect! Lose the mediocre…you’re awesome.

  170. I think that you are still having a good effect on the world – through your writing, with those bags of groceries and kinds sponsorships, with all the support that you give to your family. You are very valuable. Brenee Brown writes that in our culture we are plagued by the idea of “not enough”. Thank you for resisting and for role-modeling contentment. 🙂

  171. I think it’s quite simple. If you’re called to do more, do more. If you’re called to do less, do less. Stop comparing your life to others. It’s never really about them anyway.

  172. i think this is totally valid, but what might be missing from the discussion, it feels like, is the amount of resources it takes to create this “sanctuary”, this “nice, quiet life”. this is why rich people live in gated communities, after all.

    this isn’t meant as aggressive criticism. just like, i know the reason i hustle so hard is because i want to be able to CREATE that safe space. for me the two are directly connected.

    • I have to disagree with you because I don’t think that you do have to push yourself to the limits in order to achieve safety/sanctuary. Our society teaches us that this is the case but I don’t see it as a fundamental truth. The reality is that no amount of money can guarantee your safety or wellbeing but there are life choices you can make that will make you feel more satisfied and secure. An example of this that springs instantly to mind is the tiny house movement. Rather than taking on crippling mortgages, some people are now building their own lovingly-crafted, cleverly-designed homes on a small scale leaving them free to live the kind of life that makes them feel inspired. Yes, this requires some form of sacrifice but doesn’t every choice you make in life involve some kind of trade-off? I guess that you just have to decide what you are willing to sacrifice in order to be able to live the life you really want.

  173. THIS IS PERFECT! I have some hobbies that, being an art school drop out, I usually am very good or original designs. And always people say “Oh you should SELL YOUR STUFF!” (um, no). Or I should TEACH (I taught part time in a preschool happily for years, sipping tea and never wanting to be head teacher, assistant was perfect). But now I do really fun crazy wool felting. And people are “You need an online shop!” I finally learned to reply “But then what would I do for a hobby?” huh? Yep, if that becomes my JOB, what will I do for a HOBBY? That usually shuts them up. I love to give away my work, and I also donate to charity auctions (it’s pretty darn good if I say so myself, going for much money which is good for my ego). BUT… no I don’t need to be a success story, it is for relaxing and making me smile. And others smile. My life is a wonderful husband I still fight with over 30 years after marrying him. 2 adult daughters that call me and fuss and act superior now that they are older, but still need mom and dad…..and some fur babies. I’ve adopted 2 children without grandparents, that I get to enjoy all those grandparent things with, without annoying my adult children into having kids (that’s their business, not mine). Life is too short to not have fun if that’s what you would rather do, than be a SUCCESS. Thank you!

    • Sounds amazing. I love everyone’s comments and just keep learning and thinking about life as they come in. I love that you mentioned still fighting with your husband after 30 years. This is something I want to talk and read more about – what does love and commitment really look and feel like?

  174. My thoughts exactly for a while now. I think when you realize that you can enjoy the “in betweens”, rather than always looking forward to the grand milestones or the next accomplishments in life, that’s when your life becomes the least bit mediocre. But rather, amazing.

  175. Thank you so much for this! I was just rambling through a version of saying this on my podcast. I don’t think I was nearly this articulate. Now when people don’t understand, I’ll send them to this post.

  176. I would LOVE to see you change the title of this excellent piece to “What if All I Want is a Tranquil, Serene Life.” Mediocre has a negative connotation! And… we who want a simpler, quiet life are not living a mediocre life!!! Christ himself lived that way and he was not at all mediocre!

  177. Krista – thank you again.
    Your writing was a lovely catalyst. Colliding with other thoughts and feelings, I’ve just birthed this poem.

    Fitting, on International Women’s Day. Just scribbled this out on a scrap piece of paper, and am transcribing here. Thank you for holding space for me to share, here.

    ~ H

    I’ll take a pass on parity
    in a broken paradigm.
    Show me, rather,
    Equity.
    In a just and fair and balanced system.
    One that values so-called “feminine” qualities
    Empathy, connection, care, expression,
    — the yin, the dark, the rest, restraint
    Values those in harmony with the usual drum-beat of yang:
    go, drive, achieve, grow.
    Show me a world where
    all people – man, woman, and all between the binary –
    Are valued, compensated, recognized, and praised
    for their softness.
    Where softness is regarded as a necessary strength, as muscle is.
    Where a star nurse or teacher
    (or any other “helping” profession)
    Can expect to live as comfortable, coveted, acclaimed a life,
    As a star athlete or entrepreneur.

    The moon doesn’t need to “make it” in the world of the sun.
    We all need night,
    To thrive.
    We all need night,
    If we are to survive.

    “Seeking Balance”
    – Humaira Hamid

  178. Thank you for affirming my lifestyle choices. I am the underachiever in a family of intellectuals, and go-getters. I can go-get with the best of them for the right reasons, but otherwise, I’ve never seen the point of the chase. For me, to have enough is enough. Thank you again and again for endorsing my choice not to live up to other people’s stressfully imposing expectations.

  179. This is completely me. I feel pressured by so many to be more and do more but all I really want is to be me. I am a mom, a wife and a friend and that is all I have ever wanted to be. Why do I have to be more? Why should I apologize for needing time alone? I know people who are not happy if they are not doing something. They rarely sit down let alone read a good book. I would lose my sanity if I never read a book.

  180. Absolutely! I think this is how many of us feel, and I think we grew up thinking this is the way it would be. We watched our parents and families doing the same thing and we looked forward to growing up….and then came ” technology “…..it’s so much more a rat race than ever before…everyone striving for more more more….and all it does is drive the cost of everything up up up so you need to do more more more . It seems the most contented people don’t need as much to be truly happy. I’m sure some people would look at me and say ” but what does she DO? ” I’ve raised two wonderful kids, and fostered a few others, I’ve worked outside the home at times, and I keep care of a home and pets, and the aesthetics and details of daily life. I crochet, I’m a stained glass artist when I’m feeling inspired, I four- wheel, boat, camp, take photos of eagles and owls, etc. It’s a full beautiful life. So..what do I DO? I’m a manager…. of a happy and fulfilling life!

  181. I think the only thing that I disagree with in your enlightening and comforting essay is the word : mediocre. I think you should change that to wonderful. To society, it may appear mediocre. To ourselves, it is wonderful.

  182. Thank you, thank you, thank you for so eloquently saying what so many of us feel. What you have written is a gift and a sigh of relief. Our society needs to hear these words more often: I am enough.

