(4 minute read)
Most Americans will admit to having more than enough. More than enough stuff; so much so people make a living teaching people how to get rid of stuff, how to organize stuff, and how to keep from getting more stuff. What’s more, we have more than enough to do. We are so busy we need pills to calm us down, pills to help us sleep, and drinks to keep us awake. Yep, it can be crazy out there. Add to this, many of us have had enough of the job it takes to keep us busy and buying more stuff. Yet we often find ourselves asking, how do I know when enough is enough? I mean where is the magic line in the sand between enough and too much; too much stuff, too busy, too long at a job I hate?
If you answer yes to some or all these questions you might have more than enough:
Enough is enough Stuff:
- Are you tempted to “organize” often? Be honest, most of the time when we organize we are doing nothing more than arranging stuff we don’t use or need. Organization is good and necessary but recognize the difference in making what you use neater and more efficient and rearranging junk so it looks nice.
- Do you find yourself always having to move one thing to get to another? This one often strikes me hard. Like when I trip over stuff or the stuff I need to move weighs 50 plus pounds. If you become sensitive to when this happens, and in my case my toes and back are pretty sensitive, you can take note of what you are moving and decide whether you need these items and if not pitch them. If you do need it, work to find a better storage place. You know, like get rid of something else to make space.
- Are there clothes in your closet you have not worn in over a year? Safe to say if it hasn’t been in contact with your body for 365 days you have enough other clothes to wear.
- Does your stuff own you? If you have any of the issues described in this past post no doubt you have more than enough. If you are looking for tips on how to get rid of clutter check this out.
Enough is enough to do:
- Do you feel rushed? Any time you feel your blood pressure going up to get somewhere or get something done you might have more than enough to do.
- Does fatigue overwhelm you at times? Does your schedule have you feeling like a hamster in a wheel? You can’t remember your name, how to get home, or you leave you kid in the car; yeah you have more than enough to do. Sometimes this is our own doing. There are too many good things to do in life for most of us. This seems to happen with kids a lot. Too many extracurricular activities can lead to mayhem in a hurry. With many kids even one extracurricular activity each can be enough to launch your family into chaos.
- Do you feel as though you are missing out on the important because you are always busy with the urgent? No time to sit at the table for supper, to call a parent and talk for a few minutes, hug a loved one for those magical 30 seconds causing pleasure and bonding hormones to release; you have more than enough to do.
- Are you sacrificing sleep on a regular basis? Or you sleep but never feel rested? Are you tempted to take something to sleep better? You have more than enough to do.
Enough is enough of a job:
- Do you often leave work crying or enraged?
- Do you experience large mood swings from a Friday night high to a Sunday night low?
- Do you find yourself living for the weekend?
- Is your confidence diminishing? Do you find yourself questioning your abilities, worth, and talents?
- Are you trapped? Or at least you think you are.
It can be difficult to make changes in any of these areas. You may find one easier than another. If so, start with what seems simpler to you. For me getting rid of stuff and keeping it from returning is the easiest of the three.
Saying no to opportunities to do fun or good activities when I know our schedules are full is a bit more difficult. For example, I love to garden but did not plant the first tomato last year. So far this year only weeds are growing in my boxes. Gardening is a fabulous activity but with only so much time and energy to offer I decided gardening wasn’t important enough to me. At least not for now.
My nemesis appeared in the form of a job. I confess, before this one could change for me the entire company had to close down and terminate us for me to see the light on this one. I could have answered a loud and clear yes to all five of the questions above yet I stuck with it.
For me these changes are hard in part because they aren’t free. They all require the loss of something good. There is pleasure in obtaining stuff. But, it doesn’t last for long. There are benefits from many activities. Piano lessons, sports, scouts, pets; they all can bring great joy and teach lifelong lessons. A job can bring in income. It can allow you to use your talents or a degree you have earned.
It is all a matter of prioritizing, focus, and knowing when enough is enough.
Sacrifice the good for the best. Find enough, find life abundant.