Enough

I’ve written in the past about using Susannah Conway’s workbook “Unraveling the Year”. Last year, my word was Practice, my intention was to commit to a writing practice. I got off to slow start but I DID it!  Then came December, all bets were off, thankfully, I have picked it up again in January.

I flamed out at the end of 2015 (thus the drop off writing in December). The last quarter was non-stop and I did no one any favors by continuing to say “yes” and ignoring what my body was telling me.

2016 WILL be different.

Thankfully, 2016 is already different. My word for 2016 is: enough.

I am enough.

I have enough on my plate. I can’t take on anything else until something is taken away. Preferably several things are taken away.  I have to scale back. I can’t go through another quarter like Q4 2015. The challenge for me is figuring out WHERE to cut back on existing commitments and WHEN to say no to new commitments.

When I saw this post on Facebook from Jen Hatmaker, I almost cried. Don’t read too far into the comments, they go sideways pretty quickly, but Jen does respond and mentions Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKewon. I’m reading this slowly so it really sticks, but so far, I’m really loving this book. It’s just what I need right now.  I’m pretty sure there will be a blog post from me on the book down the road.

So far, I’ve stepped down from an existing commitment and turned down new work. Not gonna lie, both were hard to do. The existing commitment was something I care deeply about and I would have been a really good fit for the consulting position. I just keep reminding myself “I am enough.” and honestly, after the initial shock wore off, saying no to both was incredibly empowering and uplifting.

Determining what is essential to my life is still a work in progress, but writing is without a doubt essential to my life and it is my hope by eliminating the truly unessential, I’ll make more time for writing. My goal is progress, not perfection. I’m close to finishing the roughest of rough drafts of my work-in-progress. I have another DIY writing retreat scheduled for this weekend and my goal is to pitch this story at a conference scheduled for October. To make that a reality I have many hours of revision ahead of me but, at the same time, I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself.

I start everyday reminding myself, I am enough.

Did you pick a word for 2016?

How do you determine what is essential to your life?

Haven’t set your goals for 2016 yet? If not, you aren’t too late, you are right on time.


Lee Laughlin is a writer, marketer, social media consumer and producer, wife, and mom, frequently all of those things at once. She blogs at Livefearlesslee.com. She writes for the Concord Monitor and her words have also appeared in a broad range of publications from community newspapers to the Boston Globe. She is currently working on her first novel, a work of contemporary, romantic fiction.

17 thoughts on “Enough

  1. You ARE enough, Lee. When I decided I wanted to commit to writing, I began to say no to a lot of things. At first, it felt like I was being rude and selfish, but really I’m just living a more authentic life for myself, and that’s enough. Family, health, and writing are the essentials of my life. If I had to pick a word for this year, it would Focus. Pick one writing project and focus on it until it’s finished and I’ve done what I want to do with it.

  2. I agree with Tina. For my word, I’ve chosen WRITE. I set up a time chart for a “typical” day in my writing life. Each hour was divided into fifteen minute segments. At the end of the day, I was stunned to see how many of those fifteen minute segments were used up by doing absolutely nothing…well doing things like getting coffee. Fumbling around with magazines, staring out the window at–I don’t know what, hmmm. I am a firm believer in the healing aspects of doing nothing. BUT I know too that one can move easily into ennui, and “doing nothing” becomes “nothing doing.” So, I think Tina is correct. I have chosen the word WRITE, and by that I mean to choose a project. Write and write and write, until it is finished then move on to the next. Thank you!

  3. My word for the year is balance. Balancing the needs of those I must care for with my own. I honestly feel like I need to pull back from writing, I was giving it every spare moment which left no room for other things that refill my creative coffers. Oops.

  4. This is beautifully inspiring. Just tells you what words can do to your soul. My word would be ‘love’ because love, for me, encompasses every single thing and is the essence to living this life to the fullest. Here’s to writing. To loving. And to living.

  5. I didn’t officialy pick up a word for 2016, but yours seems a good one. If I had to chose right now, I’ll probably take ”Change”. I love myself as I am today, but there is many way I can still improve. I’m turning vegan this year so this is already a big change. The zero waste and minimalist trends are also speaking to me. On the other hand, I found back a lost dream : I want to change the world, I want to matter. I’ll probably start a new blog to pursue this way.

  6. Hey Lee,
    Very inspiring post! Thank you! I’m still in the process of writing my goals for 2016 and I, too, realize I’ve got to say no to more things in order to say yes to the things that matter most. I’m taking my time with my goals, really trying to stick with my priorities. I think “enough” is a great word. I’m going to think more about a word that will resonate for me throughout the year.

    Love,
    Diane

  7. Lee,

    I love this post and the ideas you put forth. Yes! You are enough. I am enough. We are all enough. I too am going through the process of what to keep and not keep in my life, in more ways than one. It is so important to remember that we do control that aspect of life, whether it is people, tasks, our job, or stuff.

  8. What a wonderful and inspiring post. I am with you. The few years have been very challenging, health wise, and sometimes as much as I wanted to write, I couldn’t. The energy was needed for healing. Initially, I put added pressure on myself to meet self-imposed deadlines, but, after a real scare – I stopped. Not stopped writing but placing unnecessary pressures on myself. Thank you for sharing and the best to you.

  9. Thank you. One of the lessons in life you have to learn as you grow older is this……..Allow pruning to occur ie even good stuff must be eliminated from your life in order that you can produce the BEST with what is left…ie your writing, your family or whatever you absolutely KNOW is important. A list of priorities is more important for me personally in 2016. Writing is near the top but not NO 1. What are yours? Good blog.

  10. I’ve been walking around this year muttering to myself, “I have PLENTY of time.” Or, “I have PLENTY of money,” or “PLENTY of energy.” I try to trick myself into believing it. Oh, and my word is JELLYFISH. I’ll tell you the story some other time, but for now just know that I like animals that sting.

  11. I love this. I think my word for this year is Balance. Last year my goal was to put everything I had into getting serious about getting published. In October I had a contract from Harlequin, and then I had an agent, and then I had deadlines (!). I found what I wanted, but now I have to get ready for the next step, and to make wise decisions. At the same time, I need to pay attention to my life: my husband, my family, friends, church, dog, etc.

  12. Amazing work here you are doing. I would like to quote “Determining what is essential to my life is still a work in progress”. It definitely is a thing that I am also doing. I have no idea where I am heading but the journey is on.

  13. Thanks Lee, and to the other commenters too. ‘Enough’ is a good reminder and lesson. So are the other words mentioned – they could all help! I’m certainly transforming the way I’ve worked for years (finished my first ebook last year!). Still want to keep some of the old activities and, as others have expressed, learn what to say ‘no’ to and how to do it well. Also saying ‘yes’ to strategically important new things that will help me reach new goals this year (like writing a more personal book). Which gets me to my word… DISCIPLINE! It relates to most of the words you all have mentioned here, but discipline is essential in order for me to achieve my goals this year. I used to do it so well, but need to use it to do the things I know I need to do (instead of browsing social media and making other excuses!). Thanks for spurring us on.

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