  183. I keep thinking about this lovely post of yours, saw it on a friend’s Facebook page over the weekend. “mediocre” didn’t fit for me… looking for a word that fits… today it’s the notion of a gentler life… a life in motion – dynamic not static, but like a breeze, not a whirlwind… one you smile when you think about, one that smiles back at you (when it can:)… one you could embrace, wrap your arms around like a good, honest friend, and say Thank You.
    Thank you, Krista.

  184. The problem is the “mediocrity” you embrace is that it often subsidized by some else’s labour or resources… Spouse, Family Money or Inheritance… In the end people who excel at something end up paying the bill for those who embrace mediocrity.
    Living up to society’s expectations is not “excellence”, however desiring to accomplish little, refusing to participate in the community and walling yourself off from others is not only “mediocrity”… It’s a wasted life…

  185. Reading articles like this is always a breath of fresh air for me. I prefer to use the term “content” though. I want to live a small, slow, simple, content life 🙂

  186. Mediocre?Maybe. But only if you chose to miss the light of all the special moments of love and accomplishments of a good life.The other is a fantasy.Everyone has one more book,job ,project,whatever.Just to hold the hand of a loved one on your deathbed and be able to say No regrets.is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and our loved ones.

  187. Thank you for your this wonderful article. I’m currently at a crossroads in my life with regard to my career, which I don’t enjoy, menopause, and helping my aging mother. Sometimes, I forget about the special people who love me and accomplishments in my life. I am more than good enough simply being myself.

  188. I would not call it “mediocre”. I would call it “subtle”, and know that our culture does not value subtlety, humility, or introversion. Lovely article, though. 🙂

    • Lee, I totally agree with you here. I love how you describe “mediocre”. Mediocrity has always been my worst nightmare, but when you put it that way, it doesn’t sound so bad. This article is so beautiful. I feel so refreshed knowing there are others out there who get it.

  189. I do struggle very much with “whether I am enough”. How can I be enough for me, if I am not enough for people who love me – my parents? Or when what I though was enough for me (my husband) was not enough for them?

    Being enough for yourself is a happy fantasy, when you are not enough, and what you do is not enough, for people who count in your life. That’s when being enough for me becomes just being selfish. I thought hubby and I would be enough for each other, – even though we didn’t have a whirlwind romance. And we were, but we weren’t the only ones who counted. So looking back, after our respective parents broke us up, “being enough” was a concept that did more harm than good. We should not have been enough for each other then, as bitter reality caught up with us.

  190. I think there is room in this life for the idea that some people really feel nourished by their drive for more, better, new, etc., and there are also people who feel utterly depleted by those expectations coming from inside themselves and from other people. Especially if you grow up thinking that the only option is to be first, to be an overachiever, the guilt and shame of “mediocrity” can be enormous. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be lazy and sit back in sloth. It means, if you look at your life now, and nobody had ever told you about more, better, etc., would you be happy with what’s there? If you are, that’s awesome. If not, you can think about things you might want to change. It’s a particularly Western, capitalistic kind of idea that the human default setting is supposed to be dissatisfaction.

  191. Oh how I love this. It’s hard in today’s society to reason that being “mediocre” is okay. I enjoy sitting in my office and helping people and being a “doer” of the work. I don’t want a corporate position sitting in meetings all day, traveling, and being confined to my email 24-hours a day. I worked hard to get where I am today and I am satisfied with that. I am the person that has lists with everything planned out and then throws the list out the window on a moments whim. I am the person that gets jealous because I don’t have “me” time and everyone else does. My bible time and prayer time are inconsistent but I keep going and keep trying. I am me and I’m happy with that. Thank you so much for this post. It is printed and hung at my desk as a reminder that being “me” is quite alright.

    • Thank you, Toni, for sharing and for telling me you printed my post;) Just last week I had a few tears with a girlfriend because I was feeling the pressure, yet again, to be more than I am. But I realized that those desires are all about performing or being someone in the world’s eyes – not about actually living with joy, true to who I am.

  192. This is the most real thing I’ve read in a long time, and it hit the mark for me. This is exactly how I feel about life, and I am finally going to be ok with that. I have found myself struggling to BE more than what I am (a mom, wife, friend and daughter)…thinking that those things were not enough. Always trying to be a “success” in the world’s eyes when the world really doesn’t give a flying you know what about me in return. 🙂 Thanks for this, it was beautiful!

  193. The word mediocre only has any meaning when used to compare yourself with others and my feeling is that this is precisely where we’re going wrong. Striving to be better than the next person instead of just loving ourselves for who we are is making people frustrated and depressed. So many people work themselves into an early grave trying to be better, thinner, richer but it doesn’t make them happy. Our society’s measures of success are totally misguided. Surely our ultimate goal should be happiness and that is actually quite easy to achieve – just do what makes you happy and to hell with everyone else. We rely too heavily on validation from others instead of listening to our own subconscious mind. If that’s mediocrity then I’m a huge fan

  194. I read your article at the beginning of the year while living in Melbourne, at a time when life was most definitely over complicated and getting on top of me. I did not really register how major an effect it had on me until I just read it again. I am now sitting working from my balcony in NZ looking over the bay living a simpler version of me.

  195. Good for you. It would be better for our planet and our sanity if more people understood how lucky we are, right now, with food, shelter, families, friends, and meaningful work. I like to strive, but I want to feel grateful for what I have already, too.

  196. 1,000 x yes! This is so spot on. I reached this conclusion myself not that long ago and completely rearranged my life. I decided to stop getting up in the morning to jump straight into work that go me nowhere and started to focus on my health and happiness. My life is exactly that – mine. And I need to stop looking at others and what they’re doing to model my life after. As much as the frantic day to day pace can (somehow) seem appealing at times, I know it isn’t for me – I can’t sustain that long term, I need too much alone time for my brain to slow down. I’m so glad more folks are starting to realize that we don’t all have to get on the one size fits all business treadmill to be successful. We can slow down, appreciate how life is right now, and live beautiful, meaningful lives.

    • Thanks for commenting, Sara – sometimes I think I might need to unsubscribe, at least for a season, from all the business type media I follow. To keep my eyes on my own work and life and not have my attention pulled by the noise.

  197. I am a writer, and writers are subjected to blog posts and books all the time that tell them how inadequate they are, how they are doing it all wrong, how no one wants to read what they write. Whatever you are, it isn’t enough.

    So glad to read this post. Thank you. And I think your life is a long ways from mediocre.

    • Hi Lindsay, when I was a new homeschooler all the books I read left me feeling inadequate; as a I begin a new business most of the messages I read/hear leave me feeling the same way. I suppose it is not the ‘fault’ of anyone – but my responsibility to tune out unhelpful messages and strengthen my inner knowing that I get to choose who and how I want to be. But I also want to be a voice that calls people to rest, to slow, to really taste and see the small and simple gifts of today rather than always rushing or striving.

