My capitalist, consumerist urge was curbed this past week with a snippet that I read with the same title as this post: Enough. There have been many such anecdotes over the years on this subject, but none that have struck me as deeply as this one. I put this down to the fact that over this past year of many changes, large and small, local and global, I have come to my own realization of the full meaning of the word.
My life has taken a complete 180 degree turn, not only this past covid-fraught year, but these past four, post-retail-business-owner-years, where I have gone from my silly brag of holding a “PhD in shopping”, to one of “enough”.
Perhaps the analogy was brought closer to home after taking a nostalgic drive past my old shop in the rural farming village of Nottingham Road, Kwa-Zulu Natal where we are staying for awhile, thanks once again to the incredible generosity of dear friends with a charming cottage in their beautiful, lush garden.
(Side note: this happens to be the very same home that we bought when we moved from the city of Johannesburg to The Midlands for a freer, healthier country life for our two young daughters, some 18 years ago!)
A year into our move from urban to rural life, we were fortunate to be offered the opportunity to purchase the little shop that we had always said that we would love to own, should we ever own a shop! This charming decor, clothing, gifting outlet was a well known gem on the popular Midlands Meander art and craft route in the area where I was born and raised, suffice to say: a dream come true!
Over the 12 years of our ownership, the little shop grew and moved from a rental property to one that we had acquired and developed into a quaint centre, consisting of three large agriculturally rustic steel barns situated in beautiful English-French styled gardens.
It was over these 12 busy, fraught, exciting, disappointing, rewarding years that I honed my “PhD shopping” skills.
Whilst many women might think that this is something of a dream occupation: shopping and playing shop, what soon became apparent to me was that the style of shopping changed from a pleasurable leisure to a pleasurable necessity. No complaints as I thoroughly enjoyed sourcing items unique to my little retail outlet and, perhaps even more rewarding, was establishing lasting relationships with suppliers.
Where does the “enough” bit come in? Well, Divine timing stepped in and an offer was made for, not only my business but for the entire property as well. We accepted the offer and closed a very happy chapter of our lives.
Fast forward four years and we find ourselves closing another chapter of our lives, that of our wonderful rental apartment in the charming town of Heemstede, North-Holland. Not only have we cancelled our rental contract and moved our worldly possessions into a shipping container, but we have also embarked on something of a nomadic adventure!
Being “homeless” has taught me more about “enough” than anything else could ever have taught me. I no longer feel the urge to shop for shopping sake and I no longer long for this or that “must have” home item, since I have no home to have them in. Along with that, the limited space in my medium sized suitcase means that the “must have” clothing items are equally admired and then passed by.
I have enough, MORE than enough – as Darling has been telling me for the past almost 30 years – he can hardly believe his ears to hear me say this! As with most things, for a strong-willed, stubborn-minded person, these profound realizations take time to sink in and I’m grateful that this seed has finally blossomed into “ENOUGH”!