In three days, Christmas will be over. The presents I so tenderly wrapped will lie in piles on the floor. Stockings will be strewn across the living room. Toys I spent hours carefully thinking about to get that perfect balance of educational and entertaining will already be broken, forgotten, or tossed aside. And, if it’s anything like last year, I will be exhausted, deeply satisfied, and slightly discontent all at once.
I will sit down on the sofa with a cup of tea and sip quietly as a I survey the havoc wrecked by eager little hands, lit up in the darkness by the soft twinkle of colored Christmas lights ready to go back in their box for their annual sojourn to the basement. And I will sigh, a hefty, loving sigh, as I think ahead to what is next.
What is next for me in 2016? For my family? For my business? What will be different this time next year, when I sit here, in this same room, by these same lights, and look back on all that the year held for me?
Then, as I always do, I will think back to this time last year, to all that has changed, and that has transpired, and ask myself, was it enough? Did I accomplish enough? Did I do enough to make this year truly matter to me?
This year, for the first time ever, I know the answer already.
This year, the answer is yes.
Not because I accomplished more. Not because I did more. But because I finally allowed myself to redefine and implement what success looks like to me.
Up until this year, success was virtually synonymous with a job “well done,” which to me meant a job perfectly done. Not surprisingly, this desire for perfectionism kept me bound to such high standards, they made my goals virtually unachievable.
I couldn’t simply write a book; I had to write a New Times Best-Seller list. I couldn’t simply start sharing my message; I had to perfect it first. I couldn’t simply invest in a business mentor to help me; I had to know how I was going to re-coop that investment first.
This perfectionistic mindset overflowed from work into my personal life as well. I couldn’t start working out with a trainer until I was 100% committed to finally getting into “real” shape. I couldn’t start running again until I was ready to seriously train for an endurance race. I couldn’t start cooking until I had time to make exceptional recipes.
Can you guess how much I got done looking at my life this way?
Until this year, I didn’t write a book. I didn’t share my message. I didn’t invest in my business. I didn’t hire a trainer. I didn’t complete a race. I didn’t cook anything.
I hid behind the veil of “getting ready.”
I hid underneath the mantle of having to do everything the “right” way.
But in 2015, something changed: I started to learn how to accept and value myself where I was, even as I set my sights for so much more.
I stopped waiting until I was “ready.” I stopped trying to get it “right.” I decided instead to get it done.
And as a result, I got the most amazing results.
I wrote two books, I shared my message with thousands of people through The FreeMom Files and this blog, I invested in my business, I hired a trainer, I started training for my first endurance race, and I learned to accept that broiling a steak or baking a chicken breast is, in fact, cooking.
This year, I mastered the art of the “good enough” year.
So as I turn to 2016, as I start wondering and dreaming and planning and preparing for what’s next for me and my family, I don’t worry about whether it will be enough.
I know it will be enough.
Even if I fall short. Even if I don’t succeed in the ways the world tells me I should. Even if I know I could have done more or been more or tried harder or run faster.
It will be enough because I choose to accept it as enough.
And in doing so, I virtually guarantee it will be so much more than I ever could have imagined.
Because God meets us in enough, however you define Her.
God meets us in enough.
So as you plan and dream and scheme and hope for your New Year, ask yourself, beloved, what is enough for me?
Not for my husband. Not for my children. Not for my mom or dad or brothers or sistesrs or aunts or cousins. Not for your eighth grade teacher from over twenty years ago. Not for your mentor. Not for your old boss. Not for your neighbor. Not for the mom next to you in the carpool line.
What is enough for me?
What would I rather have accomplished imperfectly than never have tried at all?
What would I rather have completed than never have started?
What blessings would a “good enough” year have in store for me?
Then, no matter what it is, no matter what it looks like, take a deep breath and get started. No matter who you have to hire to help you get there. No matter who you think will laugh or judge you along the way.
Take a deep breath and get started.
The blessed abundance of your “good enough” year awaits…
Caroline Greene is a life-coach, author and chronic overachiever who believes you don’t haveto stop being you to be an awesome mom. Her first book, “MATTER: How to Find Meaningful Work That’s Right for You and Your Family,” is currently for sale on Amazon. Her second book, “NEXT: How to Start a Successful Business That’s Right for You and Your Family,” is due in January 2016. To learn more about Caroline and her practice, please go to www.carolinegreenecoaching.com.