Enough is, well, enough

I want to write today about the idea of having ‘enough’. ‘Enough’ is essentially the idea that you live, and are content with ‘enough’ – enough stuff, enough money – basically what you need and no more. It’s about stepping outside the constant drive for material wealth and material goods and creating a life that gives you to the time and space to spend time doing the things you love. After reading the wonderful book ‘Enough’ by Patrick Rhone a year or two ago, I was inspired to start working towards a life of enough. ‘Enough’ is such a loaded term in this day and age. And if you are content with it? You must be some kind of minimalist hippy. Well, hello! Minimalist hippy party of one over here – party of two, actually. Thank god I found one to marry! All joking aside though, I really do think that ‘enough’ is one of the simplest and most profound ideas I’ve encountered.

I started by taking stock of where we were at. At the time I was working 5 days a week as a teacher (which usually also entails several evenings and some weekend hours in planning and preparation as well). On top of that I was running a dance school, and teaching dance 2 or 3 evenings a week. T. (my son) was 3 and in the past year or two we had bought our first house. It was a lot. It was too much to have a decent ‘life’ and while I loved all of the things, I needed a bit more balance for them. I’m the sole financial provider for the family, so financial considerations were probably the biggest factor to think about, but after looking at our budget and getting the okay from my principal, we decided to take the leap and at the start of this year I went down to four days at school. And honestly, it’s been the best decision. I have so much more life now.

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Six months in, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. I’ve spent a few of my Fridays sick in bed, or just crashing after hectic weeks at school with a challenging class full of diverse learners some with some fairly major learning needs. But I’ve spent far more moving my business forward, completing all the business office work (which is ostensibly what the Friday is actually for) and hanging with T. and giving S. some much needed physical space. I guess, it’s all about balance, and as a dance teacher I can tell you that balance is not a perfect state you reach and then magically stay in. It’s actively created and maintained and fought for with strength and focus. Some weeks it’s great, and some days not so much – any dancer can tell you that much. But we continue to work on it.

It has been quite a momentous thing to say that this is ‘enough’ work and the money I will earn from this is ‘enough’, especially when that very attitude flies in the face of most of society’s values, expectations and norms. And sure we’re actively choosing to live with a little less, but we’re gaining so much more, more time as a family, more mental space, and more time to grow my business.

B.

 

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6 thoughts on “Enough is, well, enough

  1. It's Her Van says:

    Fellow teacher here. Just nodding my head and shouting, “right on.”

    Also, thanks for posting about the book – I’ll grab it from the library today!

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