  198. Whatever you decide for your life is yours. The very thought of you typing that the things you wish for yourself should be seen as mediocre is a thought I almost can’t bare.

    Your life sounds beautiful.

  199. I heard of this article on the BBC interview and decided to check it out. I’m glad I did.
    An awesome piece of writing. I have often struggled with my own place in this world.Thank you for giving a voice to what most of us probably feel and for putting a healthy perspective on life. I

  200. I don’t actually like the word ‘mediocre’ as it qualifies quiet, liminal spaces as being less than, according to the world that tells us to achieve more and strive further. As a new mom to an 18 month old and hoping to have more kids, I want more than EVER to be creative, thoughtful, making room and space for music, reading, learning, culture, poetry, language, arts and diversity and space to roam freely (nature, within oneself…exploration). I think we buy into the cultural norms which suggest we do certain things to achieve a means to an end (college=great job) but SO MANY women I talk to would LOVE to have more time with their kids but also LOVE their time in their careers. It’s a hard balance and no moms get it 100% righ 100% of the time. I’ve learned alot watching my young son as he grows and asking him what he needs right now, what he wants to do and how can I support him in that. Having to be cognizant of his needs help me recognize where I’m not taking care of myself and how to do that better.

    I appreciate your blog but just wanted to share my thoughts on that term in particular. I don’t think any way we live life is mediocre if we are working, learning and growing.

    • Hi Beth, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! I do understand why many dislike my word choice but my choice. I feel like what the world might deem ‘mediocre’ I am saying is beautiful and enough. And then there is a second part to this word choice – and that is that in accepting that I am not the greatest, the best, the fastest, the most business savy (and on and on) I find freedom. Freedom to just be me and offer my simple gifts to the world:)

  201. Well, I suppose will represent the men. This read has been on my mind for a number of years. Its framework has an intrinsic value I’ve had since a child. I never knew or taught to be driven, pursue money and wealth or be successful. I learned that from the world much later and being a man, our value and worth is commonly placed on success. Not all, but 92.333%. I remember saying about 2 years ago, “why can’t I just be?” “Why am I “doing” in order to “be” all the time?” It’s exhausting! I have had some success in the Silicon Valley but mostly flops or technology work I didn’t care much for. Of course, you might say, “well of course you feel this way- you’re not successful and pouring your gifts and talents into something meaningful and purposeful. I suppose for a good portion of Bay Area folks they are successful and thus I’m left sensing… I’m just odd not to be wealthy, make my mark, advancing some technology, a driven executive, starting my own business etc. I wonder when that defined me? I wonder if I would be fighting against the true me in pursuing wealth and prosperity. I mean I’m told I have to become this exhaustive list of traits to be happy. Trust me, I was on fire with Steven Covey, Zig Ziegler and Tony Robbins. Self-improvement was my middle name!!! Get better and improve, sure of course that’s what men do. Trust me, I have searched high and low for success, meaning and purpose but maybe, just maybe I was born to make people laugh, be an encourager, be husband someday, be a great dad, brother and son. I mean don’t get me wrong, we have responsibilities but yeah… just open thoughts from a man being vulnerable.

    • Humans have a natural desire to progress and improve. I play lots of sports and I love to learn new stuff and know I’m getting better, I’ve always been like that. But social media/tv plays on this, and thrusts in our face extreme comparisons and like a little brother we try and live up to it. Hence why I’ve deleted Instagram and I don’t use Facebook. Its not healthy to compare my self to the ENTIRE world, supposedly captured entirely in one, small, filtered, image. Our eyes seem to be the most talented salesmen. Startup. Avocado. Shesquats. Body image for guys is worse than it ever was. For girls too. Now it seems if you cant have a 6 pack 2 weeks after popping out a baby that is as tanned an beach ready as you are then you really aren’t ever going to be as happy as them. It all seems to make the baby a side product of their ever growing need for approval by society. I say mediocre is the new awesome 🙂 Keep life simple.

    • Thank you for your thoughts! There are some other men on here, too, and I think probably more men need to be thinking and talking about this idea. So many of the men I care about find their identity largely, it seems to me, in what they can provide for their families (or worldly success). Of course they *should* work to provide if that is their role in the family but their very worth or identity comes from who they are – strengths, weaknesses, quirks, hopes, fears…. not from material success or provision. Where I live, suicide rates jumped when the economy took a hit over the past couple years – illustrating this idea that a man’s worth is based upon his ability to provide materially. So sad.

  202. I came to this conclusion several years ago when I woke up to the fact that virtually everywhere I go people are leading very mediocre lives – but not necessarily unhappy ones. No-one really wants to work in a supermarket and 99% of the time its a symptom of a mediocre life (possibly some people have fantastic projects on the side just about to throw them into the big time). Not that many people want to work for other people at all but most of us do and to do so is in itself quite mediocre – ‘one should be the master of one’s own ship etc.’.

    Its all about caring what other people think and relenting to the societal brainwashing re: standards and expectations that we all have pumped out to us from the TV, newspapers, films, internet, advertising billboards which is then subtly enforced by those around us.

    Choosing to accept yourself and choosing to ignore what society expects of you is, paradoxically, an extremely successful way to live – you just don’t get the accolades.

  203. I followed the link from that BBC article you mentioned at the bottom. Glad I did.

    That sounds like the perfect recipe for happiness to me. To be who you are, to live your life on your terms, to accept your flaws, and your imperfections, and be happy to just be you.

  204. Krista
    I have come to your page from the BBC page, and I love what you have written. I strive to be a bit better most days, but some days I can’t be bothered. I know I’m highly likely to never be one of those people who change the world. I’m ok with that. I don’t have a degree but I’m hugely intelligent. I have an ok job. I could do better, but I don’t want to. My family annoy me but I love them anyway. I annoy them but they love me anyway. We have a grand time and we’re just normal and average. It really is the way forward!

  205. Congrats on the BBC thing, Krista! That’s awesome!

    And this post was exactly what I’ve wanted to write — and just hadn’t yet found the words. So, thank you! This is soooo me, as well. 🙂

  206. Hi Krista–

    This just came across my Twitter feed and I had to stop and say THANK YOU! for writing it. I recently finished graduate school, and after deciding that the academic life wasn’t for me I was hoping to find myself a fairly simple job, something satisfying but not draining that would leave me time and energy for other things–family, friends, my hobbies, volunteering, etc. Now I’m unemployed and constantly comparing myself to my “successful” friends who run their own businesses, who are constantly on the go, who have lofty ambitions and are on their way to attaining them. I just came from a meeting with a recruiter where I couldn’t quite admit that I didn’t want to be a CEO, or a manager, or Someone Important. I’m so, so glad that this post crossed my path when it did–thank you for the mediocre reminder. 🙂

    • Congratulations to you, Kate, on realizing what you want fairly early on (or at least getting a clearer picture for now) and having courage to act on this. I think it is important for us all to practice cheering on our friends and family who are wired differently from us (ex. your more “successful” friends) while honoring and celebrating who we are. All the best as you seek that simple but soul satisfying job:)

  207. Many many months after you first posted this…someone linked to it on my FB thread and I felt as though someone had finally put my sentiments into words that actually made sense. Really great piece, thanks for writing it!!

