What’s Enough?

“Effort + the courage to show up = enough.” -Brené Brown


Do you guys know who Brené Brown is?  She studies women and shame, and I find her to be amazing!  She takes the most hard to explain concepts and turns them into the most simple universal truth’s.  (I am working on a small series of posts based on her work, so please stay tuned.)

What is Enough?

This week she posted the above mantra on her blog and it couldn’t have come at a better time.   The question, “what is enough” has popped up daily, several times per day actually, over the past few weeks for me.  It’s a topic I always explore with my clients, so it’s never too far from my thoughts, but over the past few weeks I’ve been re-evaluating this question in my own life as well.

Like most people, I wear many hats and do my fair share of juggling roles and responsibilities in my life.  Most days I feel like I do an OK job of knowing when something’s enough.  But throw in important family events and apparently my concept of enough goes straight out the window!

My Example…

This summer, my Grandparents are renewing their wedding vows for their 60th wedding anniversary…. so cute, right?! I knew instantly I didn’t want to miss this event for anything.  So, my husband and I have been planning our 2011 vacations around being able to attend this exciting event.  We’ve saved, we’ve planned, we’ve shopped, we’ve hired the best pug-sitter we can find {wink}, and we were even able to turn this trip into a 9 day event allowing us to attend our nephew’s baptism.  We are going to see my whole family, be there with my Grandparents, and get to attend our nephew’s baptism.

Sounds like “enough,” right?!

Well, after booking our tickets, and rearranging our vacation time with work, and planning extra days into our trip, and feeling like we really did it- we were able to give “enough” we found out that my grandparents ceremony is not going to start until 3:00pm the day before we fly out at 6:30am.  UGH!  After all this planning, saving, organizing, and traveling for 9 days and we are going to get to spend about 6 hours at my family reunion.  6 hours…..

“Effort + the courage to show up = Enough”

Initially, my heart sank.  It felt like all my efforts just went down the drain.  Here we are making so many sacrifices to be there and we aren’t actually going to get to be there.

So, when I read this mantra from Brené, I began reflecting on the my part in whole thing and I realized I did all I could.  I made the plans, I bought the tickets, I saved vacation time and money, in other words I put in the effort AND I am bringing my authentic self, I am showing up, and I am staying positive in the face of disappointment.  This is Enough!

This is my best!

All any of us can do is our best.  Our best is unique to each of us AND our best is not based on results.  Our best is about what we put into a situation after all, that’s all we can control.    What other people do, how other plans turn out, what actually happens may be important but it’s not what determines if we did enough.

“Effort + the courage to show up = Enough”

I think I am going to be borrowing this manta from Brené from now on!

And, when it comes to the family reunion this summer, I am going to know I did enough and just enjoy the 6 hours I do get to spend with my family.  I am going to focus on the time I do have at the celebration, the connections I do get to make, and soak up every minutes of it.  This way when I look back on this event I won’t end up feeling sad, or disappointed, or like it wasn’t enough I’ll remember what was there, what did happen, what I did get to do and those will be my memories.  Because I did enough, I’ll get to take those memories and pictures and stories with me going forward.

So what do you think?  Do you know what your enough is?