Eh? You went fishin’?

January 5, 2009 at 10:21 am 2 comments

There’s this thing we do in my family, this in-joke, that may be an iteration of a spontaneous conversation between two of my ancestors somewhere in our history, or it may not.  But we do it.  It is part of how we re-establish ourselves as a single family, now that we are scattered across a continent.  It is how spouses affirm themselves as one of us.

“I’ve had sufficient”

“Eh? What? You went fishin”

“I’ve had plenty”

“What’s that? You caught twenty?”

“You silly old fool”

“Eh? You fell in the pool?”

You are one of us when you know the correct response to a spontaneously offered “I’ve had suffiicient”.  Sometimes there doesn’t even need to be an answer.  We can just leave it unspoken because we all know that we all know the answer.

But it has to be said.  We cannot eat a meal together without the ritual refusal of seconds with the phrase, “I’ve had sufficient”.  Which is a long and roundabout way of explaining why it is that the notion of sufficiency gets into my head over the holidays.  I think it informs the way we feast together, too.  We don’t do a lot of staggering away from the table, uncomfortable and overfed.  And for sure, nobody walks away hungry.  We stop eating when we’ve had sufficient.  I’m very fortunate that big family meals have this food-anxiety escape valve built right in.  “I’ve had sufficient”.

In broader terms, I’m strugging with the idea of having sufficient as this new year begins.

8 months ago, before I left my fabulous part-time job for a maternity leave, people kept asking me what I planned.  I kept being evasive, knowing that plans often change.  But I can say it here: what I planned, what I wanted, was to go back.  I wanted life to settle into a new sort of normal, with two babies and a great part-time job (in a community I love, with a boss I respect and admire) and freedom to moonlight very part time with a small Church that needed someone to do exactly what I can do, but only on a very part-time basis.  I wanted to be a mother, and a priest, and a wife, and occasionally a level 70 Draenei Hunter.  All in one, wonderful, messy, chaotic package.  Like I was before.

But plans change.  I was auxilliary staff in an institution that depends on investment income and charitable givings.  No hard feelings, not renewing my contract was a valid and necessary budget decision.  Plans changed.

So now I don’t know if or where I will find gainful employment this year.  I don’t know if this will be the year we leave this city that I’ve come to love;  if this will be the year we learn to live on one salary; if this will be the year that I convince an employer that some of my skills would be useful outside of Churchland.

I do know that anxiety about it won’t help.  That anxiety about it is, in fact, the opposite of helpful.  I’m trying to hold Matthew 6 in mind. I’m trying to remember that the moment my own plans fall apart is the moment that God’s plan can come to fruition. I’m trying to remember that, with one good salary maintaining my household, I have a great deal more than many. My family is healthy. My parents, sisters, spouse, and children all love me. My daughters are bright shining lights, brimming with both potential and realized beauty and wonder. I am one of the fortunate few.

So, although my sisters have scattered again across the continent, I keep saying it.
“I have sufficient”.

I keep saying it, and hoping that soon my whole self will believe it.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Et tu, Roll Play? Adam and Steve

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nicole  |  January 5, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I’m not a traditionally religious person, but this post (and the verse you linked to) really spoke to me. Thank you for sharing it.

  • 2. April D  |  January 5, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I love that verse you linked too and love the reminder of taking as blessings all the joys we DO have in life. It is a good reminder to reflect on “having sufficient” these days; thanks! 🙂

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