Monday, January 9, 2012

Enough Already, Already Enough

So I'm tearing myself away from the BCS Championship game to jump back into blogging. Such a sacrifice -- HA!

A New Year's Resolution post is a tradition here at NTB. If you fancy, you can check out my resolutions for 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Or, you can just read one of those previous resolution posts and get the gist of them all. Let's not say that I fall short of my resolutions so much as that I recognize that I am a work in progress. I'm okay with that.

Okay, I just looked up last year's post so I could do the links above and found this very quote: "I'm a work in progress, and I'm okay with that." How's that for being a broken record or, better thought, how's that for knowing myself? Last year's post (which is kind of a good one, NTB) also includes mention of Gretchen Rubin and her Happiness Project. And, well, wouldn't you know it, this year's resolutions are inspired by a quotation that came my way, thanks to Gretchen Rubin.

I'm signed up for daily Happiness Project Moment of Happiness emails. Each morning in my inbox, I have a thought about happiness waiting for me. The one I woke up to the day after Christmas really resonated with me:

"Enough is abundance to the wise." --Euripides

Perhaps a thought I would have been wise to ponder earlier in the month before I began the yearly attempt to try to buy, wrap, do, cook, bake, give, and enjoy it all. And, yes, sure, I have enough stuff and, thankfully, always have had. Without knowing the original context of this passage from Euripides, I'd also like to reflect upon enough as abundance in other ways as well.

As a reforming perfectionist, anxiety addict, and guilt junkie, I spent many years being hard on myself, focusing a bit too much on what else I could do, had not done yet, or could have done better. Having children has probably forced the change in me more than anything, but I am learning to believe that I'm already good enough. I'm doing the best I can and that's enough and more than enough.

I'm not talking about settling or lowering expectations or dreaming smaller so much as I am about just living ... doing what I can for now -- hoping for tomorrow and the next day while enjoying this one as much as I can. I suspect that enough is abundance for those who can appreciate their lives exactly as they are.

I can honestly say that I am happier and more content than I have been in years. I love my husband and he is truly my partner, teammate, and supporter. We have three healthy and (mostly) happy kids. After a long two years of trying and failing to sell our home (we have responsible renters in there now), we were able to move into a new home. We are slowly making it our own and are truly falling in love with the neighborhood and community that surrounds us. There is something very comforting about knowing that we are going to be right here for the foreseeable future.

This life is good. It's enough and more than enough for this moment, and I'm confident that it will expand and change as I need it to.

I wanted to make resolutions that were sort of concrete and also ones that honored the spirit of enough as abundance. And in that spirit, I am still easing into most of these.

* There's a whole house here to organize, decorate, and clean. Resolved for now: try to keep the island clear and make my bed most days. These are two tasks that I think could be a foundation for a larger "outer order leads to inner calm" plan.

* There are about fifteen or twenty pounds to be lost. Resolved for now: weigh myself every morning and record the number. Go from there.

* Try twenty new recipes this year (noted: the old MEP would have resolved something unreasonable like "try two new recipes a week" or "eliminate all carbs except whole grains" and then beat herself up/chucked the whole thing when that goal was not met).

* Feed Pinterest addiction. So, I have my notebook but Pinterest just takes it all to the next level. I think for several years I kind of forgot how much I love to make stuff. Large and small creative projects just make me happy. Toward that end, I'm going to continue with the Real Women of Pinterest posts on this blog. Stay tuned.

* Stop going on iphone Solitaire benders. Enough already in the traditional, non-abundant sense. Just sort of sad or, in the words of my moody-these-days kindergartener, just "lame."

* Gather ye friends' cell phone numbers. Two phones ago, I did not transfer my numbers when I got a new phone. Thus, even now, my cell phone contact list is woefully incomplete. Reality is that most of my friends are busy with kids, careers, or both and it can be tough to find a time to chat when one/both parties isn't being whined at or pulled toward some mess or emergency. Sending and receiving little text messages brightens my day, and I want to do more of that.

* Launch my book blog. Yes, there's part of me that knows I need another website like I need a hole in my head. But, I've had ideas for (a website devoted to my life's pleasures) percolating for a while now and I'm eager to get started. No timeline yet, but I'll keep reading and eating in the meantime. You can trust me on that one.

Okay then, that's enough for now. I wish you happiness and health this new year and the peace and content that comes with believing you are already enough. Because you are.

Any resolutions for 2012? Please share in the comments. Are you my friend? Email me your cell number because it's probably not programmed into my phone.


Steph said...

Happy 2012 to you!!!! I like your intentions for the year.

Heather said...

Oh, I love this! We live in a state of abundance...when you can realize and appreciate it, it truly does bring peace and happiness to your life. Instead of always needing the "next best thing", you are free to be CONTENT with the blessings you are already surrounded with.

I'm so glad to hear you are getting settled in to the new house...I'm dying for a virtual tour, you know! And I would love to get some texts from you, especially one that says "I'm coming to Cincinnati, let's meet up!".

Stacia said...

Amen! I'm trying out a Gretchen Rubenesque resolution system this year, too. January is devoted to being a kinder, more patient parent. February is about being a more supportive, loving wife. And March is for me ... because I have those 15 or 20 pounds, too. I'm sure there's some point to be made that I put myself third, but hey, let's not go there. Happy New Year!!

E... said...

Love your ideas, and that they are so concrete and do-able. I too, have been making my bed lately, something I never used to do because I didn't really see the point. I started on the days when my nieces use my bedroom as their bedroom, but now that I've gotten into the habit, it makes me feel better about my whole life. If I can just keep a couple of spaces clear, I feel like I will be clearer.
I hear you on the iphone benders, though I don't think I'm ready to give up words with friends quite yet. But yes, lame to worry that I haven't made my next move in the last two hours.
Other resolutions are to set aside specific times to be on the computer, not just randomly noodle any old time I pass it by; to read more (need to be more specific with this one so it gets done); and to set more specific times to get together with people I care about seeing, even if it means I am always the one organizing the event.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like some very reasonable and attainable resolutions for 2012. Baby steps are always the key to lasting change.

I'm not sure I can give up the iPhone benders, though mine is TextTwist. I think your idea of text messaging friends is brilliant. No one seems to have much time for a lengthy, catch up phone call, but sending a sweet text message brightens anyone's day.

I'm anxious for the launch of the book blog.

PITA said...

Excellent sentiment. I think starting small is the key indeed.

Regan said...

on topic : "Not to feel exasperated or defeated or despondent because your days aren't packed with wise and moral actions. But to get back up when you fail, to celebrate behaving like a human—however imperfectly—and fully embrace the pursuit you've embarked on."

But "we've got responsible renters"? -- that'll be with me a long time as a MEP classic turn of phrase. Wow.

Tricia said...

Loved the post. I laughed at your recipe resolution. Only because my own resolution was first a new recipe every week and then I quickly got all realistic and said one new recipe every 2-3 weeks. I think we are wired very similarly.

I am also at a place of contentment and have to continue to get over myself (guilt, self-pressure, etc.) and get over what others think (my MIL, etc.)

I'm so glad you are continuing RWOP. Otherwise, I might lose my motivation!

And yes, I'm emailing you my cell phone number because I also will await a text about you coming to Cincy.

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