a life of being, having, and doing enough

see photograph here

I picked up this book at the library recently. The title drew me in because I feel like I am on an endless quest to find the balance between setting and achieving goals in my life and knowing when its ok to stop.

"What has so changed us? What has so radically transformed our world that we so easily surrender our hope of any reliable trustworthy permission to pause, gently put aside our day's work, take our nourishment, or find peace or sufficiency in enough for today? "

This book is kicking my butt in so many ways. Re-introducing me to the idea of contentment in life is foundational on so many fronts. But on the other hand, I do feel content. Where my issues lie is in the amount of pressure I put on myself to make something of my life. Immediately I hear rebuttals to that statement about finding satisfaction in motherhood, being a good wife, raising good children, and reaching out to others. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly with those things. But beyond my duty (using that word a good way) to everyone else I want to chase dreams and set goals that use talents I have been given and feel compelled to pursue. And sometimes I feel like I am defending myself to others. Defending my creativity or the happiness I find in baking a loaf of bread.

"In spite of any compelling physical or spiritual benefits, we fear we have no authentic, trustworthy permission to stop. If we do stop to rest without some very good reason or some verifiable catastrophe, we feel guilty, we worry about getting in trouble, we feel we are just lazy, not carrying our weight, not a team player, or will be left behind. If we just put our nose to the grindstone, give it our all, do our best, give 110 percent, really put our mind to it, never give up, and work more efficiently, then we can, and should, be able to get absolutely everything on our desk, on our to-do list, on our calendars, finished, on deadline, without any mistakes, perfectly, everytime.
Then, we can rest.

Some would say this idea of pursuing, acheiving, and working can be blamed on our culture. I only partially agree with that. Yes, I am inspired by other bloggers to create and I am challenged to take my dreams to the next level when I read 10 Habits of Highly Effective People. But beyond that, I have a deep internal desire to acheive. I am just now beginning to process if I have that "enough" switch inside me or not. I think not....is that a good thing or a bad thing? Still processing that as well.

"Unless we feel some certainty that our work, our gift, our time, our relationships, are, at the end of the day, enough, we may never feel permission to stop."

I am not sure if anyone else resonates with this post. I can say that although I do alot in the span of a week, I have confidence in knowing that I am an engaged parent, a good wife, a loyal friend and a passionate lover of life...and I am known to still plop down at the end of the day with a bit of Food Network or a margarita and a game of Scrabble with the Mr.