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WHEN IS ENOUGH,

ENOUGH?

· Wisdom I Insight

When my sister and I were kids, our parents would take the family to Baskin Robbins (we called it 31 Flavors) on Friday’s as a treat. Being the round, lover of sweets that I was, come Tuesday my mouth would start to water for that deliciousness. Half of my class time was devoted to figuring out what flavor I was going to try and how I would negotiate a medium size instead of the kid’s scoop (I said I was round! Lol). Alas, Friday came and all of my expectations were fulfilled. But before even fully digesting the cone, I was already thinking about next Friday’s flavor.

True to round girl form, I promised myself that when I became an adult I would have ice cream every day and then I would be completely satisfied. In my teens, I said I’d be satisfied as soon as I had a car of my own. In my twenties, I was going to be satisfied as soon as I got a great job. Time passed. Ice cream was eaten every day in college (my freshman 25), I had my own car (that came with a note, insurance and maintenance costs) and I had a decent job, but satisfied? Not so much.

Thinking back on my childhood reminds me of the story, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” Poor mouse. Always getting what he wanted, but always wanting more. It made me think about my own wants and how those desires lead to other wants. This inevitably brings up the question, when will enough be enough?
In my search for what it takes to be completely content, I came across a great article: A Deconstruction of "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," or How Millennials Became Millennials. It is sure to make you smile, and more important, prompt some thoughtful exploration on the idea of being fully satisfied. One of the many quotes that stood out for me: "The mouse’s attention slips from cookie to self-image, and he springs forward into a new set of identity problems which he has created entirely by himself. He is both the cause of and the solution to his distress." Get ready to chuckle and see just how similar to that mouse we are!
My 8-year-old self in Baskin Robbins skimmed over all the good flavor of right now because she was caught in the haze of always wanting something more or something else. Instead, she should have been grateful for the opportunity to spend time with family, appreciative that her parents had the means to go out at all, and recognized that the scoop size was more than enough to taste the deliciousness of that Friday's flavor. Kids may not know any better, but as adults, we can start seeing our experiences more clearly.
It's understandable to sometimes want more than we currently have. However, if we consistently shift our desires to something else (especially after we've obtained what we initially thought would bring us fulfillment), we run the risk of never being satisfied right where we are.
THE BLACK ZEN TEAM

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