What is enough? To me, it’s an elusive idea. My general rule of thumb is too much of anything is almost enough.
The constant concern about what is enough is visible when we have a party (is there enough food?! Spoiler, we always have so much left over), when I buy Christmas presents (do they have enough to open? Are they going to feel enough magic?) and in my personal growth.
When my oldest was about 2 1/2, I began writing little stories about her. Then when she was about 4, I was overcome with this strong desire to change the world. It was all I could think about. I briefly considered getting involved in some level of government. Then I realized politicians never get anything done (insert eye roll) and I would likely murder everyone because I HATE red tape.
It finally came to me: the best way to change the world was through children. My husband encouraged me to turn my little stories into a children’s book and Caroline Girls was born. While I was successful in my own rite as a self- published author, it still didn’t feel like enough.
Now I’m a Girl Scout troop co-leader and I’m probably affecting more with these 16 girls than I did with any child through my book, but the worry about being enough is still present.
Being Vocal Enough?
A few weeks ago, I spoke up during a horribly racist exchange and I still didn’t feel like I did enough.
I was waiting in line at the Subway inside my YMCA with my 4-year-old and this older woman ahead of me was frustrated about her order. The manager, a man of Middle Eastern descent, was being perfectly professional with her when she said exasperatedly:
“You need to take some English lessons!”
Immediately, I felt my head snap back as if I’d been slapped. Honestly, I couldn’t believe what I’d heard.
I took a small step forward to make sure the woman heard me and said firmly, “that was unkind and unnecessary.”
She quickly glanced at me out of the side of her eye. She was quiet for about 30 seconds while she stuffed her money and receipt in her wallet. Then she took a breath and explained she couldn’t understand him. I thought, well who’s problem is that?!
Then another employee said she would check me out while the manager finished dealing with this horrible woman.
Now, I’m standing right next to this woman and I looked at the employee and said. “I’m so sorry you have to endure this. It’s not okay.”
The employee, presumably his wife and also Middle Eastern, assured me it was fine because it happened all the time.
“Well, it shouldn’t. And I’m sorry to hear it. Thank you for all you do.”
It’s been weeks since that day and I’ve thought about it every day. I’m still not certain I did enough. I don’t know what enough even looks like in this situation.
Therapy Is Enough … For Now 🙂
I’ve been back in therapy for a few months now trying to work out my perfectionism. I know that’s where my feelings of inadequacy and worry about being enough stem from.
Being a perfectionist is exhausting and not as sexy as it sounds to say in a job interview when your potential future employer asks about your weaknesses.
It’s a process working to untangle yourself from thoughts that come as natural to you as breathing. But I’m working on it.
Do you struggle with perfectionism? What’s been the most helpful to you?