I’ve had enough!
We’ve all said that at one time or another, right? I’m guessing it gets forced between clenched teeth when we’re fed up with perpetuating something that wasn’t right to begin with. You can just about feel your face contort into a frown when you read it, let alone say it out loud. Its a dismissive statement about a bad situation, said in the past tense.
But what if we turn that idea on its head. What if, in the face of despair, or defeat, or disaster, we could, after slamming our fist down and proclaiming that we’ve had it up to here – what if we then take a deep cleansing breath and restate it? How about we rephrase and rethink this with an accepting statement, about a good situation, that is happening in the present?
I have enough!
Celebrate your enoughness! Isn’t that just a little different? There’s almost an urge to smile with this version, and even so, I bet this statement isn’t uttered nearly as often as the other. Ghandi had some thoughts on this…
“The earth provides enough to satisfy every person’s need but not every person’s greed. When we take more than we need, we are simply taking from each other or destroying the environment for ourselves and other species.”
I know that I have spent too much time and energy worrying about what I don’t have, instead of appreciating everything I do have. In light of this past year, where we have lost what seems to be a greater number of high-profile people than ever before. When we’ve been bombarded by an extended public display of disrespect and bad behavior by people who should be setting a better example. When we all just want to throw our hands in the air like we just don’t care and yell I’VE HAD ENOUGH! That my friends, that is the time when we MUST add the inside out version of that sentiment.
I have enough.
Yes, we don’t have Prince, or Glen Frey or Leonard Cohen to provide us with music to soothe these savage times. But we do have recordings, and tributes, and our appreciation of what they did give us while they were here. And Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize for God’s sake!
OK. We’re facing four years of comical at best and terrifying at worst enforced awareness of a society that seems to have lost it’s mind. We won’t have Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to lead us on our eternal quest for greater opportunity and dignity for all. But we do still hold those goals for ourselves, and we do still have our sense of honor and what’s right. And we can all set examples for others by leading our selves and remaining true to those ideals.
It’s not just public and large scope losses either. In fact the personal losses and setbacks are probably even harder to see in a new light, or any light at all for that matter. This year Dave’s younger brother, my dear brother in law Andy passed away. To make matters worse, and because death doesn’t care about schedules, while Dave was in Iowa with Andy and his family, I was in California with friends celebrating my 40th high school reunion. The sheer antithetical nature of that evening was absolutely jarring to us. It took us a while, in fact it took us from August til November to really figure out how we were ever going to turn we’ve had enough into we have enough. But we did.
This year has also been one of backing away from my job at Myriad Mobile. With growth, changes in leadership, reorganizations, and changes in philosophy, gradually over time my job became something I no longer recognized, so two weeks ago I gave my notice. I’m a team player and I’m willing to pitch in and learn and change and grow, especially given the startup nature of the business. But a bricklayer is just not cut out to be a brain surgeon – if you catch my drift. I found myself at the end of each day, gripping the steering wheel on my way home yelling I’ve had enough! Which helped me in the moment, but doesn’t help anyone in the long run. I had to turn that around, and find my enoughness.
I won’t have a full time job next week. But I will have the freedom to focus on my classes, and my writing, and on being active in causes that make me feel like I’m giving back to my community. I won’t have anger and frustration related stress any more. I might have stress about not enough work, but that’s a tradeoff I’m willing to make. I actually have a really good opportunity that’s coming together in the next month or so, with clearer expectations of my talents and my time, so I’m looking forward to that.
I have good friends. I have a good family. I appreciate… no, celebrate the things that I do have right here, right now.
And that’s enough.
In the Brainpickings article that includes this “elevating resolution” site author Maria Poppova references Kurt Vonnegut’s letter to his friend Joseph Heller who taught Vonnegut about “Enoughness.” I set out at the beginning of this year with the intention to write about each of the 16 objectives mentioned in the Brainpickings article. By my count I still have eight more to go. Or, in keeping with the spirit of this post, and to invoke a 70s TV show… maybe Eight Is Enough.