On Being, Having, and Giving Enough

A common thread running through my life right now is a tension between scarcity and abundance. I find it at home, with my family, in my work, among friends, and deeply imbedded in me. Perhaps it has come more in focus as I consider how I’m going to slow my life down, because at my current velocity the slightest curve will derail me.

I feel an acute scarcity of time. You know that feeling of not having enough hours in a day? (Yes, I’m right there with you.) We all have the same number of hours each day — nobody gets more or less. Right now there are an abundance of demands, which I have confused for scarcity of time. That abundance is both reassuring that I’m needed, wanted, desired and overwhelming.

When there are an abundance of demands in my life the first thing that gets pushed aside is sleep closely followed by taking care of myself. It’s a bad combo, friends. Yet, I justify it with the belief that there will always be time to sleep… eventually there will be an abundance of sleep, but I might not have another chance to [fill in the blank.] I fear scarcity.

Scarcity comes in a variety of flavors. It can be anything from missing out on once in a lifetime event or simply not having enough. Will I spend enough time with my kids? Will I ever have a chance to go to a Stanley Cup party again? Am I contributing enough at work to “earn my keep?”

Enough… a word I struggle with. Am I enough? Do I have enough? What the hell is “enough”? How does one measure enough? Can you have more than enough? Is that good or bad?

More-than-enough takes two forms, comfort and gluttony, and they couldn’t be more different. Nobody feels comfortable when they over indulge. Yet more-than-enough can stave off the fear of scarcity… perhaps more-than-enough is abundance. An abundance of love gives us comfort. More-than-enough demands cause angst.

The past couple of weeks as I have burned the candle on both ends, I’ve been living in gluttony. Nothing has been bad… it has just been too much. In some cases I’ve gorged myself out of fear of scarcity, but other times it was because it was there and available and it felt good and I figured I could take care of the necessities later.

This weekend we are traveling for the fourth time in two weeks. Logically it is too much and seems crazy to be repacking my suitcase again. I’m not feeling stressed though. No hyperventilating over everything that has to get done. I’m feeling grateful for the abundance that is allowing us to take this next trip.

I’m thankful that we are headed to see dear friends where everything is sufficient. Plenty of love and friendship to go around. Meals that will be savored with each bite as we enjoy the time together. A great deal of fun to lift our spirits. The space and acceptance to recharge batteries. Not too much of anything, but enough of everything.

So what is “enough”? It is the fulcrum of the lever with scarcity on one end and abundance on the other… the point at which the two balance. As we head into the holiday weekend, my wish for you is that you find moments of enough. Time where peace and comfort wash over you.

Happy Independence Day!


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