A rare occurrence has come about this week-end…I’m off of work for an entire weekend. That’s right – Friday, Saturday, Sunday. No shifts, only one obligation; but even that’s a Christmas party that should be loads of fun. I love having time off of work, because it’s nice to be able to re-approach my job with a fresh energy and attitude. Even if I do other things or other types of work over a break in work, it’s helpful to just get away from it for a bit.
I do, however, struggle to be off of work sometimes. Once I start doing things, eating meals, driving around, etc I start to worry a little bit. And I’m afraid I’m not alone in this. I think it’s the fear that I don’t have enough. It’s rooted in the idea that I’m spending time not making money and I’m definitely spending it. It’s this fear I’ve had for years that I may make a few bad choices and struggle to pay rent. My battle with money at the moment is that I have a pile of debt that I’d like to pay off and that I have things I’m saving for, so almost anything I spend money on comes with a lot of stress. But, you know – it’s not just money that I struggle with, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this battle with sufficiency.
I worry that I don’t have enough time.
I worry that I don’t have enough interests (you know, to be an “interesting” person.)
I worry that I don’t have enough answers.
I worry that I don’t have enough knowledge.
I worry that I don’t have enough discipline.
I worry that I don’t have enough friends.
I worry that I don’t have enough opportunities.
I worry that I don’t have enough accomplishments.
I worry that I don’t have enough ideas.
Do you ever feel that? It’s just constant pressure – pressure to listen to more podcasts; to write more blogs; to exercise more and have a better body; to read more; to hang out more; to go to more events; to see more movies; to travel more; to meet more people; to apply for more jobs; to find more opportunities; to have more things; to make more money; to know more; to think more; to create more; to talk more; to listen more.
I think sometimes this pressure can exist in a good space and capacity, but often times it doesn’t. I know that in my life, right here and now, it doesn’t. It breeds stress and the desire to accomplish; not the actual desire to do and enjoy and partake.
It’s something our society seems to breed and encourage, especially in an age when so much knowledge and so many opportunities are at our fingertips, and especially in an age when everyone can make themselves look so good on social media. When we’re expected to put our best self forward in our Instagram and Twitter bios, we end up feeling pressure to make them true. When I say, “blogger, poet, singer, believer;” I instantly create pressure for myself to write blogs, to write poems, to sing more songs, and to spend more time sharpening my faith.
Now, are any of these things inherently bad? No! (Especially not that last one.) And, I’m not saying that social media is the sole producer of these kinds of pressures. But I think there’s more joy to be had in our lives if we do things because we want to/we like to than if we do things just because they’re expected of us.
I can’t help but wonder how content we’d be if we weren’t trying to please anyone or maintain some sort of image. I can’t help but wonder if we (or maybe I just mean I) already do the things we (I) love but we’re (I’m) not content with it just because it’s not the same thing we (I) see other people doing.
Maybe it’s time to say enough is indeed enough – that is, being content with who we are, where we are, what we’re good at, and what we’re blessed to do, is actually enough. Contentment is greater than comparison.