I’d been thinking about writing this post for quite some time. In fact, I’m fairly certain I’ve kept a note somewhere in my Google Keep for over two years, jotting down some of the ideas I had. But I hesitated. And I procrastinated. I put it off, because I wasn’t really sure I wanted to write it, let alone share it with the rest of the world. But enough is enough, so here we are.

Feeling in My Gut

And I mean, it’s not like I haven’t touched on this subject at least a few times before. I’ve spoken openly about how I always worry I’m not being a good enough parent. But it’s the kind of thing that seems to come up again and again, and in so many areas of my life. Am I doing enough? Perhaps more poignantly, am I enough?

You might recall that “enough” was one of my guiding words of 2018. I really wanted to internalize that idea. However, as you’ve assuredly experienced yourself, knowing something on an intellectual level and embracing it on an emotional or psychological level are two different things altogether. On some level, I know I’m doing enough. But I don’t feel it. I don’t believe it.

Just as I mentioned when I looked back at last year’s guiding words, and again in this week’s vlog, I really struggled with “enough” last year. And it’s something that continues to haunt me in 2019. I can’t move on. It’s still there. Taunting me.

Do you ever feel like it’s all peaches and rainbows and unicorns around you, but inside your head, it’s a heaping dumpster fire? Like you’re constantly letting everyone down and you’ll never be good enough? That. Yes, that.

How to Measure Enough

I know that money isn’t everything. I also know that it’s one of the few objective measures of “success,” at least in a professional scope. Looking at my income over the years, I haven’t experienced the growth I had hoped I would. I’m not where I thought I’d be. The same is true with sales of my books, just as it is with this blog. Maybe I’m just being greedy, but I always thought that they’d do more. My modest tale is somehow not enough.

But isn’t that just another example of distorted thinking? People tell me I’m a good dad, usually based on what I post online. After I posted my year in numbers, people told me they were impressed with how much content I manage to produce. Now, I can never be certain if they’re actually being genuine or if they’re just playing the role of supporter. I want to believe them. I really do.

Focus, Fear and Freedom

There’s this concept in psychology called the Zeigarnik Effect. Named after Lithuanian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, who studied at the University of Berlin, the Zeigarnik Effect basically says that you are better at remembering tasks that were interrupted, or tasks that were left undone, than you are at remembering the tasks that you did complete. This relates directly to my relationship with to-do lists.

Without to-do lists, I’d be wildly disorganized. Without writing it down, I’d never remember everything I had to do. But literally at the end of the day, practically every day, I’m always left with tasks undone. And that’s what I remember. I remember I didn’t do enough. And it haunts me, carrying those tasks over to the next day, the next week, and in the case of this post, two years later.

It’s a struggle and I’ve been trying to pare down my daily to-do lists into something a little more reasonable. It’s about accepting limitations, and taking pride in what I do manage to accomplish. Easier said than done, of course.

Okay. That’s enough self-indulgence for now, so I’ll just leave it at that. Thank you for reading.