Last year I vowed to have a resolution free 2012. I rolled into 2013 on the wake of one of the most relaxing holiday breaks of my entire life and once again the last thing on my mind was goal setting or resolution making. After all, why would I want to yuck my yum by overwhelming myself with (potentially unattainable) goals and (completely pointless) to-do lists? I will finish writing my first book by mid-month, meeting an at times terrifying manuscript deadline. I’ve been spending time parting with all things unnecessary and can see a corner of my office floor that I haven’t seen since we moved in two years ago. And the ugly black office window valance that I hated even more than the tiki window treatments in my basement has been replaced by a pretty steely blue, brightening my daily space. I looked at these early January accomplishments and asked, isn’t that enough for one month after a crazy busy year? I say yes. Resolutions, go elsewhere.
And then my Facebook newsfeed became the “one word” fan club.
Apparently it is a thing to choose a word for the year. I mentioned this to the wonderful woman I speak to once a week and she guffawed, an honest to goodness, near to a snort guffaw. “A word for the year? How…limiting.”
THANK YOU, I bellowed, confused by this fad and a little aggravated by how quickly my intelligent, independent minded blogging buddies had leapt onto this one word bandwagon. Shall we also pick a color? A quote? A song of the year like when my senior class chose Bon Jovi’s “Never Say Goodbye”? While fantasizing about a 2013 secret handshake and designing my 2013 Amy Coat of Arms, I began seeing posts linking to places to buy word of the year necklaces. Get the word “success” in 14k gold and wear it around your neck every day! I mumbled something about false idols and priorities and looked the other way.
But during my eye rolling and my, well, more eye rolling, I also began to think about a word for me, hating the idea of letting a singular concept define my goals for 365 days, but curious about the concept. I told a friend that if I was forced to choose a word, I would pick “less,” which is a bit of a strange guiding light for a year in my life and may bring confusion to those who see my word of the year tattoo on my forehead.
Less? Less what?
Kind of a useless word. So my friend suggested Enough. Much to my dismay, I let out a little squee. I emoticon clapped. And I simultaneously mocked myself and embraced the idea of the word Enough leading me into the new year.
I first thought seriously about this word while in Tanzania with Compassion International last May. During our week visiting Compassion centers and getting to know the families of Compassion-served children, we talked about the opposite of poverty – financial poverty, social poverty, spiritual poverty, physical poverty – being enough. Just enough. Not more than you need or all you could ever want, but rather enough. The word and the concept and all its ramifications have stuck with me and while I haven’t sold most of my worldly belongings and moved into a two room shanty, I have been feeling pulled to the idea of downsizing many aspects of my life.
This has led me to think that perhaps it is okay to have less income. I will still have enough.
Perhaps I could travel a bit less. I’m fairly sure that my travel will still be fulfilling enough.
That dessert that I don’t need? No thank you. I’ve had enough.
Those people in my life who operate from an unhealthy place and bring drama with them everywhere they go? They are not needed in my life. I have enough friends. Real ones.
And the way that so many of us fill our days with one thing after another, giving nothing our complete attention for even a moment, well I’ve had enough of that as well.
I have spun for myself a chaotic web of a life, playing out on (of course) an extra-large computer screen that can accommodate the many windows that contain my every day – the work, the conversation, the worthwhile, the nonsense, all together before me on my desk. And at the end of the day, it is the time spent with a piece of paper and a pencil, jotting down notes for the writing that still fuels my soul, that feels the most meaningful to me despite the fact that I’ve crammed it sadly into a tiny corner of my life during my search for more. It is those few moments with close friends in person rather than keeping up with the relentless rhythm of the online community that actually feels worthwhile. And my family. I believe my family has also had enough and they, perhaps they would like more.
So here I sit several days into the new year wanting to turn away from the noise and utterly blinding ambition swirling around me and find my Enough, settle into it, breathe, and live. Enough…