My word came to me pretty quickly and effortlessly this year. I remember it clearly. It was the weekend after Thanksgiving. All the Christmas boxes were pulled out, a day my Christmas loving heart awaits for in great expectation. But this was different. This year it was timed with a new arrival, first trimester gloom and doom. Each new hall decked was paired with exhaustion, sickness, depression. Suddenly the meaning of the season felt like excess and gloom instead of light and hope. I wanted to be done before we had really even begun. And naturally, guilt follows pretty quickly after that. How was I to give my children that magic filled season if I was already wishing it all away?
“Maybe this year will be the year of good enough.” He kindly reminded me.
(That husband of mine. He sure knows how to care for me.)
I could do good enough.
The projects crafted and the bucket lists checked and the cookies baked. All of that may or may not happen this year. And that is fine. What does happen will be good enough.
What a release this was for me.
I found I enjoyed myself a little bit more knowing the expectations were lifted. I was surprised by the magic instead of attempting to make it.
And as I felt the satisfaction of enough, I also felt a desire to see what else Enough could mean for me, in my physical space and mental space.
Clearing away the “clutter” of Christmas in January helped. Seeing less, especially less of what became a visual reminder of how crummy I felt, was freeing too.
I wanted more of that feeling of freedom that Enough brought to me. Perhaps this was the year for that guiding word.
1. Occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations.
2. Synonyms: Sufficient. Plenty. Adequate amount. As much as necessary.
The definition always seals it for me. Enough occurs in both quantity and quality. And the results lead to FULLY meeting both needs and expectations, true challenges to my daily struggle.
Now before you see this as a declaration of a minimalist lifestyle, let me tell you how I see Enough.
I do want to feel more satisfied with what I currently have. I want my home and what was in it to be enough for me. This means working with what we have instead of planning all the ways it can be better. I hope that purchasing of less stuff and using what I have is a result of this. But it’s not the main goal. Again, it is more the quality part of satisfaction I am seeking.
I also need a big shift in my mental acceptance that what and who I am is enough for my family, and for myself. I am looking at a year ahead that can physically bring great demands on both my body and my time. This is not the season for skyscraper goals. This is the season for grace. This is a season to feel fully satisfied right where I am. This is always important but I think this year more than ever before.
But beyond that, I want to remind myself that while what I can give is enough, there also might be ways to remind myself amid the chaos and exhaustion, that there is still Enough time to feel alive. There is still Enough time to chase a dream, no matter how small the measures. There is still Enough time to read that book, take that walk, even vacuum that rug. Enough is not an excuse to do nothing but rather find as much as necessary to still feel like myself. To still feel satisfied. To still feel adequate.
The great Mary Poppins supplies us with many one liners to guide our lives but this one might be too often overlooked.
“Enough is as Good as a Feast.” - Mary Poppins
Taken from an English proverb, this phrase really speaks to how I want Enough to make me feel.
I don’t want Enough to feel like a limitation or a surrender. I want it to feel like a feast. A feast of plenty and freedom. A feast of exactly what I need for today.
When I began embracing Enough this holiday season, I was surprised by the joy that found its way into my life. As a way to leave space for the surprise that can come from just being happy with Enough, I’m not setting any specific goals this year. I will keep trying to have small goals month to month to practice finding enough time. But I want to be sure to celebrate what proves to be enough for me month to month.
This year, as I learn to embrace Enough, I hope I find more satisfaction with feeling like I have Enough, I am Enough, and I can find Enough. What a feast that will be.