What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life?

By Krista O'Reilly Davi-Digui on Wednesday March 29th, 2017

How to Make Peace with Who You Are

What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?

What 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.

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?

Simple lifeWhat if all I want is a small, slow, simple life?

What if I Never?

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 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.

Finding contentmentA simple life can bring you a sense of contentment.

Acceptance of Mediocrity

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.

Am I Enough?

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?

Humble homeA humble home supports you to create a safe space to restore.

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 relationships, my deeply rooted faith. And my doubts and insecurities.

This will have to be enough.

Embrace Limitations

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?

Alt text hereWhat if I make peace with who I am and what I need.

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 want is a small, slow, simple life. A mediocre life. A beautiful, quiet, gentle life.

I think it is enough.




The Power of Sacred Rituals


Maya Angelou’s Soulful Guidance for a Satisfying Life

Subscribe to UPLIFT

UPLIFT is dedicated to telling the new story of inspired co-creation.

Get free updates and news about UPLIFT events and films.

How will my data be used?



69 Responses to What if All I Want is a Mediocre Life?

  1. Reading this was like music to my ears, because I am like the writer and I’m actually content with not wanting a lot. Thanks for sharing your feelings and your life with the world. Thanks for being honest and vocal. Others that feel much like you can take comfort in knowing that it’s ok to be and desire mediocracy. Obviously not everyone feels this way and wants mediocracy and that’s okay.

    • I think Erika what we are all coming to understand is that our unique flavour, our deep authenticity is important, is valued and respected – what it looks like is often up for judgement and comparison. And as we know, this is the thief of Joy. Just keep on being you … Much love Team UPLIFT

  2. I don’t get it … REALKY happy for those that ARE content & happy with their lives – j just want more /different & that’s ok. I DO want to write a book & Speak & am making that happen.
    I wish I could just feel content now, happy for you – we are all different … ❤️

  3. Thank you for writing this. These words need to be shared. As an “solopreneur” I am bombarded daily with ads to boost my business to 6 figures, hire out help etc. I have always been content with keeping my business smaller and more manageable so I can continue to enjoy the other things in life that I am passionate about. It’s my passion to help my clients create balance in their own lives too.
    I am enough. I enjoy keeping my life simpler. We are all enough just as we are.
    Sara Valentine Women’s Wellness and Lifestyle Coach

  4. Some of this was alarming. The part about not wanting to play with your kids but you want their hugs. That was the cherry on top for me. Sounds like she’s not living and trying to make peace with her misery.

  5. I love everything about this post. It’s clear how this life is not mediocre at all. This life makes the ordinary extraordinary. You make me fall in love with my life as it is, thank you.

  6. I absolutely love and resonate with this piece! I thought I was the only one that truly felt this way! Would love to meet others that feel the same ❤️
    I am a Mum, wife, sister, daughter, auntie friend – jobs I do with integrity but I never feel I am enough. I have had ME for 24 years which has made achieving anything very difficult but I do everything to the best of my ability.

  7. Let go of it people. Realize this, the point, if I may, is to live ones life free of the judgment of others. Get it? Absolutely spot on.

  8. Read the life of st. Theresa liseaux. Love, life beauty is in the simple little tasks of life. Every little thing we do can honor the beauty and goodness of life.

  9. Yes! It is ok for some of us to strive for a calm, mindful, peaceful life to help give balance to those who feel driven to strive for more. It is the way of the universe to create its own balance and is important for each of us to seek to understand how we help achieve this balance.

  10. Beautiful, thank you. But why do you say at the end: that “accept your limitations”. Do you see all that you describe above about yourself as a limitation? .

  11. Let not the excess of lusts and comfort mislead you, this world is not yours. I believe this article distorts the truth to serve itself, to oppose understanding. I believe in man. Man will maintain his greatness. Have this faith. And while you choose comfort in the face of a scary world, know that a special few with a very unique courage are striving to make progress, to make the world great, the one that allows you and just about everyone else live in mediocrity. A mediocre life is not, by any standard, unacceptable in today’s society. Mediocrity is the totality of the modern world. I’m disappointed. However, if you don’t care to attempt to make a positive impact on the world, at least you will let the world be as you found it.

  12. I love this post and what you are expressing here. However, I do not resonate with your choice of the word “mediocrity”. Mediocre is a word that carries a somewhat negative connotation and I believe there is nothing negative in simplicity. I like Tony Robbin’s definition of “mediocrity”: being less than who you are. If what you are is someone who loves a simple life than there is nothing mediocre about it.

