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.