  208. OH. MY. GAWD. I relate SOOOOO thoroughly, totally and completely with your words. They have touched a deep and profound chord in me, and judging by the sheer amount of comments ( can’t read them all in one sitting!), so many others feel similar. As StephanieL stated, it has indeed been many months since you first posted this article but – all I can say is THANK YOU. You are a talented writer. I am a person who has been physically disabled from birth due to Cerebral Palsy. I have experienced many health related side effects of CP, as well as psychological and emotional damage due to bullying and discrimination. Today’s society as a whole is very unaccepting of ANYONE who isn’t living a picture-perfect, Instagram-sensational, Facebook-fabulous life. My condition is mild compared to many other CP sufferers, but I have difficulties on a regular basis. After reading your words, my heart leaped in recognition “YES! Someone realizes… there is beauty in ordinariness, in mediocrity even – if we would just pause long enough to really SEE and APPRECIATE it. ” My entire life I have had the worst self esteem. I never felt good enough. Just never… ENOUGH. I’m sure many can relate. The world has not been kind to me. Thank you for YOUR kindness, expressed so well in this article.

    • Hi Susan, thank you for taking the time to comment. I am happy that my words have made sense to many others… so many of us have felt alone or different or like misfits to some degree, I’m guessing. But how encouraging to know there are many of us trying to live with more kindness (first for ourselves and then for each other). There is hope in that, I think.

  209. I had a friend ad me what am going to do with my life (just moved from city to country) and when I said ‘oh just do my own thing ‘ was told “that’s not much of a life”
    To which I replied – ‘well good thing I have to live it and not you’

  210. You spoke to my heart! Is it really worth it to turn your life in a rat race and wake up each day with the single minded goal of reaching the finish line before others? Thank you for your honest heartfelt words! I can relate to what you are saying a 100%.

  211. Oh. My. Goodness! How did you get inside my head? I’ve never experienced anything that so perfectly described how I feel. Thank you for putting words to it!

  212. Thank you for writing what I’ve secretly thought for years. I’m a librarian (currently not working) but have found myself thoroughly frustrated by the public and school libraries that are focused on everything but reading and the joy of a good book that is read for fun or learning. I picture myself running the kind of library I knew as a kid. A library in a small town, where you know what most of the residents enjoy and can steer them directly to their next favorite book. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s a print or digital book…just as long as it is perfect for the reader. And when the library closes I go to my little home where I may choose to skip dinner in favor of a hot chocolate, some chocolate chip cookies and sitting down to continue my own much enjoyed storybook. And then after a good night’s sleep I’m excited to get back to my library and help my neighbors find their next favorite book.

    • That is a beautiful vision, Linda. I live in a small town (about 10,000 folks) and our little library here is friendly and lovely. The staff is helpful, they certainly know all the regulars. Maybe you can bring some elements, if not all, of your “dream” into your reality?

  213. Thank you for your voice on this subject. I had to laugh because in high school senior year I was the “winner” of the “Mr. Mediocre Award.” At the time I took it as a slight, but over years I inwardly embraced the idea of not being awesome in, and passionate about, everything I do. I’m perfectly fine with that.

  214. I can honestly say, I’ve never related to something as much as I do this beautiful piece you’ve written. It’s like a breath of relief to know that the need for a quiet, simple life isn’t just me.
    Great writing!

  215. Thank you for writing this! You have just validated my life…still working on not needing that validation, but as someone who’s becoming so opposite of how I was taught to be in life, and so opposite what the cultural message is today, validation is nice! This is also what I’m hoping to communicate to my children as well.

  216. There is so much truth in this article thank you.

    I wonder sometimes when we collectively decided that normal wasn’t good enough any more. Why does everyone and everything suddenly need to be extraordinary? Is that even possible? I don’t think it is. We’d all just end up a more exhausted, guilty, and frantic, and strangely just as average. After all, the search for more never ends. Not everyone can be, should be or needs to be special, by the very narrow definition of “special” in the sense of “publicly acknowledged”. How much better would life be, for so many people, if we all just found our own little niche, made a difference to the people around us and supported the ones who sprint ahead, in stead of guilt-tripping everyone who can’t keep up with the unusual, extraordinary cases? I think there is a lot to be said for that.

  217. I have felt so much emotion whilst reading this article. It really encapsulates how I feel right now in my life. I’ve always been little miss mediocre and I’ve never been okay with that. It’s so hard to let go of what society says you should be and give yourself permission to just be who you really are. I would love to share this article on my blog. Would that be okay? This is not spam, I genuinely have family and friends who need to read this article. Thank you for being brave enough to let go and kind enough to share your journey with us all. There’s absolutely nothing mediocre about this article. It has had a profound affect on me and many, many others. Thank you!!

  218. Wow! As a woman who only ever wanted to be a wife, mother, sister, auntie and friend, this was written about me and for me. Thank you! It has taken me years to get past the idea that success and happiness had to look a certain way. I learned to be proud of who I was and what I was doing when people asked ” what’s your real job?” When I’m sitting with my entire family (multiple generations) and kids are playing and making memories, my heart is full! This is the life I chose and this is the life I love … and it’s okay and perfect!

  219. So many of these things are my exact feelings. Too often I feel pressured or looked down on because I love ordinary life and I don’t want to be too busy and I need quiet time and perhaps sending an encouraging card or text or delivering a casserole matters after all.

  220. Such a wise woman. I feel like the “live your best life ever” , “live large” society has ruined so many lovely things. My children thrived with much unplanned time to be kids, while I thrived with that time to enjoy a little time to myself. I feel sad for parents today, too many practices, games and activities for the kids, everyone driving here and there non stop. I LOVE being mediocre!

  221. .. so much YES! thanks for this. I think about the simplicity of stewarding the life God has given, instead of work so hard to attain a preconceived idea of what I should be doing. There is so much freedom in the words you speak! Thank you for sharing.

  222. Wonderful article on being mediocre. It seemed someone was voicing my thoughts and ideas. It’s good to be slow and beyond any race to strive for excellence. Its good to be you-slow,mediocre or superb. But knowing yourself is the real essence of life. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Accept and enjoy yourself as you are. Thank you for bringing mediocrity to limelight. Keep it up. Wish to read more .

