This morning I began reading a life of being, having, and doing by Wayne Muller. I never got beyond the opening chapter. The chapter “A Life of Enough” made me think.
…the bar keeps rising, nothing is ever finished, nothing is ever good enough. So we work and add and never stop, never back away, never feel complete, and we despair of ever finding comfort, relief, or sanctuary.
So many good-hearted people I know are exhausted. (p. 3)
Whether they are parents or teachers, business people or community volunteers, doctors, clergy, nurses, or civil servants, they each in their own way feel victim to a relentless assault of increasing expectations, activities, demands, and accomplishments that overwhelm any spaciousness or ease in their daily lives. (p. 4)
What then is our work on the earth? In a world gone mad with speed, potential, and choice, we continually overestimate what we can do, build, fix, care for, or make happen in one day. (p. 5)
With some people, “enough” is never quite satisfactory.
- They boast about how long they worked at the office the night before.
- They imply that unless one works weekends, they really aren’t making a sacrifice.
- They challenge by comparing you to others suggesting that you could be doing more or doing better.
Yet, perhaps there is something to be said for working hard and then stopping at the end of the day knowing that for today, this is enough. Recognizing the place of “enough” may allow you to work many years with joy and energy.