Now that I am 40 I have a new mantra. I am enough. I am doing everything I can do for my kids, my family, my work, my friends, and the world. Certainly there is more to be done, for everyone, for every cause. There is no shortage of grief or pain, no lack of problems to be solved. But I’m doing what I can do, and that has to be enough.
It is enough that we get food delivered almost as often as we cook. It is enough that I breastfed Zeke for a year, including some formula supplementation, and I am so done now, even though he’s trying to eke out a few more drops. It is enough that I do the best work I can for my clients and don’t always turn it around immediately like I used to but I still get it done when it needs to be done and it’s good. It is enough that I send birthday cards to some people sometimes, and birthday emails other times, and always sympathy cards. It is enough that I contribute what I can to causes I believe in and sign some petitions. I devote all of my writing to helping people and communities. It is enough that when I see someone is in need and there’s a way I can help I will offer. I want to help, even though I cannot and should not try to solve everyone’s problems. Offering what I can, even if it is just to listen–especially if it is just up listen–is enough.
There are more things I would like to be able to do, and hopefully someday I can try them. Right now I excuse myself from a lot of things simply because I have a baby who does not sleep on demand. Right now I am enveloped in the dark quiet of the minivan parked in front of our house, where I have escaped in the hopes that my husband can get our son to sleep, because I’ve had had enough. Nursing him when he has a cold is frustrating and unpleasant for both of us and he managed to draw blood from my healing scrape while he was flailing and grabbing me earlier. I know he wasn’t trying to hurt me, and he really just wants desperately to be with me, but I’d had enough.
Now that I’m 40, when I see the neon sign that says ENOUGH flashing in my mind, I will not doubt or ignore or second guess it. I am enough.