I recently settled in on a cold, blustery Wisconsin winter night to take in a documentary on Netflix. It was called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.
Now, the husband and I have never really been about STUFF. We have our moments, sure. We are human. I blogged over on my finance blog (currently on hiatus, but PLUG...check out the Facebook Page!) about spending copious amounts of cash on things like Louis Vuitton bags and Chanel sunglasses when we were young and unencumbered by kids.
Not bright moves, but hey....everyone is allowed a little wayward-ness in their youth. Right?
To a degree.
At one point in my life I thought a college degree was THE most important thing for me to obtain.
That actual, physical piece of paper is framed and up in my office....but man, talk about a waste of $50,000 PLUS.
Yeah. I graduated in 2009. We are STILL paying for that piece of paper. I went after it because I thought I was supposed to. That was my "prestige piece". Not a BMW. Not a brand name handbag. I wanted to prove I was enough because I had an expensive degree from a pretty well-thought-of school.
I've purchased a new car. It drove the same as my used car.
I've purchased what I would consider overpriced items of clothing....and I was almost afraid to wear them lest I get them dirty or I don't wash them correctly and they get all messed up.
I don't really have the "spending gene" anymore. It was removed somewhere in the last 10 years.
As I sat and watched this movie (which was very good and I highly recommend it)....I started thinking of this concept of ENOUGH.
Do I feel enough?
Do we ever HAVE enough?
Why do we envy others when we sit and ignore what we have around us?
When is enough.....enough?
Every year, about this time, I start evaluating my "place".....where the business is, where the family is financially, relationship-wise, spiritually. It's part of my "New Years" census. Part of me consistently wants to quantify where I am.
The husband and I have been really trying to do well by the kids: keep our tempers in check even when they're driving us insane.....be consistent and fair....and inject positive thinking into the day so it doesn't go off the rails. I would say we succeed at this maybe 45% of the time currently.
But we have found that SIMPLIFYING things has helped quite a bit. Turn off the freaking TV, put on a record and dance around the room. We have karaoke nights where we just sing to one another. We made cookies together and, let me tell you, these "simple fun" ideas are not always EASY. You scroll through your Instagram feed and see families spending such Rockwellian quality time together and your cynic-radar may go off (mine does, fo sho....I mean, cmon you parents curating the perfect Instagram feed.....get off it. I know your hiding your mess behind the bathroom door!).
I feel like I'm not "enough" because I RARELY take the time to curate perfection before hitting "post".....sometimes I look back and think "Man, should have probably picked up the living room before posting that picture of Bridget".....
I mean, what will those 500 or so followers I have THINK?!?!?!
It's never easy. Some nights I want to plop on the couch and watch really shitty TV and have no one talk to me. Sometimes I wish I knew how to curate perfection for the masses, sure to garner me praise and respect among the creatives in my peer group.
But, simple time with the kids is important. Because we need to teach them that, sometimes, listening to your mom rap a Broadway song (perfectly....I may add)....is enough. Even if no one sees it but us.
We've begun really evaluating our moving strategy. We are still moving. As soon as friggin' possible. It's my #1 goal for 2017. MOVE.
But, we are really looking at our expectations. Do we need MORE SPACE? Really? Does a family of 5 REALLY need a 3000 square foot home? I mean, that's ginormous. Our current home is 2400 square feet and I feel like we have a ton of wasted space (that the builders should have molded into a 4th bedroom, for reals).
Do we have enough....and probably need less stuff?
I'm cool with less stuff. I came to that realization. I'm cool with it and so is the husband.
We have everything we need and then some.
Enough is enough.
I look at the business.
I threw myself headlong into full-time photography again after resigning from the assisted living facility in February of this year. It became my prime focus (other than give birth to a healthy kid) for the year to get the business back to where it was pre-Record Store....pre-2015....pre-"the lost year".
And I did it. And then some. I'm happy to say I killed it this year. KILLED. IT. I'm proud of myself and don't feel like that's being overly "braggy" really. My "enough" where that is concerned is probably radically different than other folks "enough".
Do I have 10,000 "likes" on Facebook or followers on Instagram?
Nope. Probably never will either.
But you know what those likes don't do?
They don't pay your bills. They don't put food on your table. They don't really do much of anything except people can say "Heh, look at that number". And then they move on. If you look at the metrics, a very teensy weensy percentage of that number actually HIRE you. The hustle gets you paid. The combination of marketing and consistent, kick-ass work gets you paid.
The social media likes are a small cog in a bigger wheel of marketing that I'm just starting to scratch the surface of.
I'm ready to take on 2017 with a fire in my belly and a renewed, fanatic love for what I do. Weddings and Seniors. It's on.
My enough is going to be MORE than enough. It's going to be kill-ah.
I feel like I'm entering a place in life where I can breathe. And that feels REALLY. GOOD.
Not every day is like this. I still have some days where I'm stressed to all hell and I want to tear my hair out and sell the children to the nearest Gypsy.
But, it felt fan-tabulous to sit back, look around and say "You know what. I have enough. I am enough. I've done enough....for now."
2016 is getting wrapped up in a pretty little bow and ending in peace and harmony.
2017 is on the horizon....and I have great hopes that it's going to be enough for all of us.....it all just depends on our view.