The Year of Enough, Resolution Style

My only New Year’s resolution is to gain an even deeper understanding of what it means to be enough and have enough. In a strange mixed blessing, the best way to do this is to have very little, and that’s where we’re at, going into 2013 with less steady income than we did in 2012, or the previous year, for that matter. What’s interesting is I am happier and feel more full starting this year than I did at either of the beginning of those two years. Having money does not mean you can’t feel abundant, but not having it does not mean that, either.

However, when you have very little money, just enough to barely get by, you are forced to learn what your baseline is. You have to figure out how much indulgence you need in order to feel nurtured, and how much you can do without before feeling deprived and depleted. Anyway, I have my very low pay checks to thank for teaching me the spiritual lesson I am most craving this year, so there’s that.

I am not making light of the anxiety that comes from bill-paying on such a tight budget. But our family is surprised on an almost daily basis by the unexpected blessings that come our way, often in monetary form. In February, Olive is going to be able to go to a beautiful little preschool, and we figured out how to pay for it with the support and help of our community. Joel keeps getting freelance jobs, and if they continue, we’ll be able to afford to attend the several weddings and graduations we’ve been invited to in 2013. It would mean so much to us to be there for our family and friends at those events, so our hopes are up that we’ll be able to be frugal and save to be there.

Never mind the fact that June will be 10 years of married life for Joel and I! For ten years we have been saying that we will take a big second honeymoon, a week to Hawaii or Europe to commemorate this anniversary. However, our financial situation means that we’ll most likely only be able to afford a night or a weekend away. I actually don’t feel sad about this, rather that it will all work out how it is supposed to. A weekend in the California redwoods might be just what the Doctor ordered for our relationship, while a big trip would have been too much.

gratitude

Honestly, I’m not trying to put a smile on a shit sandwich. I’m attempting to shift my perspective from one of never-having-enough to one of acceptance and gratitude. Instead of waking up and already being at a place of focusing on lack (I didn’t get enough sleep this morning, we don’t have enough food in the house, I don’t have enough energy and patience to be with Olive all day, I won’t have enough time to myself today, I’ll never get everything done, etc.), I want to be able to sort out those thoughts and feelings and consider which ones are reality, and which are keeping me from risking and living big. Maybe I didn’t get eight full hours of sleep, but I probably got enough. If we don’t have much food in the house, I need to make a list of what we need and see if we can afford to buy it at the store. If I don’t have the inner strength to be with my daughter all day, I can call for back-up, see if a friend can come visit us to bolster my patience by listening to me mid-day.

You get the picture — instead of just allowing a sense of dis-ease to take over my understanding of my life, I want to be able to take a step back, a step straight into my inherent worthiness as a child of a loving creator, and live life from that place, rather than the one who is always worrying about the next hurdle and how on earth I’m going to scale it.

Typography by Drew Melton

Typography by Drew Melton

In short, that is my new year’s resolution — to be enough. I won’t be thin enough for our cultural standards of women, but my body is strong and healthy. I won’t be smart enough to solve all my financial woes this year, but my community is helping me. I won’t be loving enough to everyone I meet, but that’s why grace is there for me. Being enough is not about lowering expectations or denying loss. It’s about allowing love to lift me up in the midst of disappointments about myself or my life, and finding gratitude in the midst of them.  That’s why, this year, I resolve to let myself be enough and to say “Enough” to living in that feeling of constant lack.  It will require constant recalibration, and help from you all to keep me in check, but I believe it will be worth it.  Happy New Year, my friends.  I wish for you all a truly abundant 2013!

15 thoughts on “The Year of Enough, Resolution Style

  1. Right on, Rhea! I try to remind myself that having more money or stuff does not make you any happier. It’s all about finding joy in your life, and within yourself. Happy New Year!

    • I’m so glad to hear that! I really think that if more and more people live this way, our culture could undergo a big shift. Instead of “I NEED the new iphone”, it could be “I WANT the new iphone. I’ll see if I can balance that desire with a bunch of other things in my life and see what happens.” That’s just a small example, but sometimes I feel like the weight of what everyone is craving and striving for has made us such an anxious society. Here’s to taking off the worry about where we’re going and just being okay within ourselves.

  2. This is such an amazing post. I’ve struggled my whole life with being enough, having enough, doing enough. Money is tight and only going to get tighter. Four of my friends got engaged last week and it’s tearing me up inside. I’m putting on my happy Facebook face, but the reality is that I’m miserable. That won’t be something I get to experience, partially through my own choosing and partially because some things are simply not in the cards for me. But it’s still hard.

      • :). For occasions that should be happy, yes, intensely difficult. Don’t get me wrong, I really am happy for my friends, but still tough.

  3. I’m so glad that we have each other and other like minded people around us that are striving to be enough. All we have is this one moment to cherish or squander…some times we’ll get it right, other times we’ll blow it, but hopefully we will be given many tomorrows.

  4. what a lovely reminder; thank you! like most of us, I struggle with envy and self-doubt…am inspired by your example to lovingly remind myself of all the ways I am worthy, wonderful and kicking ass.

  5. amen, reese. ever grateful for your thoughts and insight. It always seems to come right before i am about to give in to worry. Love you.

  6. For someone who never has enough, does enough, is enough, this is the perfect reminder to shift my perspective. May I borrow this resolution? :) I may need to tape it to my mirror to remember, but it would be worth it to remember to practice peace.
    Good luck, and happy New Year!

  7. You’re on the right plain of thought. Last night’s dharma talk was about having enough. That in a sense we have everything we need inside of us right now. Nothing is missing. When was have that spiritual awareness we can approach difficulties with confidence and ease. Things will never be perfect, but who we are in the midst of difficulties can sway either positive or negative. Being able to accept the way things are creates a spaciousness of though that we’ve both been experiencing!

  8. Rhea, what a perfect new year’s post. Thank you for these brilliant thoughts about abundance and living LARGE even when we are brokebroke. And I love all the pics of you guys–you are all very easy on the eyes.

  9. What a beautiful post! Its funny how the words you need to hear find their way to you-or you to them. Either way on this rainy night of restless teething baby, half cleaned house, inconsiderate neighbors and an uncooked dinner it feels good to remember the roof over our heads is keeping us warm and dry. Thank you.

  10. You are at a beautiful place in your life, Rhea! Young and with a gorgeous family and so full of wisdom. This is a good one, “enough”. It’s important! xo

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