Friday, November 29, 2019

Friday Feature: What is Enough?

I used to be part of the Black Friday brigade, back when it started at something resembling a reasonable hour (or perhaps my definition of a reasonable hour has just changed over time). These days, I'd much rather be part of the Cyber Monday crew, shopping in my pjs in the comfort of my own home. I can't think of anything I want badly enough to rise at 4am and stand in line for it and I refuse to contribute to the notion that retail workers should have to be at my beck and call on Thanksgiving.

Another factor that has played a role in my shopping shift is reaching the point where there really isn't that much that I want that I don't already have -- at least nothing that can be purchased at a Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) sale. In her post, "What is enough?" blogger and author Ingrid Fetell Lee digs a little deeper into the concept of enough, not only from a material perspective, but from a personal perspective as well.

Lee looks at gratitude, goals and, without actually labeling it, savoring as well -- that concept of being in the moment and truly experiencing all it has to offer without thinking about what might be missing or what comes next.

As an inveterate to-do list box checker, I saw a lot of myself in this article, but one paragraph practically jumped off the page and pointed its finger at me:
...Mollie West Duffy, one of the authors of the book No Hard Feelings...suggested asking the question, "What is going to be enough for today?" I've started doing this around 4pm, the hour at which I typically scan the many items still to do on my list and start to calculate how many I can reasonably accomplish. I think sometimes the pursuit of more is a mindless one, and just calling our attention to the question is often enough to discover that enough is closer to hand than we realized.
I have practically the same hour of reckoning as Lee -- somewhere around 4pm each day -- and I invariably look at my list in frustration, not triumph. I feel grumpy about what I've left undone and start wishing for a personal chef because I know that if only I didn't have to make dinner, that extra time could be soo productive and I could dispense with another three or four items....

And maybe I could. Or maybe, just perhaps, what I've already done is sufficient and it's time to rethink the reality of the list I made in the first place. On any given day, either of these things could be true, yet one conclusion is more challenging than the other, especially when I look around at what remains to be done and wonder just when that will happen.

So, today, when my lovely, long day "off" has been derailed by a sinus headache that delayed checking anything off my list, I'm going to try to remember to ask myself that question. There will always be more to do, to buy, to prepare. So, for today, what is going to be enough? 

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