Archive for July, 2008

25
Jul
08

Measuring Enough

The question of enough haunts me. It seems to come up most often when I think about my work, my physical self, and me as a whole. Is the work I do good enough to meet my clients’ expectations? Am I physically strong enough to complete a race I’ve entered? On the whole, I wonder more often than I like if I’m enough.

I think we’ve been trained from childhood to debate, to measure if what we do is enough. I’m convinced it starts when we’re told we need to share our toys. As a child, it seems, as far as adults are concerned, that you can never share enough despite you perception that you’ve been patient long enough. Then as we get older, there’s the question of whether you’re working hard enough in school. Then, are those grades good enough to get you into college?

On the personal side, growing up becomes about degrees of cool. Are you cool enough for the in-crowd? Are you pretty enough to get asked out by the hot guy sitting in front of you?

We each have a different standard of what is enough, often influenced by the people in our lives, popular culture, and that internal voice that never seems to shut up. That’s part of what makes enough such a dangerous way to measure any aspect of our lives.

No one else is living your life, and yet we’re all too willing to allow someone else to to have undue influence on whether we’re doing enough. We’ve become particularly susceptible when we wonder about our physical appearance.

It’s not natural for women in there 20s and 30s to believe they “need” plastic surgery, Botox, or collagen. And yet, if we only measured ourselves by what we see in movies and television, men would be perfectly chiseled with well-defined abs, a hint of stubble, and perfectly streaked hair. If you’re a woman, you’d be a size four or smaller with no visible wrinkles, toned from head to toe, with perfect teeth. If you see either of these images in the mirror, lucky you. If you don’t, you’re not alone. You’re normal. But why isn’t that enough?

Beyond the physical, we raise the question of enough about our work, our personal relationships, our community status, and our material possessions. I wonder if we’ll ever reach the point of saying, “We’ve had enough of enough.” What if we switched our focus to the quality of the experience and measured its value based on whether we came out better as individuals on the other side?

One of these days I’ll figure out the balance and turn the voice off for good. Because, ultimately, the question of enough is a trap that keeps you from pursuing the things that matter most to you. Aren’t you ready to escape?

22
Jul
08

Why I Write

While the topics I write about vary in subject and opinion, my underlying reason for writing hasn’t changed. I’m passionate about words and ideas. And writing is one of the easier ways to share those words and ideas. Writing isn’t simply something I do but rather something I am.

When I started this blog it seemed another avenue for sharing, another way to express myself. But somewhere along the way, I started writing for an audience, second-guessing my words and ideas, debating whether someone else would find them of interest.

These thoughts have kept me from writing much on this blog for the last few months. I could take the easy route and blame it on my increased workload and the demands of everyday life, but that isn’t the truth. Instead I kept silent, waiting for the moment when the words would start to flow again. Now comes the time to face the hard facts.

I’m selfish when it comes to my words. The more I shaped my words around a potential audience, the less the words meant to me. The more I looked for “relevant” topics to interest my audience, the more I felt I was following in the footsteps of others instead of exploring new territory. The more my site visits went up, the less attention I paid to the words that wanted to escape.

I started this blog under the premise of examining the bold words of others, and while I may continue to do so, I think it’s time I generated a few of my own. I think it’s time that my writing reflected who I am instead of who I think potential readers want me to be. I’m not dismissing the content I’ve generated to date. Instead, I believe I can do better.

For my writing to regain its meaning, I’ve decided that the usual measurements will no longer suffice. I no longer care if I write something I want to post every day, but I will write every day. My writing may be long, it may be short. Ultimately, it will be just right. You may hate it, you may love it, but that can no longer be a driving factor behind why I write. I write because I love it and that is enough.




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