When Have I Done Enough?

So today is day one. And already I am tired. I realized today as I was just trying to get this site set up so that I could, with good conscience, post tonight was exhausting. I wrote the equivalent of about 5 pages and I did most of it within one sitting. I haven’t done that probably since I graduated from college four years back. And my wrists are actually sore from sitting at the keyboard all afternoon.

So its almost 8:30pm and I’m sitting down to write this post and I’m thinking back on my day and the question that comes to my mind is “when have I done enough?”. The concept of “enough” is strange, in and of itself. “Enough” doesn’t mean doing everything, exhausting all possible angles, working until every ounce of energy you have is expended……or does it? The reality is that I don’t know what is “enough”.

All my life, I have worked on the principle that if something needs to get done, I’ll get it done. Whether it is a week early or with a minute to spare, or a day late, it will get done. I have lived by this principle, putting off anything that I didn’t want to do, or that wasn’t engaging, or that didn’t seem pressing or urgent.

The problem has been that this attitude has made my life a series of short periods of relative calm punctuated by crisis after crisis. Yeah, if you ignore your mail, you don’t have to pay your bills. But eventually, the creditors come after you, and won’t let you ignore it anymore. If you ignore the law, you might have some fun at first, but eventually you’ll end up getting arrested. (Trust me, I’ve been there, in both situations I just described)

So what does this concept of “enough” have to do with my day today?

Well, during the whole time I was writing for this blog and getting it set up earlier, I kept thinking, have I done enough yet? When can I quit and move on to something else, something easier, something that doesn’t seem like “work”.

And I had the same thought later in the afternoon as I went with my aunt to my parents’ house where most of my stuff is stored so that we could pick up some things I needed. I was packing things into my aunt’s car and stuffing them into bags and I just kept thinking, is this enough yet?

And I had the same thought when unpacking and putting those things away – have I done enough yet? Does my room look good enough?

And when putting food on my plate during dinner – is this enough to satisfy me? Am I hungry enough to eat all this?

And even this instant as I’m writing – have I given enough examples of enough yet?

Wow. Ok, so even I hadn’t realized how many situations were relevant to this idea.

This post is asking a question to which I do not have the answer. The only thing I know is that, for me,  enough doesn’t mean exhausting every bit of energy I have on every task. It is somewhere between there and not doing something at all. And that is really all I know. I suppose it is different for everyone. But for me, today, the things I have are enough. The place I am in is enough. And this post is good enough  for me to post on the internet!

Goodnight everyone, and good luck on your own quest.



4 responses to “When Have I Done Enough?

  1. I absolutely love this post, Nathan, especially the last paragraph! Enoughness, in all it’s many forms, has been a big question for me much of my life. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve connected with the feeling of having enough, being enough, and it’s most often related to the present moment. When I don’t project in to the future, or linger on the past, I can get in touch with an overwhelming sense of enoughness…in this moment, and in this moment, and in this moment. Thanks for shining the light on enoughness!

  2. I can relate to that tendency to just enough and the desire to not do things that aren’t compelling, I think that’s called hedonism. It’s weird that I (and you) would never take that same approach to an RPG or to a Zelda game (or some other things we play that I don’t want to mention on the internet, there might be chicks on here). Why is it easier to motivate myself to improve my stats and skills in the video game world and not the same for improving my real life “stats” and skills? Life is a much more complicated and intricate RPG, if you ask me. We are both “creative-obsessives,” otherwise known as “huge nerds”. The key is learning how to apply the obsessive nature, the self-awareness and constant analysis into constructive things while corralling the anxiety that comes with those things. I still haven’t figured it out, but identifying the problem is a good start. I’ll loan you a book, called “The Nerdist Way” which is all about accomplishing that.

    • QuietMonolith

      Uh. Yes. This is just a note of profound agreement with everything in your post. Also, I want to read that book.

  3. Pingback: What I Need | The Wellness Quest

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