The concept of scarcity

“You can have it all; you just can’t have it all, all at once.”

I find myself struggling with this on a daily basis, the persistent nagging commentary that follows my daily pursuits- “you haven’t baked in a week, when is the last time you did yoga, remember when you used to blog frequently?” Society convinces us that everyone else but ourselves manages to squeeze in workouts five times a week, cook from scratch for every meal, climb the successful career ladder, and have the perfect relationship. Social media’s highlight reel of only the picture perfect moments of others’ lives doesn’t prove contrary. Brené Brown as usual nails the idea of scarcity in her quote:

“For me, and 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. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of. …Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack. …This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life.”

This mindset of scarcity is self-destructive, leading us all to believe we are inadequate regardless of how much we accomplish, how much we desperately need just one day of total relaxation, or how much we change our daily habits for the better. This moment of reflection is an attempt at drilling this concept into my stubborn mind. You are enough. You do enough. You contribute to society enough. Again,   y o u   a r e   e n o u g h.

So when I find myself allowing negativity to push through my inner thought reel, I will counteract it with self-kindness and feelings of worthiness. It is not about baking the perfect cake, meditating, publishing a blog post, and reading an entire book every day. It is about allowing yourself time to indulge in hobbies, passions, and interests whenever you are blessed with an extra hour and being grateful for that time. It is about the realization that although you may not accomplish everything every week, throughout your long life you will tackle that next watercolor project or bake a few pies or get that next degree. Over your lifetime, you can pursue all of your passions, just not all at once. Patience and gratitude must pervade my thoughts, rather than scarcity.

So tonight, when I get home from my thirteen hour workday that is residency at its finest, I will be grateful for the one hour I dedicate to a yoga practice rather than impatience and frustration at not being able to read, watercolor, and whip up some pasta from scratch as well. I will choose one activity that brings joy daily, and I will practice gratitude for that one opportunity to pursue my passion. Maybe tomorrow I will finish that book. But for now, I am content.


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