  13. love this,keep it simple,when I was young I was a party animal,always chasing the next high now looking back my life was chaos.today I lead a simple life ,no materealism,very simple needs,a roof over my head,food in the cupboard,a good book,my art group I go to,music,being outdoors,my parents + my son,jack.only thing I would really like is someone to share it with. a simple life is so much more peacefull + content.thanks for this articule confirming that its ok just to be myself.thanks.lee.

  14. I love this. And it came just at the right time in my life. I’m am going through a divorce and some of this are answers to who I am. Thank you!

    • I have recently become single after 18 years of marriage and I have never loved anyone else and I am always going to love him for the things that he brought to my life and the way he calmly went about doing what he loved and still does it. I have a different path and to ignore it to be a good wife is a disservice to a man who I would not ask to join my road to the loss of the life he loves to live. I have just sold my first painting and don’t feel like hiding the others away like I am ashamed of them or don’t intend to share them with the world. I have dog fur in my life and on my clothes and I have had it in my food. It’s not a divorce but divide in the road like any before but this time we don’t want to take the same road and don’t want an unhappy travel companion.

  15. Couldn’t agree with you more. I always find people are always in rush to reach someplace maybe better job, better car, better house, better everything.. somehow people have got this idea that more money makes one happy and anyone who tries to be happy in there own world are made fun of.

  16. Why is not buying into to concept of what people or society says we must do or be in order to be successful or extraordinary, be termed Mediocrity? By using the word mediocre in your title you still imply one’s life is as such…lacking or less than.

  17. Dearest Krista…..You are a pristeen rose. You sound to be my daughter’s age. I am 60. One who writes as you….and those who write not at all..we are all waving goodbye to labels and judging ourselves. I believe your fluent talent is representation of the tailwind where humans place themselves under a microscope…so your word choice manifested that energy. Releasing and truly enjoying a calmer peaceful pace is such a poetic message to humanity. Brilliant and well done…and thank you….i hope all younger folks know this joy before they hit middle age.

  18. Great article despite the confusing and misjudging title. I would never call this kind of life’s aspiration “mediocre” but rather “simple” or, uncomplicated.
    In India we say “simple is BEAUTIFUL”. It’s the social-political systems of the world who made life complicated, competitive in order to make people loose the sovereignty of their life. But human original nature is basically simple and peaceful.

  19. Irrespective of the quibbling over the use of the word ‘mediocre’ the writer sounds like my definition of a person who has worked out life’s fundamentals. “Before enlightenment I chopped wood and carried water. After enlightenment I chopped wood and carried water.”

  20. This is an important conversation…but I would never call living a quieter, simplified life ‘mediocre’ nor believe for a minute that I haven’t “amount[ed] to anything.” It’s funny, isn’t it, that what was the norm even 30 years ago would now be commonly deemed ‘mediocre.’ To ‘only’ be a mum, dad, wife, husband, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, friend…and yet these are the roles, the people we most treasure. I choose a quieter, slower-paced life, not only because it suits my more introverted nature, but simply because I cannot keep up with the frenzied pace of modern life and hope to also keep my sanity. I’m simply not wired to be wired. Personally, I think the most powerful thing we can do while on earth is to learn to love ourselves. We do that, and we really can change the world…even from our backyard, watching the sun go down…playing with our kids…reminiscing about the good ol’ days, when tweets were sounds coming from treetops and liking something usually came with rainbow sprinkles! <3

  21. I love this article I choose contentment. A simplified life. I don’t have to follow the script period I can just be me and that is enough.

  22. Great article – but I would never consider this as “mediocre” (implying “less than”) – I would say: make your life extraordinary (= life ON YOUR TERMS)
    And if this means all the things you wrote: BEAUTIFUL!

    • On the other hand, I LOVE her use of the word mediocre. It’s tongue-in-cheek and invites me to question how I might be undervaluing myself and my life, labeling it ‘mediocre’ when in fact it is juicy with love and gardens and walks and other simple things that may fly under the radar of common ideals of success. It becomes easy in this go-getter cultural climate to wonder if not having huge ambition is a problem, if feeling mood swings is a weakness, if wanting less means I somehow think I’m worth less… But NO, what some may label mediocre is truly glorious to me.

  23. Beautifully written! There is too much noise in the world now, and it is good because it points us within. Everything is perfect as it is and everyone as they are.