  223. Beautifully and eloquently said. Reading this is such a relief because they are my feelings exactly! IT took me my whole life to get to this realisation, and I am grateful for that! Indeed liberating. Thank you for this great article 🙂

  224. I feel as though I wrote those words…beautifully written and expressed. Thank you for putting words in my mouth. 🙂

  225. Wow, this almost perfectly describes my feelings since becoming a mom. All of my ambition fell away, and I wanted only to focus on my child, my home, and my marriage. I felt like I disappointed everyone (except my mother of course who understood exactly) who had expected I would achieve something BIG. I took a less stressful, less prestigious job that paid the same but offered a much better work/life balance. Eventually I lost contact with all of the “friends” who needed/expected the old me, who didn’t understand (no, I can’t go on a girls weekend, I have a 7 mo. old who is breastfed.) or who were flat out critical (you couldn’t have cleaned?) I will admit, sometime it gets lonely and hard to explain, and there are times that I miss dressing up for the big work related events, or the flashy weekend getaways we took before becoming parents (now we go camping) but I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for making me feel like I’n not alone – that how I feel makes sense to someone other than me.

  226. My thoughts: “Mediocre” is a relative judgment. For that judgment to have meaning, you would need someone who is informed about the specifics of your life and has enough stature to make a credible judgment about your life.

    Most people simply make sweeping statements and generalize about others using themselves as a basis. I would not value their opinion, because their shallow assessment of “Mediocre” may be a mis-impression of a very simple and fulfilling life. Many people mistakenly equate “Simple” with “Boring” and “Empty”.

    I believe that “Contentment” is the ideal goal for any life. Many folks have bought into the idea that they must try, have or do it all. I’m not a minimalist, but I do believe that a life that focus on several satisfying things is probably filled with more contentment than a life which attempts to sample every possible thing.

    In the modern world, if you are content you are not “Mediocre” — rather you are “Extraordinary”. There are a lot of worn out, tired, unhappy, overwhelmed people out there trying to have an exceptional life. In reality, you will often find that they are only “Exceptionally Tired” not “exceptionally happy” or “exceptionally fulfilled”.

    Most of popular culture and teen movies belittle those those that have a traditional “Life Plan”. They call people in suits “Sheeple” and talk about the “Daily Grind.’ However, I observe that many liberated, free spirits have lives which lack the structure that would allow them to avoid a great deal of unnecessary difficulty.

    Those movies and stories suggest that the routines and patterns of a predictable life are really a “Prison” that binds your life to a plan from the moment you Graduate Highschool, Enter Collage, and get married… until the day you retire and die.

    In my opinion, routines and predictability are a framework that organizes the mundane activities that everyone must navigate and frees you to focus your remaining time on whatever you wish.

    When facing choices, my wife and I typically find ourselves asking, “Will this improve our life? Will this make us happier? Is this something we need?”

    I don’t think people ask questions like that often enough.

    In the end, if you are surrounded by family and friends… and you are (on the whole) relatively happy and content…. your life is “Extraordinary” not “Mediocre”.

  227. One last thought. A dear friend read your article and said, “It’s hard, though, when there’s a whole world telling you it’s not enough.”

    After thinking about it a while I responded:
    When you say things like “The whole world is telling me”… consider how it’s working for them. Do you see many happy folks? I suspect they are chasing pleasure and missing the point.

    Many people are so far away from happiness that they use “Pleasure” and “Happiness” interchangeably and synonymously.

    True happiness equates to contentment and a state of mind.

    Pleasure is fleeting (a burst of Dopamine to the brain) that provides a very temporary rush. It’s why so many people shop, buy toys, or get addicted to “Likes” on facebook. Pleasure can be an empty momentary thrill that can leave you unsatisfied and seeking more.

    Don’t invest your energy in the pursuing the opinions and recommendations of unhappy folks who are desperately seeking answers themselves. Would you hire a “Life Coach” who’s own life is a mess?

    Contentment is more like mature love. It doesn’t look as cool or sexy as the early passionate, romantic love… but can be very deep, rewarding and fulfilling. Contentment includes the assurance that “what you have is enough”.

    Contentment is when you can take pleasure in what you already have without the need to seek more. This requires a deep understanding of yourself, your needs, and your desires. It also requires a level of introspection and reflection that most people are afraid to attempt.

    Those who never experience true contentment would think it looks “Medocre” from the outside.

    As the fortune cookie says, “True happiness comes from within”. And, many folks are seeking it externally.

    Thus, I wouldn’t invest myself too deeply in the opinions, suggestions, and recommendations of lost folks who are overwhelmed in their daily lives and seeking flashes of pleasure which they mistake for happiness.

    Be kind to yourself!

  228. Thank you for writing this, and for validating those of us who, like you, are happy with our “mediocre” lives. I have read this post so many times, because it speaks so loudly and clearly to me.

  229. Thank you thank you thank you. I cannot thank you enough for wrighting this piece and somehow validated the life I wanted to pursue. That it could be possible. Recently, my family members and I had a conversation about the things they wanted to do, have, and be. Most of them wanted material things which would take most of their life to attain. And I get it. I get that those things will make them happy, will fulfill their lives . But not me. The life I wanted was very different from them. The sad thing was, none of them would care enough to listen. My drive was for simplicity, peacefulness, and quiet happiness. A mediocre life.

    Thank you again.

  230. What a great article, thank you so much for sharing. This is exactly the way I experience things. From my own slow and simple life’s viewpoint I observe the world around me going completely crazy…

    Much love,
    Mai from Holland

  231. Thank you for putting my own feelings into words and making me feel as if I’m not alone! Why can’t a simple, “mediocre” life just be enough?! Why do those loud, haranguing voices keep telling me I should be pursuing more, when my inner voice keeps telling me that “more” is too much?

  232. Thank you for sharing these beautiful words. I read this to my husband and he said to me, ” it sounds like something you would have written”.
    So thank you for sharing this and making people like us heard. ❤❤❤❤

  233. …. you realize that your life is in fact extraordinary? I mean, you live in a prosperous western country, so just by that fact alone your life is pretty amazing. Add the fact that finding a spouse is very hard for some people. And then there are health problems. I’ve had a chronic illness since I was 21, and am pretty pessimistic about finding a husband. I can’t imagine what people who have grown up with trauma, financial instability, etc. would feel reading this. So many people I know have to fight through each day just to stay stable.

    Now, one can definately find contentment with the right attitude. A person can find a way to be happy regardless of their relationship status, wealth, health, etc. And I think that’s what we should strive for, contentment regardless of circumstances.

    I understand what you’re going for. In circles where prosperity and success rule, you might feel mediocre. And many other people obviously feel the same. But your life seems like an impossible dream to me.

