When I met my husband he told me he wanted to build an empire. An empire? It was a concept that completely baffled me. I grew up in a three bedroom rancher. I lived in the corner bedroom, so I could hear my brother snoring when I pressed my ear against the southern wall and my father snoring when I pressed my ear to the west. It was a tiny, but comfortable house. My parents moved in when I was an infant, so it was also the only home I had ever known.
These days I live in a two story home with a finished basement. Although I should be happy living in a modest brick home in an upscale neighborhood I often feel constricted by it. The house doesn’t seem to fit my personality. When my husband works in his study it feels like he’s on the other side of the moon. A supportive wall and staircase separates his working space from the living room where I spend much of my time.
The house is much larger than the one I grew up in, but strangely enough I find myself craving the closeness of that tiny rancher. Until I sat down to write about it I never realized what it was about this house that seemed strange. It’s not the house, but rather the way I grew up I suppose. I could hear my parents talking in their bedroom when I sat in the living room eating Lucky Charms and watching cartoons. In my current house that simply isn’t possible. I think I miss the way the structure of our home created a feeling of closeness and security for me.
Based on that tiny house I couldn’t fathom the idea of building an empire. Don’t I have enough already?
It’s difficult to wrap my head around the concept of enough. It’s not just about the properties you own or the house you keep it’s about everything in your life. I am fortunate in so many ways and grateful for the life I’ve been granted to lead.
The definition of having enough is different for everyone. For me it involves focusing on the things that make me happy and number one on that list is spending time with the people I love. It’s the reason I quit my job and decided to stay at home with my son. Will my earning power decrease as a result of my decision? Most definitely. Will I regret not staying home more? Most definitely.
I don’t need much in the way of material possessions to make me happy. I don’t need a fancy car or an expensive house. I don’t need lots of clothes in my closet or shoes on my feet. I don’t crave fancy gadgets and computers.
Have you ever thought about what you need in life? Have you written your thoughts down on paper or typed them into your computer? I started to create a list and then realized that having enough might just cover the bare necessities. You know food, water and shelter.
Off the top of my head I want more than the basics. I want a roof over my head, a clean home that is void of dirt and dust, a fridge filled with healthy food, air conditioning in the summertime and heat in the winter (or to live in a climate like Hawaii where neither is needed), hot water when I want to bathe or shower, a large glass of ice water on a warm summer day, a comfortable bed with soft sheets and pillows that I can fluff behind my head and a hammock where I can rest and feel the breeze. I want to live in a place that’s not too far from the ocean. I don’t mind driving a few hours to get there, but please don’t drop me in a place where I can’t reach the beach. I long to listen to the waves and to feel the sand in between my toes.
I want infinite amounts of time to spend with the people I love. I know that’s not possible so I’ll kindly accept however much time I’ve been granted. I want to suck up the small everyday moments in life. I don’t need to travel the globe. I can find a lot of satisfaction and joy in things that are closer to home, like watching my son’s eyes light up as we pluck dandelions from the yard and blow seeds wherever the wind will take them or simply staying up late snuggling while watching a movie with my husband.
My husband and I don’t always see eye to eye on the definition of enough. Although he doesn’t want to own fancy cars or buy expensive watches, I know that he does want to build an empire. I admire his drive and determination, yet sometimes I worry that it will kill him.
Do you think you have enough in life? What else do you want or need to make you feel that way?