I am positively, absolutely, without a doubt, BLESSED in my life. I don’t deserve it anymore than you do, but I cherish it regardless. Will you indulge me for a moment?
I: enjoy fabulous good health, have a loving husband and family, and a supportive network of good friends. I live in a beautiful part of the country that I love, in a warm home in a safe neighborhood. I’ve got plenty of good food with enough to share, endless clean water, enjoyable pets, a life filled to overflowing with music and gardening, with a (mostly) nice balance of work and play. And wonder of all wonders: I HAVE ENOUGH. ‘Enough’ means having enough to live, and enough to be happy, and enough to thrive. ‘Enough’ DOESN’T mean just the bare necessities of life. For me, it’s having a computer, my bass, books and my bicycle. For you it may mean tools or a camera or musical instruments. It’s taken me many years to answer the question in my life of “How much is enough?”. I once was blind, but now I see. There is nothing I need or lack for (well a little dark chocolate or some fresh tangelos for Christmas would be nice). This Thanksgiving, I’m savoring my enough-ness, right along with the turkey and pumpkin pie, because it may not always be so.
Lest you think I’m bragging- I’ve also got ‘enough’ problems- just like you. My mother is in her 8th year of Alzheimer’s disease and no longer recognizes me. I have a daughter that suffers from a debilitating mental illness that will never go away, and a brother that will probably require my care before too much longer. I’m 20 pounds overweight and my eyesight sucks. I worry every day that I too will get Alzheimer’s and I pray every night about the state of the Earth, and our collective future, about Peak Oil and the economy, about climate change and how very toxic our lives have become as a result of ‘too much’. It’s because of the ‘too much’ stage that I went through earlier in my life, that my ‘enough-ness’ feels perfect now. Knowing how much I need to be happy and to thrive has given me balance, and brought much gratitude into my life.
So, with Thanksgiving upon us again, and THE.HOLIDAYS. right behind it, I hope you’ll be able to discover the right amount in your life too. Ask yourself: “How much do I need to thrive?” Or, maybe the better question we should be asking ourselves is: “How LITTLE do I need to thrive?” Or, “Am I still running out of money before payday?” “Am I still paying off old debts?” “Am I still eating too much?” “Do I really need another pair of shoes? Will they make me happy? REALLY?” ” Would helping someone less fortunate make me happier?” “Would applying that shoe money towards old debts give a longer-lasting ‘high’? Only you can answer these questions, but doing so is a critical step in our efforts to learn to not only live a life that’s outwardly simple yet inwardly rich, it’s also an absolute requirement in living more sustainably, with fewer resources and less money. I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m going to keep saying it:
If we collectively plan and act early enough, we can create a way of living that’s significantly more connected, more vibrant and more fulfilling than the one we find ourselves in today. Now is the time for us to take stock and to start re-creating our future in ways that are not based on cheap, plentiful and polluting oil but on localized food, sustainable energy sources, resilient local economies and an enlivened sense of community well-being. Happy Thanksgiving Ya’ll!
Here’s some pictures of the bounty in my life:
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