    • Hi Zofia, thank you for feedback. You are right that I live in incredible prosperity compared to most of the world. My husband came from poverty; he immigrated from West Africa at 30 years old and we help his family back home. My dad grew up in poverty and I hear people’s stories and receive each day as a gift. But reading an 800 word blog post in no way shares the fullness of a person’s story. I have lived most my life in chronic pain due to a childhood disease. I struggled with anxiety and depression from childhood. I have needed to learn to love myself and accept that I have something to offer, despite growing up loved and fed. We can feel broken anywhere at any time. But your comment is so important because much of what I write is to encourage people like me to SEE the gifts of each day – to really get that we are living a dream and not to take that for granted. I want to offer hope and encouragement to others and all I can share is my story, understanding that it does not resonate with or apply to everyone.

  234. I love the article, it’s content and it’s message: loathe the undermining that the title supports. This life- one of simplicity and mindfulness is anything but mediocre – it’s NOBLE and brave and necessary. It took me until I was nearing my fifth decade to feel and live the glorious benefits of a simplified life. It’s a lot of things, but mediocre is NOT what it is… at. all.

    • Mediocre
      Adjective
      1. (often derogatory)*** average or ordinary in quality: a mediocre book ***often not always and I get to define my own life and person
      Word Origin
      C16: via French from Latin mediocris moderate, literally: halfway up the mountain, from medius middle + ocris stony mountain

      I use Mediocre as “in the middle”, the space of in-between, average or ordinary (as in the gifts of the ordinary day), enough. I am mediocre at many things – I have strengths and weaknesses. My life is imperfect but beautiful. I have gifts to offer the world – small gifts, perhaps, but gifts nonetheless. I am an average, ordinary, woman choosing to see her life and herself as “enough”.

      • I’m glad you clarified your thoughts on “mediocre” here, Krista. I have written a manuscript and write a blog which is often on this very subject, but I felt quite strongly I should use the word “average” in the very same way you are trying to communicate “mediocre” here.

        I made my choice based on my feelings that mediocre, for me, communicates an indifference, a lack of interest or motivation to make the best happen with what we’ve been given. “Average”, I find, has the potential to communicate a more mathematical outcome, that, even though we may be committed 100% to trying our best, we still find ourselves in the middle. (I think it’s rather sad for our modern culture that we’ve come to see these two words as synonymous.

        However, I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment. It’s so unrealistic, unfulfilling and exhausting to try and attain the extraordinary, or perfection, especially when, for many of us, our lives are divided into devoting time to a number of people and causes equally close to our hearts. How can we just focus on one and abandon the others in the pursuit of excellence?

        It’s a subject that resonates with so many as eventually we are forced to accept a reality different to the ideal we’ve set for ourselves, or crash and burn, defeated by our own ideals.

        I’m so glad for your success with this blog, Krista. Friends who know the subject of my writing have shared it with me a number of times through different sources who’ve shared it. Now, if only I could find your audience!!!

  235. This refreshing article has come at a time in which I find myself standing at a crossroad in my life. I’m standing here wondering (nay, fretting over) which direction to take that will propel me onto the fast lane of great wealth and success. It’s not what I want, but it is what is expected of me.

    However, time and time again I find myself, not plotting and planning my way to riches, but finding enjoyment in the simple things in life, like doing my laundry early on a Sunday morning, or watching children play on the beach or cooking a meal for my teenage daughters whilst listening to their laughter from the kitchen.

    This article gave me much food for thought and as I engrossed myself in its words I found myself sighing with relief and quite vindication.

    Thank you for this.

  236. This is amazing! I found your article through a share on Facebook and immediately felt connected. It’s not exactly for the mediocre part, but the “let me just be, even if I’m not EXCELLENT in everything I do”. I worked four years in a consulting firm, one of the best and felt like this all the time. It was a great school for me, but certainly not my sort of place for happiness. And when I read your words I immediately felt like “This is it, this is what I felt for years!” I just want to be good, as good as I feel good about it. Not excellent, not the best… just me, doing my things and feeling happy with it. Thank you for these words!

  237. A friend shared your post today. Thank you. Thank you for writing this. Thank you for letting me know I’m not the only one. Never before have I read anything that speaks to & describes who I AM. This does. THANK YOU.

  238. I had a guy onetime and asked for a book called “Living Life to the Fullest Potential” I laughed and said “that sounds EXHAUSTING! I am happy living my life at half potential.” and I was serious. I am happy at a job where I make just over minimum wage, I don’t work much because I would rather be home than have money, my time is valuable to my family, just being home is enough, I am happy “just” being a mom. I am happy “just” being a wife. My husband and I are each other’s helper and sometimes we are there to just remind each other that it’s (whatever “it” is) is enough! Every year I mind less and less that I have an old house that needs work that will take us years to finish. My brother in law always tells his Kids “pray about it and get over it” I am trying to live that more and more 🙂

  239. I loved reading this! But I would say that nothing about the life you described sounded mediocre to me. What you described are amazing, grand things that deeply affect, change and inspire the people, places and things closest to us.

  240. I have read this four times, cuz it just makes me feel wonderful. And I keep reading and rereading the comments. I am 61 years old and I’m finally done beating myself up. I am enough. My whole life has been spent never feeling that I was good enough or that I was living up to my potential. The never ending work from our “you can have it all culture” is exhausting and unfulfilling.
    The constant striving and struggling to be more and have more is over for me. I’m free. Finally free. Thank you for writing this important piece.

  241. I love the you had the courage to say this publicly. That might sound weird. I have felt these very same thoughts but saying them out loud seems so wrong in this go-getter culture. When I continued to read, I felt like I could breathe and be myself in my own head. The war between being something great and being good enough is continually taking up too much of my time. I don’t know you and have never read any of your work until now, but I felt an instant surge of “I really love this person” as I continued reading. Thank you for sharing.

  242. Bravo! Thank you for so eloquently putting a voice to what so many of us experience and feel.
    Enjoyed the comments as well!

