Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


What Is "Enough?"

This is something I've been struggling with lately, trying to determine what defines "enough" for my life. How many commitments? How many activities? How many aspects of my personality am I supposed to try to feed, nourish, and satisfy at the same time? And who defines that mandate?

I know the answer to the last question is (or should be) "Well, I do, of course." And yet, I don't know the answer. Je n'en sais rien.

I feel as though much, if not most, of what fills my waking hours is meaningful, and yet some part of me still feels like it's just not "enough." I'm just not doing everything I should - not enough work, not enough social or political activism, not enough exercise, not enough engagement with friends and family, not enough travel, not enough learning, etc., etc.

And yet... I look at my agenda and wonder where or how I could fit in additional activities. The question of determing what those activities would be and why they would somehow add so much more meaning to an already-full schedule is secondary, since the very act of doing something "more" sometimes seems like the answer.

Though I know it's not. Random frenetic action isn't the solution. Unfortunately, I really don't know what is, so sometimes simple action alone seems to provide at least some sense of satisfaction.

Here's what's already on the agenda of this Fish's life:
  • Grants & Projects Coordinator @ PPMM (M-F, 30 hours/week)
  • Trainer/Teacher @ KTPA (5-12 hours/week, sometimes includes weekends)
  • Business/Technical Director for Chandelle (daily email; other time commitment varies depending on tour schedule or other administrative tasks)
  • Spanish 401 @ SCC (M-Th 8-8:50am, weekly homework 2-3 hours, ends mid-December)
  • Secretary for HOA (bi-monthly meetings, daily email, occasional special meetings)
  • Planning Academy (Mondays 5:30-8:30pm through December 4th)
  • Planning Commission (1-3 Thursdays per month 5:30-9:30pm-ish, meeting prep 3-5 hours, occasional meetings with applicants or public)
  • General community involvement (periodic workshops or meeting for General Plan Update, Metropolitan Transportation Plan, caRsa, public library, Docks project, R Street projects, JKL projects, etc.)
  • Working out @ CAC (Pilates 3-4x/week, Power Pump, volleyball, water aerobics, step)
  • Running (20-25 miles/week including Sunday morning Cafe Fleet Feet 10 or more miles long run)

And of course this list doesn't include one of the major priorities of my life, which is spending time with my wonderful partner, Mr. E. For example, tonight we've got the Harvest Social @ CAC followed by the play "Yellowman" @ Celebration Arts. Tomorrow we're heading to SF with our friends & neighbors for a day-long scooter adventure. And hopefully on Sunday we'll have some alone time to spend together after doing the cleaning, laundry, Farmer's Market, garden, etc. Yes, the Fish and the Lion need some intimate moments, too.

I wonder sometimes if perhaps my life is too full, if the constant switching gears from one activity to the next is, in fact, the cause of my restlessness or feelings of "not enough." Would my mind and soul be more tranquil if I didn't try to do so much?

In the end, I just don't know. But perhaps that's OK. Perhaps it's not about finding the solution but simply about asking the question and following whatever path appears to lead me on the journey.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the Moos have it! As they are the divine and nuturing creatures so abused and misunderstood. Their tears are filling up their buckets...

Mr. E

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the last comment was meant for the previous Moo-dedication on the Cow Town picture, the latest message relates to the life less time.

As many have said, "I will rest when I am dead" can not be heard saying "see all that I have done". I am more than pleased to see how much you have acknowledged of yourself. How others must feel laziness or that you are simply crazy. Either way, you have a partner that loves you dearly. Who's life is not complete without you regardless of how busy, frenetic or lost you are. The journey for you means completion of many paths while I will only get down a few. You Rabbit. Me Tortoise. But, let's finish this together.

Mr. E

8:44 PM  

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