By Krista E. Hughes

What does your “real life” look like? Most days it seems I can measure mine along two intersecting axes:

There are the stacks and piles: papers to grade… dishes to wash… bills to pay… clothes to launder… correspondence to return… dust bunnies beasts to sweep up… books to read… projects to write…

Then there are the hours and days in which to reduce or eliminate these stacks or piles, which of course continually replenish themselves.

My real life is also, by most accounts, a charmed, privileged life. My job and income are secure. My living quarters and personal space are safe. My days are spent doing a job I mostly enjoy. I am blessed with good health, loving relationships of many kinds, and frequent opportunities for play, pleasure, and beauty.

Yet I was awakened recently to an awareness that on a day-to-day basis I function under a mindset of scarcity, in which I am constantly pitting my piles (multiple, tall, ever renewing) against my hours (few, short, ever fleeting).

I appear to be not alone in this. It is the condition of our postmodern culture.

Brené Brown, who speaks and writes about vulnerability, shame, and imperfection prompted my recent epiphany. She notes in The Gifts of Imperfection that most of us nowadays tend to assume a philosophy of insufficiency in our lives. She cites the wisdom of Lynn Twist (The Soul of Money) who says, “…for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is ‘I didn’t get enough sleep.’ The next one is, ‘I don’t have enough time.’ Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it.”

My stomach flipped as I read those lines. Guilty as charged. That’s how I usually start my day too. For all that I have—an embarrassment of riches, many of them beyond measure—I too often dwell on the “not enough” aspects of my daily existence.

Do you measure your daily life with a yardstick of insufficiency?

In my next post I’ll be pondering what sort of “real spirituality” might help us shift the way we measure our days… and open us to a deeper sense of not just sufficiency but—just maybe—full-on abundance.