  243. While I don’t especially like the term “mediocre” I understand the spirit in which you used it.
    Now, I’ve never been what one would call an “over-achiever” but I’ve always been a hard worker and have strived to do my very best. However, over the years I’ve learned that working for others has not served me. I come from a family of small business owners and this is why, since my 20s, I’ve wanted to have my own business, too. But in today’s world being a small business owner isn’t enough; now it’s all about being an “entrepreneur.” While I technically fit the definition of that word in that I’ll be risking my own (very limited)funds, I feel the word entrepreneur has taken on a meaning that goes beyond that. Now it’s suggested – or perhaps even expected – that one should want to be The Next Big Thing, willing to work a hundred hours a week in the pursuit of growth, expansion and scaling. This is all fine and well, but it’s not what I’m seeking. Obviously I don’t want to fail, but in truth all I want is a little business that will sustain me in ways beyond the bottom line. I want to be joyful in what I do, enthusiastic in the products I will sell and grateful for the customers I hope to have. Just getting by and being content with life in the slow lane has definite appeal for someone like me and if that makes me mediocre then sign me up, please! : )

  244. Thank you. I had shingles 5 years ago and have been left with horrid pain on the entire left side of my body. I can’t do the things I used to, therefore I am not enough for so many people. My adult children understand and are wonderful. My husband is my rock and this has changed our relationship for the better in every way. My faith is my quiet strength. My employers understand to a point, but can’t quite comprehend that how they treat me at work is reflected in my pain level and one instance of my boss going off can send me into a week long spiral of increased pain. (yeah, this happened last week and is fresh in my mind) It’s frustrating to not be everything for everyone as I once was. Seeing that I am not alone in not wanting to be everything puts my mind at ease, calms me and somehow makes me more accepting of my situation. I can stop fighting now. I am enough. (Although, to be fair, I’m sure I’ll have those moments of frustration and anger, but maybe now that I’m enough they’ll be shorter?) So thank you…I’ve never been so touched by a post. You’ve obviously hit a nerve with so many. For the record? I don’t know that I would give up what I’ve been through because it has made the relationships with the important people in my life so much better and weeded out those who I thought were friends. That is worth everything.

  245. This is so perfect. You have put into words what I’ve been feeling for a long time but didn’t know how to say it. Thank you!!! It’s so liberating to embrace that type of thinking and living.

  246. Thank you, thank you, thank you. What a wonderful thing to read first thing in the morning. I can relate to everything you wrote and sometimes it feels like I am the only one in the world who feels this way. It feels so good to know there are others…others brave enough to be real. So much more I could say but again I’ll say thank you and go about my simple, mediocre, quiet life and be content in that.

  247. Amen to this! I’m 63 and am way past tired of attempting to look younger with makeup and an occasional hair color treatment. Oh, who cares. I’m good enough at any age and if others can’t accept me, then that’s their problem. I’ll never be ‘good at math’, but I’m a good at many other things and I think there are some people who love me, and I love them and show and say it often. What else matters?

  248. Very interesting and obviously a thought provoking topic. I believe that there are many “movers and shakers” who are less than “mediocre” with regards to virtues such as compassion, integrity, empathy and self awareness. And then there are many so called “mediocre” who live their lives according to these virtues. And yes, there are many variations and combinations of people in between. It is also interesting that the origin of the word mediocre suggests at the halfway point in the ascent of a rugged mountain.

    Middle French < Latin mediocris in a middle state, literally, at middle height =medi(us) mid1 + Old Latin ocris rugged mountain]

  249. I believe, ‘enough’ is a very important concept to grasp. Because everything in this world has boundaries. Our bodies have boundaries (I think, nobody wanna have a totally shapeless body), our knowledge also has boundaries, our homes have boundaries, even the earth itself has boundaries and clear limitations in the space. So, a person who can recognize (and embrace) those natural boundaries and doesn’t fight against them (not against all of them, at least) in my understanding should be happy. Actually, I can’t think of a way to be happy without a clear, practical definition of ‘enough for me’.

  250. Very poignant article. I would not characterize the life you describe as “mediocre” though. I would say it is “good enough” for you or for whoever it applies to. In my opinion there is nothing mediocre about having and being enough. Your words read like someone letting out a long breath of relief. The kind of restful sigh you let out when you finish a long day or a particularly trying chore . When you release all the tension and realize all you need to do is rest. It made me realize that although we strive for more, buy more, want more, and constantly dream and stress over the day we day we can finally say we have “made it,” in truth that day is righ at our fingertips. We don’t want to be mega rich , famous, or happy beyond our wildest dreams, no that is not the life we crave. What we really want and crave is to be able to let go of all of that and just be who we are. To say I don’t need anymore, I don’t want anymore, I don’t crave anymore. Isn’t that what we truly need? Instead of wishing we had more money and stuff we really want to say that what we have is enough and that we do not care what the world thinks of that. The real dream world is where everyone felt that way or rather would act that way. Of course that is a fantasy as the world keeps fooling itself. Does Bill Gates need over 60 billion dollars? Could someone live the rest of their life with a fraction of that and be free of want? Apparently not, because there will always be those who will never have enough. If these mega rich cannot have enough what chance does the average person of being satisfied? On the other hand, as I have read here, some folks reply that they love being a mover and shaker, it keeps them alive and they love it. Why? Are they afraid that if they slow down and accept “good enough” it will invalidate them? Do they feel that it makes them a better person? I cannot judge them, I can only ask they reflect on why they feel that they need to prove themselves. On the flip side why others find the opposite to be true, that it is ok not to be in a constant state of struggle . Perhaps those people are afraid they they would fail and giving up on the race spares them that. Either way you have to look at which path is more stressful. If all your craving , relentless drive, and need to move up the ladder of life is so you can retire and live the good life in peace, then why not skip the stress and start now with enough ? We always tell oursleves that we will be “happy when,” but never reach that destination becasue we always raise the bar. Until the day comes when our bodies and minds can no longer take it and give out, which happens to all of us. It is up to us to draw the line before that day comes and have the courage to say that this is enough. It feels that we are perpetually holding our breath and we need to reflect and let it out. That is what I mean when I say your post feels like that long sigh of relief. It’s a shame that for so many people that long and slow breath out that releases all the pain and stress comes as their final one. It does not need to be that way, that release should come far ahead of the day our body and minds give out and that relief comes. So close you eyes and dream that that day is already here take a big breath in and let it out along with the need to succeed and be more than you really require in this life. Then start to live and many years from now when you are old and grey you may, hopefully, look upon a life well lived.

  251. Are we twins? I swear I could have written this blog post. This is the life I’m striving for now in my 40’s. I love being a Mom and a Wife and a Daughter and putting everyone first and myself last…but now I find that sometimes I just want to put myself first for a change, remember who I was before 25 years of marriage and 20 years of Mommy-hood. What were those dreams I pushed aside? What can I do to work towards reaching them? How can I find calmness in my surroundings and my life? It’s fun to think about, and more fun to work towards and plan for. 🙂 We are definitely Enough, and we are all awesome and beautiful and strong just the way we are. 🙂

  252. Or how about this question you are asked when you see someone you haven’t seen for awhile: “Been keeping busy?” I tell them ‘busy’ is over-rated.

  253. Wow thank you, this is everything I am feeling yet have not been able to put into words. I am not alone! Thank you again.

  254. Beautifully written and very refreshing. Thank you. There is that place of “just right” for all of us. What a blessing when we can find it and be content there.

