The Quiet Joy of Enough

Walking today on the snowy trails at our local conservation area, BD expressed once again his sense of disbelief that we are actually retired. Like many – if not most – of our generation, he’d expected to work to 65. ‘But,’ I gently pointed out, ‘many people just wouldn’t be prepared to take the pay cut we did, to retire early.’

‘Enough’ played its role in determining it was time to retire.  Both in it’s negative sense: ‘I’ve had enough of this job.’ and in its positive: ‘We have enough money to retire.’  The latter statement was true only if we kept the positive concept of ‘enough’ in our minds.  ‘What isn’t need is greed’: I don’t know who said that, and I’m not sure I entirely agree with it – but that depends on how you define need. If you acknowledge that the soul has needs as well as the body, then it’s not a bad quote.

‘Enough’ sometimes is difficult.  My health issues have meant I have had to learn what ‘enough’ is with regard to certain foods; that one glass of wine is plenty; that I have physical limitations that must be considered. BD has had similar lessons to learn.  But ‘enough’ is also marvelous: there is enough time now for me to write, to read and review books, to edit for others, to walk every day: all the things that the demands of the salaried job took away from me.  And even better, there is enough money that I can do these things as a true amateur, for the love of them, and not for profit, and so I have only myself to answer to. But this is true because I can say this of so many things: clothes, furnishings, possessions of all sorts –  ‘I have enough’.

I will honestly admit to greed in the past. I had too many clothes; I liked food and wine all too well, and no-one needs the travel experiences we have had, although how can you regret the sight of a tiger hunting along an Indian river, or an Adele penguin standing at your feet, peering up at you? I can’t.  But I can also say, even about that, ‘enough’.  We have the memories.

Our world is smaller now, but our time is…ours.  I wake every morning with quiet joy, knowing I have enough.








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