Work enough. And that’s all.
I mentioned last week that I gave up the idea of accomplishing All My Great Ideas for releasing the book. Today’s the official day, by the way—it’s now a book that can be in anyone’s home. It’s been about two years in the making, so it fills me with both an even mix of utter panic and a sweet sigh of relief that it’s out in the wild. …It’s done. It’s here.
People asked me all day yesterday how I was holding up, and that’s when I realized I was actually doing… well, great. For some reason, last week was much more panic-inducing than this week. I think it’s because it’s here now, we’re pulling back the curtain; it’s show time. I used the analogy last week about those last few days and weeks before your wedding; how it feels like that. Well, this is now wedding week—it’s here, and I just want to have fun with it.
Here’s what’s crazy about all this—in the Work section of my book, I share my experience of trying to do too much, of being more than I really am, and that once I embraced the true parts of me, I was able to finally slow down and actually enjoy my work. When I stopped trying to be someone else, or apologize for me being me, then I was fully released into working smart and not hard.
Truly understanding my element (that place where my passions and skills collide) meant I could shut my laptop at the end of each workday, not fretting about all the work still left to do. I could live more in balance, without feeling like I always had to strive to do more, be more, be better, The Best. I could just be… me.
It boils down to the concept of “enough”—that place where you work in order to have what you need, financially and otherwise. King Solomon, before he went wonkadoo, described the idea of “enough” like this in the book of Proverbs: “Give me enough food to live on, neither too much nor too little. If I’m too full, I might get independent, saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’ If I’m poor, I might steal and dishonor the name of my God” (Message translation).
Studies have shown that being lifted out of poverty to a livable income indeed increases your overall happiness, but that the difference in happiness between a $75,000 and a $750,000 annual income is nil. More money ceases to yield a better life after a certain point.
I think this is true, too, about work satisfaction. Moving from a job that just doesn’t fit to a job that really taps in to your skills and passions increases satisfaction in your whole life, but working nonstop to become the “best” in your field doesn’t really yield you any more peace.
And that’s what I’m about, really—living a life that makes sense. A peaceful, satisfying life where my work makes sense, because it lines up with our family’s passions and values. Where we’re able to live slower, because we’re not trying to be The Best. I’m just trying to work my best in the work I’ve been called to do. And because of that, I can sleep at night.
I’m not perfect at it, by any means. My personality requires regular reminders that it’s okay that I didn’t get everything done I wanted, that other peoples’ success isn’t a threat, and that focusing on what’s best for my family matters more than how everyone else around defines success. But knowing that my big picture goal of “enough” helps me on this journey. And it’s a lovely journey at that.
What do you think?
If you’d like to share your thoughts about slowing down and enjoying life’s ride, however that looks for you, feel free to add your link here! (Here are a few post prompts, if you’d like some.)
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