In America, we are extremely fortunate to lead lives of abundance. We do have homeless and hungry, but most of us have never known true poverty. We've always had enough. More than enough. Truth be told, most of us are burdened with way too much.
And too much is a burden . . . not to the same painful degree that too little may be. Without a doubt, the starving in Darfur would love to be burdened with too much. But what most of us don't seem to realize, as we run around frantically cramming more and more into our already overcrowded lives, is that too much is uncomfortable as well. Excess has to be dealt with. Where do you put those new shoes? You need a bigger house with bigger closets. Where do you put those excess calories, waistline or hips? Where do you invest your excess wealth? The stock market is volatile and bonds are risky. We suffer from too much entertainment and not enough connection. We suffer from too much escapism and not enough pragmatism.
We need to rediscover enough. Enough is warm and fuzzy . . . it's stretching out in a comfortable chair and losing yourself in a great book. Enough is taking a walk with a wide-eyed three-year-old and stopping to watch a caterpillar inch its way along a twig. Enough is a candlelight dinner with your one true love, even if it is yesterday's stew. Enough is a warm blanket on a cold, rainy day. Enough is when you stop at full and happy, avoiding stuffed and bloated.
I read an article today that sums it up well:
"I think that the real trick to finding that sense of satisfaction is to realize you don't need much to attain it. A window-box salad garden and a mandolin hanging on the back of the door can be all the freedom you need. If it isn't everything you want for the future, let it be enough for tonight. Living the way you want has nothing to do with how much land you have or how much you can afford to spend on a new house. It has everything to do with the way you choose to live every day and how content you are with what you have. . . . Find your own happiness and dance with it."*
So for now, I wish you enough.
*From "Life on the Homestead," by Jenna Woginrich in Mother Earth News, April/May 2009