  255. This post and the comments have brought tears to my eyes. After decades of pushing myself on every level, I have paid a terrible price for trying to be someone I am not in order to fit in to this frantic and shallow culture. I wish I had read and internalized this 25 years ago. But it is not too late to accept myself… an introvert who wants a simple, quiet, modest life with my loved ones and my animals. Thank you so much for your beautiful writing and thank you to all the commenters who validate that I am not alone in this struggle.

  256. Thank you for this. It is a huge blessing. I have been convicted for years that the most important thing in life is relationships; with God, our family, friends, community (whatever that looks like for each person). Our society tells us something different, and it is a battle to keep believing. Thank you for this encouragement. My heart for relationships is enough. Lord Bless you.

  257. Good positive thoughts Krista. Time and again I think about slowing down, enjoy the life the way it is. Trying to balance it out between mediocrity and necessity.

    Just pondering, what if, everyone live mediocre life
    -Tim berners lee, we wont have internet without him, we couldnt have connected.
    -Thomas Edison , we would have been sitting in dark living nothing but mediocre life
    -Alexender fleming – most of us would die of infections by age of 35

    Don’t you think there is a “greater good” and each one of us owe something for our time on this planet? and should contribute in positive ways towards greater good.

    • Hi Atul – I firmly believe we all have work to do in the world. I want to write and I want people to be changed by my words. Some have assumed that I must lie around in PJ’s all day watching TV and not contributing. My post is more about a heart issue really – about how we can make peace with who we are and what we want/need in the midst of all the noise. Doing the work I love makes me feel stressed sometimes – but I also put boundaries around that work to ensure I am caring for myself, my relationships, and so forth. Maybe some folks, like the Thomas Edison’s, can burn the candle at both ends (and the world benefits!) but some of us cannot. And it was once I finally decided to accept “my mediocrity” – the way I am wired and all my strengths and struggle – that I finally had the courage to step out and do the work I love. So yes, I do think we all are meant to contribute or pour out in some way… but for one that might be in smiles or words of encouragement, in tending to babies or to the environment in their local community, while others might contribute in “bigger or flashier ways.” Your thoughts?

  258. What if I’m not a wife or a mother? What if time is rapidly dissipating for me to be the latter? A mediocre life is probably not too shabby if you’ve fulfilled your purpose in life from an evolutionary perspective – in the midst of the failure or mediocre levels of achievement, you’ve achieved something. But maybe spare a thought for those of us who by all accounts are yet to achieve anything that will outlive us.

  259. Yeah Krista!

    I have been plowing through a mid life crisis for quite a while. As I wrestle with it, I realize that I want to live a ‘successful’ life. However, an afternoon of success will often be playing games and reading books with my daughters. Basically accomplishing nothing according to our ‘go, go, go society’.

    I am still working to define what ‘successful’ is for me, so it was AWESOME to read about someone with similar thoughts to what makes life count. Thanks!!!!

  260. Why would you let anyone define your life?

    What you want out of life is your personal decision and is not subject to review by others as long as what you want does not harm others. Don’t let the world define you.

  261. Thank you for this. My all-consuming work life came to an end six months ago when my health broke down from all those years of stress. I had thought I’d ease into retirement by continuing to work part time and remain ‘useful’ for several more years. The speed with which they pushed me out the door and the almost audible “Good riddance!” crushed that fond thought.
    I have plenty of time now to recognize how I have confused busyness with purpose. It’s humbling to admit that it has taken me forty years to figure that out. I’ve been trying to find a way to go forward with a truer life but kept stumbling over old habits. I think if I keep rereading your essay I can learn to build a more modest and balanced life which will give me more satisfaction than I have had before.

  262. Loved this text! Have you seen Paterson, the latest movie by Jim Jarmusch? It is just about what you write about. A mediocre, simple, beautiful life.

  263. Hi,
    I’m from Pakistan. It feels really good to hear this from someone for the first time in my life. I’m 24, whenever I tell people around me about my idea of living – mediocrity, they oppose me. All that you wrote, is my life. To know that someone is out there like me makes me feel really good. Thank you for writing this. You’ve kind of given me a new life.:)

  264. I absolutely love this, my sentiments exactly!! I think Social Media puts a ton of pressure on people to be better….but what if I’m happy just the way I am? My home will never be perfect, nor will my body….but I’m ok with that! I can cook up a storm, but I also have fails…..in fact there may or may not be a fail in the crockpot right now, I’ll find out tonight! 🙂

  265. WOW! I don’t know if you will see this comment, you have had so much success on this post, thats amazing! I just wanted to tell you how much I loved this post. Truly spoke to my heart. So thank you for this!

  266. mediocre – of only moderate quality; not very good. Nothing you have said about yourself fits this definition of the word. You are simply living true to your nature, true to yourself. That is something we all should aspire to. It is the best way to honor ourselves and in return, how we honor others.

  267. I’ve been really focused on trying to listen to my true inner voice. This is so hard with all of the external messages we are exposed to. If we are ‘satisfied’, the economy would probably come to a slow crawl so we are fighting an uphill battle to listen to our true needs and determine what our natural ‘set’ point is. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  268. I’ve read this three times, posted by 2 different bloggers! Wow, I feel like you wrote my life’s poem! Thank you for making me feel like my “not crazy-successful” life is ok and wonderful and really just the way it should be. Mine! One of the best written pieces I’ve ever read! Thank you!

  269. So many friends I respect and admire have shared this post. I relate to some things here, but I also feel like this is the message I receive so often as a woman: Find joy in the small and simple and quiet because that is your place. I started thinking of my own What ifs.

    What if I want a big, dynamic, inspiring life? What if I’m happiest imagining what if, engaging in big ideas, challenging the ordinary? What if the world hands me mediocrity and I give it back?

    The traditional world of women puts the small and simple on a pedestal, shaming us when we dream bigger. A woman’s life is filled with OR. One thing always giving for another; giving up the personal for the greater good. What if, like a man, I want to be offered AND? What if I strive for excellence despite judgments and side glances?

    What if finding purpose in mediocrity leaves me drained, discouraged, and depressed? What if I’m inspired by big ideas and being actively engaged? What if the roles expected of me are not enough?

    What if I love being a mother, sister, daughter, and wife, but these do not define all of me? What if caring for my family brings me immense joy, but I have additional passions? What if I’m constantly told this should be enough to fulfill me, so I feel guilty when it’s not?

    What if I am not a natural homemaker? What if I gain no special satisfaction from housekeeping, but I value staying home with my kids during their formative years? What if I let the upkeep of my home be a family endeavor to take care of the necessary, rather than let it define me?

    What if I choose what pleases, interests, challenges, and engages me despite what others think? What if I don’t make myself small so I don’t intimidate others? What if I define womanhood for myself?