The New Enough

The opposite of scarcity isn’t abundance, it’s enough.

That lesson, emphasized at the Dare to Lead Certification program I attended last year has stuck with me, and has been on my mind especially so the last few weeks.

We’ve all endured massive changes to the way we live and work. In all of this, the term “the new normal” has been used over and over to describe these changes.  I’ve resisted this term, and it recently occurred to me that it’s because it’s born out of scarcity.

The new normal is not being able to see the people we want to see, to do the things we want to do, to have access to the goods and services we had in the past. The new normal is having less of everything we care about. It normalizes not having.

But I’d argue the way to approach this is to think of things in terms of “the new enough”.

We may not be able to visit friends and family the way we used to, but for now, Zoom sessions will be enough. We may not be able to visit parks, stores or restaurants the way we’d prefer to, but for now, walking around the neighborhood is enough.

We may not be able to do many of the things we used to love, but for now, as part of a larger community effort to pull through this crisis, what we’re doing, what we’re able to contribute, and who we are is enough.

It’s a subtle shift in mindset that pulls us not towards satisfaction with our altered lives, but towards acceptance of the circumstances. It empowers us to focus on the things we CAN control. It empowers us to choose how we respond in every moment.

And these days, knowing we always have that choice, might just be enough.

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