I was re-reading my annual, “re-center myself” books, Your Money or Your Life(YMYL) by Vicki Robins and Joe Domingquez and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. And though I have read these books many times, they are great books for thinking about and reflecting on life as a new year begins. In the Pacific Northwest, January is not to early to think about gardening, planting, starting seeds and just thinking about the promise of the new spring.
In YMYL they talk about the fulfillment curve, when enough is all you need and anything beyond enough is clutter and distraction. But how to measure enough? One way suggested in YMYL is through valuing your life energy (also known as money) for what you receive in return. For example, if my morning latte, requires me to work 10 minutes to earn the money to pay for it, did I receive satisfaction and fulfillment from the 10 minutes of life energy? But this doesn’t feel like an accurate measurement because at that moment in time, when I buy the latte, it seems like a reasonable exchange of my time for the latte. Its a useful measurement to be sure, but it doesn’t provide a way to measure enoughness. In someways the morning latte is a reflection of more than enough or maybe it reflects not enough? More than enough because I feel I have the means (money) to buy the latte and it’s a treat. I could drink coffee at work, but it’s not the same experience as a latte. A latte, is the waiting in line with a friend and talking, it’s that first sip of sweet rich hot milk, its the aroma of the coffee shop and the companionship of humanity. Now that 10 minutes of work feels like a fair trade. But does the morning latte also reflect the lack of enough? Maybe not enough companionship in other parts of my life, compensation (treat) for working when I’d rather be doing other things?
Enoughness is a tough concept to to measure in all parts of our life. I’m looking for a new way to compare the value of my time and the value of the money that flows in and out of it. It needs to be a simple measurement, that helps compare the morning latte to the values that are important to me.