Enough is as good as a feast.
I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot.
A little while back I wrote about my recent molar pregnancy experience. It’s a rare chromosomal abnormality in a pregnancy that leads to you growing a tumor instead of a fetus. Not only did I lose the pregnancy that I had been so desperately trying for, but my type of molar pregnancy presented a 20-25% chance that the pregnancy tissue would become malignant and evolve into a form of cancer.
The way they can track if the cells are growing or not is by measuring your HCG levels (pregnancy hormone) in your blood. Ideally, this level drops from sky-high to 0 over the course of the next couple months after the issue is identified and the tissue is removed surgically.
The first few weeks after surgery my HCG level was dropping, dropping, dropping. I was moving past the pregnancy loss and starting to get hopeful again about the future. And then… It jumped up.
I got the test results on a Saturday morning and didn’t hear from my doctor until Monday. For those 48 hours, I was an absolute lunatic. I devoured every blog post, clinical study, and medical document the internet had to offer. I talked to everyone I knew who had medical expertise even remotely relevant to my situation. I recalibrated my future plans knowing that I was headed for chemo and with that came a very prolonged timeline for when I could try for a baby again. I cried. A lot.
Monday came and doc said we won’t head straight for chemo. We will wait at least another week to see how my blood work continues to evolve. The next week, my level went down.
Then it went up again. Then down again. Then up. Then it stalled. I was eventually referred to the oncologist.
I’m happy to report that after 14 weeks, my HCG finally dropped to 0. There’s still a chance it could reappear, but for now, this is great news.
This experience was a special form of torture for me. I’m a pretty adaptable person. I can change course quickly and don’t get too hung up on the past. I can face anything in front of me. I just need to know what it is.
For me, the waiting is what’s miserable. The not knowing if I’d be doing chemo or not. A 6 month wait to try for another baby or a year-and-a-half long wait. Any of these options was manageable. I just hated waiting and waiting and waiting to find out which one it would be.
When I first wrote about my molar pregnancy, my biggest fear was that I’d get so fixated on it, and trying for a second child, that I’d miss out on the joy of spending time with my two-year-old. I don’t think I’ve done that. I’ve been having so much fun with her and managing to remain present as a parent.
But I largely sank into a slump. If anyone asked, “How are you doing?” they had better brace for impact. “Not great and here’s why.” Couple this oversharer with an ongoing health issue that occupied a tremendous amount of brain space, and anybody and everybody was going to get a lesson in pregnancy hormones.
I had become so one note. It had become my excuse for everything. I was over me. And reaching that point is usually a good catalyst for change.
In my mind, I was incredibly justified in feeling crappy. And to some extent that’s true. I have been through a lot and I need to give myself grace for not always being at my best. And simultaneously, things can not be perfect and still be good. I can be going through something tough and still be joyful. I can get out of survival mode and thrive even when life doesn’t go my way.
Because what is thriving? Is it abundance? Is it having everything you want? Or is it your posture toward life? Is it a headspace you occupy?
So I keep coming back to, “Enough is as good as a feast.” It’s not about having everything; it’s about having your needs met. And being grateful for that.
I’ve always been a striver. Working toward that next goal. Pushing myself a little bit harder. And while that characteristic is largely what’s made me successful, it’s also responsible for making me unhappy. And so I’m working to balance ambition and vision with gratitude and contentment.
It’s starting to become clear to me in so many aspects of my life.
Am I back to my pre-baby physique or weight? No. But I’m healthy (I mean ish. Molar pregnancy aside). I can carry my daughter. I can fulfill my responsibilities. For today, that’s enough.
Is my business making money hand over fist? No. But it’s growing. It’s making an impact in people’s lives. It’s creating long-lasting friendships. For today, that’s enough.
Am I pregnant with my second child, rounding out my ideal four-person family? No. But I love the three of us together. If another child never comes, that will always be enough.
Our coaches will tell you that while you can’t always control your thoughts, you can control the power and validity you give them. You can control which thoughts become the narrative you share. And the narrative you share so often becomes the reality you see.
Last year when people would ask me how business was, I would often say, “It’s really hard.” And it felt hard. And the more I said it, the harder it felt. And I was so drained by that. Things haven’t gotten easier this year on paper, but they’ve become lighter for me emotionally because I’ve intentionally changed that narrative. I can tackle difficult challenges but still do them with a sense of ease.
I’m working on making this same shift personally. I can be in this weird, long, scary health thing and still be lighthearted. When asked, “how are you” I can choose to focus on one of the many amazing things happening in my life rather than the internally noisy, bad one. I can focus on the enough-ness of my life rather than what’s lacking.
I don’t have it all. But I have everything I need. And that makes me pretty darn lucky.