I am thankful for now—this season of fruitfulness and happiness. I have spent a sufficient number of days in the darkness to be exceedingly grateful for this time in the light. It’s sometimes hard to not worry that the other shoe will drop—that another storm of my soul is on the horizon preparing to destroy my sunnier emotions. But most days I am fortunate enough to not question my joy or the length of it—to just enjoy it.
In this—the season of gratitude—I am thankful to have enough. I’ve expended (wasted) so much time wanting more—more money, security, confidence, intelligence, attention (from boys when I was dating), talent, praise, status, success. Now, I am learning (and relearning, and learning again) the art of finding whatever I have in the present season to be enough. Now I am aiming to be satisfied with whatever I have in every area of my life—even if I have goals and aspirations to do more, be more, or do better.
The fire helped. In a matter of hours, we lost our home and the majority of our possessions. We spent ten months nomadically living with less—less stuff, less certainty, less space, much less privacy. Even with less, life was still good. We were a bit disoriented, but still happy. We realized we could enjoy more, but we didn’t need it. And that made all the difference.
Wanting more isn’t wrong. I simply desire the ability to live satisfied with the present—to not let my goals or ambitions tarnish my current position or possessions.
I have no great advice for those whose wants are deep and important. I wish I did, because much of what I watch my family and friends desire is something of substance. They are not frantically following after frivolities like fame, wealth, or more stuff. They have yearnings for pillars of life—love, a spouse, a child, health, healing (for themselves or a loved one), a job, a safe place to live—safe physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Some of these deep desires span decades. In such cases, words of wisdom fail me. I can only offer empathy.
I am thankful to have no such comparative aches. I have not suffered years of illness, loneliness, poverty, or infertility. Yes, I will forever bear the weight of my mother’s absence, but that is a loss that I have learned how to carry. Mourning is now a companion, not an adversary.
Certainly, there are places I yearn to visit, experiences I hope to have, and milestones I’d like to reach, but I have no oppressive or all-consuming needs. Mostly, what I have now is enough to be happy. Depression is distant. Joy fills me. The world, though terrifying at times, still seems capable of generating goodness and opportunities.
I know that challenges will come. Perhaps my darkness will recur. And there is so much malice and suffering in the world. However, my hope is that whatever turns, trip-ups, or triumphs I experience throughout my life, that I will always find a way to be satisfied. Even as I harbor hopes and delve into dreams, I want a sense of having enough to define my present reality. Let me not ask autumn to be summer or winter to be spring. Let me experience enough in every season.