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Enough is Enough: Leave the Hustle Behind for Good

Learning when enough is enough and how to leave the hustle behind when it’s all a little too much. Or, how a midlife crisis can be a good thing.

I had a midlife crisis this week. Probably not a full-grown one because I didn’t end up with a red Ferrari, but it was at least a solid mini midlife crisis.

Of course, it didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. Looking back, it had been brewing for a while. After a year or so of navigating some difficult family emergencies, parenting two teenagers, and trying to run a business, I was primed for a little meltdown. Throw in a milestone birthday and you have the perfect formula for some serious navel gazing and soul searching.

It was either run away with the next circus that comes through town and start amassing tattoos in strange places on my body, or come to terms with the realities of my life.

I chose the latter this week, but I’m holding the tattoo idea in my back pocket for the next time.

Enough is enough. Leave the hustle behind for good.

Enough is Enough

After freaking out for a while about losing my purpose, I finally came to the realization that I’m already doing exactly what I want to do with my life. I had been listening to the lie that when things are good, you should take advantage of that time to work on making them better. Hustle harder.

I’m here to tell you, I think that idea is just flat out wrong. When you get a breather in life, you should take it. And I mean breathe.

Don’t run around wondering when the other shoe will drop. Don’t scurry around trying to get ahead for the next season. Don’t compare yourself to everyone else who seems to be succeeding in ways you never dreamed.

And for the love, don’t hustle harder.

Just breathe.

Read a book. Snuggle up in your blanket at ungodly hours of the day when responsible people should be working. Make your coffee however you want it. Look out the window and see what’s happening outside.

I bet the birds aren’t worrying about what’s next on their agenda.

How to reclaim your life when enough is enough. Finally.

Although it didn’t feel good at the time, I’m glad I reached a point where I had to really examine my life and my priorities.

Here’s the clarity that I came to for this moment in my life.

  1. I am a wife and mom. That will never change, even when circumstances are different than I expected. For better or worse, my role in life is mostly defined by these relationships. And you know what? That’s a good thing. Maybe the best thing.
  2. I am a creative. My work will always be somewhat chaotic, unplanned, and sort of a mess. I can chafe against that and try to turn myself into someone I’m not. Or I can embrace the beauty of the spontaneity that defines my personality.

To make sense of these roles and find some peace within myself, I have to do a few things.

First Things First

First, I have to stop listening to the hype. My calling is not to be a super successful entrepreneur with a half a dozen income streams that I’m juggling like a plate act in the circus. (Recall that I’ve already decided not to run away with the circus.)

To be clear, I could probably do all the things.

But I don’t want to.

I mean, sometimes I do. Sometimes I want to take on the world and hustle my butt off and make waves. But I recognize the great personal cost that would come with that unrelenting pace of life. I see that it would take a toll on me, but probably even more on my kids and hubby. It’s not a price I’m willing to pay.

So yes, I will probably miss out on some opportunities. And yes, someone else will always have a more interesting story than mine. But would I change a thing?


Not when it comes down to it.

Call on Clarity

Second, I have to get clear on what I do want. It’s hard not to run after all the shiny objects when you don’t really know what you want.

Some people journal in order to brainstorm and figure out what they want and where they’re going. I find small pages a bit too restrictive, so I use my giant closet door chalkboard to write all my thoughts out when I’m having a brainstorming session.

I start with my priorities for the season of life I’m in, then I list how I’m going to organize my time and work to put those things first. Then I list all the other things I’d like to work on.

Inevitably I have more ideas than I have time and space for, but that’s a blog post for another day. I keep a space open on my chalkboard for all the things that come up (shiny objects) while I’m working on the first things.

Share the Love

Third, I need to tell someone. I’m a big believer in telling people what’s on my heart. I think it helps me be more steadfast when I’ve given voice to the things I believe. I also think I don’t really know what I believe until I hear it coming out of my mouth. Or my keyboard.

That’s where you come in. Thanks for being here so I have a reason to write things!

I also tell my family what I’m working on, so they can keep me accountable. They’re really good at calling me out when my priorities get out of whack.

Get Grateful

I don’t think any of this clarity and balance would be possible if I didn’t realize all the things I have to be grateful for in my life. It’s pointless to keep grasping at far-off possibilities when you realize you already have the things that really matter.

When I say “enough is enough” I don’t mean it in an angry way. What I mean is I already have enough. And I’m so grateful.

I have enough time, as long as I don’t fill it with the wrong activities.

I have enough money. This has been different amounts at different times in my life. But even when times were leanest and I had to be careful with every penny and make some tough decisions, I have always had enough. Sometimes just barely, but still enough.

I have enough purpose, as long as I’m keeping my priorities straight and not chasing after other people’s dreams and expectations.

I believe time, money, and purpose are the reasons most of us get caught up in the hustle. But we usually already have enough of each, if we get real with ourselves, our budgets, and our priorities.

Gratitude for what I have is what keeps me from always wanting more.

You are Enough

Speaking of gratitude, one of the things I’m most grateful for is you. Yes you!

If you’re reading this, know that I don’t take you for granted and you are the reason I sit down at this computer. I appreciate you and I’m thankful you’re here.

I hope this article and this blog have helped you in some way. If it has, I’ve gotten to do what I really want: reach out and make a difference in someone’s life. Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading. And thank you for slowing down for a breather with me.


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook