Monday, December 21, 2009


This will come as no surprise to those who know me well, but I am an over-achiever. I don't think I'm a perfectionist per sé, but I do sometimes push myself (and others) too hard in an attempt to reach some personally defined outcome of greatness...
or satisfaction...
or success.

It was not until this year I finally came to better understand the sometimes unrealistic standard I strive to meet—and the ways in which it unfairly impacts those around me as I become overly expectant and hypercritical of their actions as well.

My lesson lately has been to find a new understanding of the term enough. One linked to a sense of contentment and fulfillment, rather than burdened with a negative connotation or preceded by "not good..."

Enough, as I am coming to reframe it, is akin to plenty. It suggests an absence of wanting; a simple stillness. Maybe even a form of emptiness, because it suggests one is no longer reaching and striving for more, but instead has come to rest in a place of peace.

And so... when my husband and I decided last minute to decorate the house and surprise our daughter with the gifts from the two of us and my parents (prior to our actual celebration of the holidays later this week with his family), it was with this new attitude I approached our task.

What would be enough? What was the amount needed to reach our goal... that of surprise, thoughtfulness, spontaneity, care, and the spirit and intention of the holiday?

Once we finished, my husband joked about our "Charlie Brown" tree and lamented the jerry-rigged and hastily assembled decorations... but I found great beauty in our efforts. They aligned nicely with the goals we've worked so hard to make a more permanent aspect of our lives: simplicity, necessity, mindful intention.

Reassurance was in our daughter's reaction the next morning, who had more than enough to feel special and loved as she gleefully celebrated an impromptu Christmas morning.

May you find satisfaction and peace in all you have. May you fairly assess your - and others' - efforts, particularly when they are guided by love.

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