When Enough Isn't Enough

According to Merriam-Webster, the following is the definition of the word enough:

“Occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations”
How do you feel about that definition, in terms of how it relates to you?
Are you enough to fully meet the demands, needs and expectations of your life?
I think what trips me up in all of that is the word fully.
On most days, I feel I do pretty well at taking care of my job, the house and everyone/thing in it.  But is pretty well the same as fully?
Some days I can’t even conceive of what it would be like to fully meet these demands and expectations.
And I don’t even know if it’s humanly possible. 
I think this pic from facebook pretty much sums it up:

How true is that??
And with the job responsibilities thrown on top of home/self/family care, I am a mess.  Yes, I meet my deadlines and remember to pick up my children on time, but I look like hell and so does the homestead, many days.
I think this is just reality for those of us who prefer sleep to scrubbing toilets or plucking eyebrows at midnight.
And even if you don’t work outside the home, I know you are volunteering for something at your kid’s school, church, etc., and that totally counts.  See, you’re picking up the pieces for me, in all the areas I can’t cover.
Even working from home, there's only so much I can do.
But pondering all of this makes me feel a little nostalgic for the 50s.  Now don’t get all crazy women’s lib on me for saying this.  It’s just that sometimes, I wish my list of expectations was a little bit shorter, so that I might be able to meet them more fully, rather than pretty well.
Sometimes I think June Cleaver had it made, with her apron and her scope of responsibility confined only to her four walls.  And as appealing as that sounds on a hard day, I know I would be seriously repressed and unfulfilled if I didn’t at least have the option to do something more.
But like most things in life, be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.  You want to do more?  Great, here’s more to do.
And for most of us, I think, it’s the level of more with which we let ourselves be content.
I, for one, have come to accept that on most days, I will not accomplish everything I want to accomplish, to the level that I want to accomplish it.
And I’m OK with that.  I have to be.  June was perfect, and I am not.
And maybe that’s what’s bugging me about this dictionary definition of enough.  It’s a little too close to perfect.  And I’m allergic to perfect.  But I believe I am enough.
Therefore, I would hereby like to officially declare and demand that Merriam-Webster change the definition of enough to:
“Occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to pretty well meet demands, needs, or expectations”
Anyone want to second me?

   read to be read at yeahwrite.me


  1. I agree with your definition change.

    I think it's so funny--my post is the first of two about gender roles and how things are going for our society, and particularly for women. I'd love for you to read it and give me your opinion.

    As far as my looks, my goal in life is to be clean. If I've showered, I'm happy. So maybe that's it--lower your expectations!

    Great post!

    1. My expectations have been lowered to the point that if I've showered in the past 48 hours, that will suffice. Baseball caps and baby powder are my best friends!

  2. Love you, Jenny and I totally agree with you. You are more than enough. You are downright awesome and your wonderful family is fully aware of how lucky they are. : )

  3. Awesome! I am totally voting for a change in definition.
    I'm also voting for a change in expectations ;)

  4. Completely on board with the definition change - and also want to really thank you for the paragraph "And even if you don’t work outside the home, I know you are volunteering for something at your kid’s school, church, etc., and that totally counts. See, you’re picking up the pieces for me, in all the areas I can’t cover." I was reading it and thinking about the fact that I don't work outside of the house, and still feel like with three kids, a husband, and all the other stuff I do - my house is still in shambles and there's lots of items on my to do list that don't get done.

    1. I think each subsequent kid after the first one counts as a part-time job. So, in my opinion, if you have 3 kids, you have 2 part-time jobs, in addition to everything else on your plate!! :)

  5. I second and third that! If I manage to put on a bra and pants I consider my day a success and enough.

  6. Maybe then, it is not enough? I mean if we can't "fully meet demands, needs, or expectations”, it means whatever we settle for is near-enough. Personally, I can never say 'enough' to 24 hours because I can barely "fully meet demands, needs, or expectations” and I want more hours in a day. Someone should start selling extra hours. It'd b a lucrative business I tell ya! Haha

  7. Wow. Did you read The Atlantic article this week too? This couldn't be more timely for me. That piece basically brings up the old notion that women really can't have it all. I am still processing all that I really feel about this, but now I have your piece in my head too. Thanks! Erin

  8. This is a great post. I feel the SAME things! You know what? It's OK. You're OK. It's all good.


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