When Enough is Enough

I have an enough problem. Like, I am almost sure there isn’t enough. I sometimes become paralyzed at the idea that I won’t have enough. 

Like at the grocery store before a dinner party. Y’all. If I don’t count the people that are coming to my house and count the number of burger patties in my cart I will cook so that everyone can eat as many burgers as they have fingers. I am just really afraid their won’t be enough. What if someone doesn’t like burgers? What if they want hot dogs? What if they are vegan? What if I get veggies burgers for the vegetarians but then other people are feeling the black bean patty that day. I just want to make sure I have enough you know?

The Halloween candy aisle almost put me out last week. There were just so many choices, and while in the last 7 years that we have lived at the house we have had a grand total of 22 trick or treaters at our house if you add up every year, I was worried about what kind of candy to get. I was worried about not having enough, not having enough kinds, not having candy, not having enough of something that someone was expecting of me. Even if that thing was just candy, I was really worried there would not be enough. 

I got sick on Halloween. Even though we had already been to two events in our family costumes that I put together and my kids abandoned their hot costumes to trick or treat in their bathing suits and skirts and declared themselves synchronized swimmers, I still felt like I was somehow shorting them. Was what I did enough? 

We live in a society that tells us that there is no enough. You can always better be faster, stronger, better, MORE. As soon as you have figured out your cell phone, there is a new version out that you are told you need. When you finally have a living room you are happy with someone writes about how chalkboards and fuzzy blankets are totally how and clean lines and mirrors are totally in. I mean, Target tells me I am supposed to have new throw pillows every three months or so. 

Y’all, Life isn’t Pokemon, you do not have to collect them all! If you are waiting for someone else to tell you that you have enough, Target is never ever going to do that. 

But I will. Because at least for me, my fears of not having enough, not doing enough, those things are really about me being afraid that I am not enough. Me. I am afraid that I am not enough. 

There are not enough halloween events, burgers, throw pillows, or bags of candy that I can go to buy, or consumer that will make me feel like enough. There just isn’t. Enough-ness isn’t something you can buy. 

And slowly I am learning it isn’t something you can earn. If you are looking to accomplishments to tell you you are enough, I don’t think that is ever going to happen. 

I started seminary this fall. I am richly and deeply supported in my life. My husband, my church, my parents, my friends all are with me and for me and super supportive. I have been affirmed by strangers and by my professors. I am doing well in all of my classes. But I am probably not going to get straight A’s this semester. I am probably going to get a B, and forever reason this has been freaking me out all day. Even though I don’t need straight A’s. Even though the B is in the class that aligns least with my gifts, talents, and desires, even though a B isn’t even a bad grade, I just felt like I needed an A to prove I should be there. 

Prove to who? 

I ALREADY GOT IN! I ALREADY GOT A SCHOLARSHIP! THERE IS NOTHING TO PROVE!! Nothing. I have nothing to prove. I already am enough. And even without the scholarship and the seminary, I would be enough. Because God is enough. Because my faith is enough. Because I don’t have to be and do everything perfectly in order to be content, even proud of my life. 

I get to decide what is enough. I get to decide that I am enough. I don’t have to ask Target, or my professors, or anyone else in my life. I am good enough. I am smart enough. I am faithful enough. God shows me that, and I affirm it, and that my friends is always enough. 

Abby Norman

Abby lives and loves in the city of Atlanta. She swears a lot more than you would think for a public school teacher and mother of two under three. She can’t help that she loves all words.She believes in champagne for celebrating every day life, laughing until her stomach hurts and telling the truth, even when it is hard, maybe especially then.

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  • Jamie

    Love this post, Abby. It’s so true. We are all striving for more all the time, and it’s so unnecessary. I read a study once that said this is particularly true of girls and women. In school, while boys are content to pass or do fine, girls are always striving to perform, get straight As, and be good enough. And it’s particularly distressing to them when they don’t measure up. We are enough! Thanks for reminding us all of that.

  • You’re also funny and creative enough. I so enjoy your voice.

  • Charity Singleton Craig

    I have an “enough” problem, too. Thanks for this good word.

  • My husband and I were talking about this yesterday. I stay home with our girls but I also work part time at an art museum. It’s a pretty cool job. And yet…. I feel like I’m always over-explaining my decisions. (On both ends of the spectrum.) I need to stop and realize that I am enough. AND that I’m good at what I do. Thank you for affirming this today, Abby!