Monday, December 10, 2012

Enough



I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “enough”.  I read Wayne Muller’s thought-provoking book, A Life of Being, Having and Doing Enough, and it struck such a strong chord with me.  The pace of the holiday season seems to be racing even faster than normal this year. It’s probably more noticeable to me since I have been forced by my limitations still imposed on my right arm to go slower, do less, not strain. So everyone around me appears to be flying by while I wander around picking out gifts and deliberately weighing how much I want to do to maintain the holiday spirit without feeling exhausted.
Muller says, “Enough is not a relationship; it is played out in this moment and the next, and the next. We can only experience a sense of enough when we are fully present and awake in this moment…. The farther we get from this moment – the more we project outward into next week, next month, next year – the less and less we can truly know about who we will become or how the world may have completely reshaped its way around us.”  He also points out that as we grow older, our needs and wants change so that our desires when we were young are almost unrecognizable to those we experience later in life.
This is certainly true for me. I was in New York City this week with my daughter, and I could feel the same happy energy and enthusiasm flowing from her that I had myself when I was in my twenties, living in the city. She can’t get enough of the excitement and glamour. What I wanted then when I was a diehard New Yorker has no resemblance to what looks like the good life to me now.  By the end of the day, I couldn’t wait to get home and rub my hands on Silk’s furry neck and snuggle up on the couch with my velvet puppy, Stella. I was overwhelmed by how grateful I am for what I have and how it is truly more than enough.
We had old friends come to visit last weekend. They are very urban and sophisticated, and seemed a little disoriented to be here.  “I had forgotten how rural it is,” my girlfriend commented as we stood in the way back looking at the bridle trails blocked by the trees that fell during the hurricane. I had a feeling that she was torn between wanting the peace and serenity and thinking that it would drive her crazy.
As we fed carrots to the horses, I told her that I often think about one of my favorite quotes from E.B. White: “ I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” I guess at this point in my life, I’m going to concentrate on what it feels like to just do enough and not too much.

9 comments:

billie said...

Funny - when I read the title I thought you were going to say "ENOUGH - as in - enough of this - and then enjoyed the double use of the word for there being enough, as in not needing more.

You are so right about stopping to note that often what we have right in front of us is simply and perfectly enough.

Right now I'm glancing out the sliding door and seeing the pony, Cody, and Keil Bay standing in a line by the gate in the paddock. The bare trees are behind them and there is fog so there's a gray, misty washed out look to the landscape but the horses' deep, rich color is there and that image in front of me is so gorgeous - it illustrates perfectly your idea of enough.

Hope your December goes slowly and well so you can enjoy every single moment of it!

Lori Skoog said...

What a great post! I am right where you are, minus having lived full time in the city. When we visited our daughters, who lived there, I loved the electricity but was always very happy to get back to the farm and our animals. As for the holidays...it's not so much about presents anymore...but we do have a big Christmas Eve pot luck for 20-30 friends who have no family in town. It has become quite a tradition. Hope all is well and that your arm is getting better every day.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Great post. I also feel that I have enough and am very happy about where I am right now. When I was much younger we used to go into the city quite a lot. The Broadway plays, dinner with friends and walking around was exciting. I rarely go in any more unless it's required. I guess I'm content to have peace and serenity with my family and animals.

Have a peaceful Christmas season and do just enough to keep yourself where you want to be.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Lovely thoughtful post...

I lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn for many years right before moving here to the middle of nowhere. I still love the energy of NYC (for limited amounts of time), but am most at home on my farmette.

Lots of folks who visit here freak out at the isolation, lack of shopping centers, fast food and 24 hour conveniences... who needs those when you can see the Milky Way?

We can (should be able to) carry peace and tranquility with us wherever we go, but it certainly seems easier without the distractions of the city. :D

Kate said...

As you often do, you've put into words what many of us are feeling at this stage in our lives - thank you.

Cindy D. said...

Beautiful

Kimberly Taylor said...

Glad to read such wonderful and inspiring thought. Our modern life style really make our lives too busy and days fly so fast. Hope you can make your Christmas season calm and holy.

C-ingspots said...

This was a wonderful post. Very soothing for me to read because I feel very much like you. Where once I was happy going, doing and seeing all the time, now I relish the quiet, peaceful times, and especially enjoy taking in and appreciating all the beauty and the comforts that I enjoy in my life. I suppose that's the proper "cycle of life" and we're just realizing how much we've matured. I try to just be more aware of each moment, and try always to carry within my heart, an attitude of gratitude. This helps bring peace, comfort and joy into my life. Merry Christmas Victoria. :)

Máire said...

The title of your post drew me towards it. So true and you have put into words just what I was reaching towards in my mind.