  24. I really love this. I have always been thinking with all the articles and talks and books on how you can be the best of yourself, how to live a fast paced life, be really sucessful, etc. But hey all I want is to be at peace and live a simple life. Sometimes I think if this is enough. This really voiced out every fiber of my thoughts. Hey, I am happy and contented where I am. Leave me alone!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  25. I love your article. I’m 62 and according to society I have had a boring life. I had boring jobs at a big company for 25 years and was fortunate to be offered an early retirement package when my daughter was 3, and basically got paid to stay home with her. I had just one child just before I turned 40 and was the oldest mom of all her friends who raised her to understand no, that her dad came before her and that I came before him and that she was loved and adored but wasn’t the center of the universe. I am religious but not Evangelical and understand that God put me here on earth not to save the world but to help save those closest to me. I try to remember that I am the face of Christ here on earth and to be kind to those who He puts into my life daily as I am only a small strand in their tapestry of life. I was also fortunate to have a second job when my daughter was older as an aide in the public school where I worked with kids who had behavior issues and autism. I feel fortunate to have had a full life that was meaningful to me and those I love. My husband and I are are total opposites but together we work, it may not be the fairy tale marriage but life isn’t a fairy tale, its real and messy and joyful and sad and fulfilling and lonely and sad and happy. Here’s to the boring, they live the best lives.

  26. The word ‘mediocre’ generally has negative connotations but in this article, Krista turns that around. Great thought provoking article. So true.

  27. It is absolutely enough!! Learning to accept and embrace who we are instead of wanting to be someone we are not is the biggest gift we can offer ourselves! Knowing that going against your true self will not make you happy…. loving yourself enough to allow YOU to be happy?! Of course it’s enough!:)

  28. Love the gist of the piece, but the author gave it a horrendous dichotomy by choosing the word “mediocre: Of only average quality; not very good.” By using the word, she’s still invoking the cultural implication that slower, non- frenetic, non-greed and fear-driven lifestyles are “less than”. Very poor choice of wording.

    • Excellent point. I wonder if she used “mediocre” because that’s how how people who are more driven would see this choice. Because we identify with what she’s expressing, we might use descriptive words like simple, undemanding, organic, or laid-back. But someone viewing it from the other end of the spectrum (which is typically the more socially acceptable end) might very well use mediocre, underachieving, unmotivated, or some other term with a negative connotation.

      • I assume that’s why she chose that word. However, the way she used it, and her utter lack of placing it in perspective is what is so jarring about it. She’s writing an article supporting a choice of a lifestyle not tied in to the social frenzy, so of course she would need to have to frame that mindset for the readers. But “a small, slow, simple life” is not the same as a “mediocre” life. Perhaps, even though she wants that slow life, she’s her own worst enemy and judges herself for wanting it, hence the “mediocre”.

          • Exactly…. so easy to get….. I also don’t necessarily get that its indeed her desire…. she is the writer and can write from any perspective she chooses!

    • This word used in different context than most would use it is not a big deal because of the intended meaning as used in the article. Criticism unwarranted IMHO.

      • “Mediocre” is supposed to mean average, but I think it invokes a stronger feeling than that. (If you were researching a restaurant you were curious about and all the reviewers said it was “mediocre”, I’m pretty sure that would be a dealbreaker.) Yes, I believe the writer used it to mean something like “simple living” or “plain vanilla”, but even in that context, “mediocre” invokes a negative image.

    • I think the word mediocre relates more to society’s view of a simple life And therefore has a negative connotation. For those of us who get it…. we know a simple life is not mediocre but the ultimate in living… !!

    • I love the use of the word ~ I think it’s very tongue-in-cheek, and that’s why it makes me smile 🙂 Simple life (and a good sense of humor) for the win!

    • Look in the mirror and find someone who has an obligation to love you and should love you for being the one that’s always there for you at the end of the day and tell her she’s beautiful and take care of her if you see dark circles and sleep in drink water and give her soft skin and love her grey hair and know that she will be old one day and she will still love you but today you feel like colouring the beautiful long hair of your youth. It’s what I say to me and myself because I am beautiful and that is a great set of…. eyes and I see in them the love I will give myself first

  29. What an incredible piece. I love it. I know I’m not a mach 2 with my hair on fire kind of guy because it just makes me stressed out. Slow and steady wins the race. I was hurt in a work accident back in 1999 and then again in 2001…I have not worked since and have struggled with that. Someone finally helped me understand that even though sometimes you feel better I’m not better. Im broken and have to learn how to do what I want to do with the body I have now. Maybe I should just let go of that struggle and be who I am…Seize the Limitations!

Leave a reply