Are you Happy with Enough?

One thing hubby and I are constantly being asked since we moved to Spain is, “How could you give up your salaries in London to come and live in Spain?”
You see what most of my friends don’t seem to understand is that we got to a point in our life when we made a decision to choose what kind of life we wanted, and that included just wanting to have “enough” to enjoy the new lifestyle that we had chosen.

In every field you can make a choice. You can choose to live with enough and to stop making money when you have enough, or have what you need. Yes, there will always be another reason that you seem to need/want more, but when you eventually find that balance of having enough, it will really free you.

When you stop chasing, then you can really start to appreciate where you are at now (and I am only just learning that). One of the keys I think is not to compare yourself and your lifestyle with others. Here in Spain people have no qualms about asking questions such as “How much do you make?”, “How can you afford that car?” , “How do you manage to have so many holidays a year?” And that for me is where the problem lies; envy is Spain’s national sin. It appears in every context imaginable. The reason, I have now deduced, is because people have no qualms about asking what most of us deem personal questions, which then gives them the information they need to COMPARE; and this is where the envy stems from-making comparisons with others.

Now when I get asked questions about what I make a month, I simply answer “enough!” much to the exasperation of the recipient.
Millionaires aren't the only ones who can have what they want. Everyone can, but we have to choose what we REALLY want, and then be happy when we get it.

You CAN be happy with enough. However, you’ll never be happy if you never have enough (which seems to be the society we live in). I have friends who fall into the latter category,and they really are never satisfied (altho’ if you ask them they will deny this blatantly obvious fact).

So when was the last time you turned down more, to be happy with “enough”? (C'mon now girls, be honest, I won't tell anyone).


  1. GREAT Post!!! It is so true .... and again so close to home for me. Going through all the transitions this question pops up often. For me its not about comparing to others but to my "old" self and life. Thanks for again posing some fabulous things to consider. xo HHL

  2. Hi HLL! Great to see your lovely comments. I think it's something we ALL suffer from in some form or another. There were many times when I was having a bad day in Spain, I would start making comparisons with my old life. Luckily I have a hubby who never looks backwards, only forwards, who would soon kick me back in touch.I can imagine for you HHL it's much more difficult because the change was not something you chose, but was imposed/thrust upon you. That is 100 times more difficult and I take my hat off to you.

  3. I think people assume you are settling, when really you decide that at some point that's enough for you, you're quite satisfied. I enjoyed this post.

  4. Love this post!

    Three years ago I took a pay cut of $15K+ per year plus benefits paid in full to accept the job I have now. And I love, love, love the job I have now. It allows me to live my faith as well as my passion for education and writing.

    We have food on the table, shoes on our feet, a home to call our much more do we need? Our children are all healthy and we have been together over 21 years...I have been blessed with more than I ever thought possible or probably even deserved.

  5. My husband and I retired from full-time corporate life three years ago. Now we primarily do volunteer work and the occasional consulting project. If I compare myself to other people in the high-finance field, I feel "poor" in that I live on a budget and economize on many things (no spa vacations for me). If I compare myself to the majority of people struggling to put food on the table, I feel very rich.

    Each person needs to find what their number is in order to feel you have enough. I know many, many people who measure their number by the ability to acquire possessions or live a "I won the lottery" style life. This is inevitably meaningless and an unattainable goal.

  6. Great comments Kalee, Beth and Rebekah.
    @Rebekah - I SO understand you. My hubby and I are more or less retired if we compare it to our lives in the UK.It's exactly as you say, we need to find our own "number", and not live by someone elses.
    @Beth-sounds like you've got it completely sussed sweetheart.
    @Kaylee-exactly! Sometimes others peoples "settling" is really our "nirvana"

  7. Vanessa, your posts are wonderful. You have developed into quite an amazing lifestyle blog, posing such intriguing questions to us each week, forcing us to think about our choices. And it's not like those choices are made and then everything's ok ... we have to keep looking at each day and ask ourselves if we're living a life that is fulfilling and happy ... and if it isn't ask ourselves what it will take to make it so and taking action. Waiting for something to happen ... is just waiting. I haven't answered the questions you posed directly because I want to take the time to really think about them ... I'll be printing off your post and doing so after the busy workday. xoxo Have a wonderful week, lovely friend.

  8. I have friends like that too and it's a little bit obscene, it's just want want want, get get get all the time. Even if I was as rich as they are, I would always live by " enough" it just seems a more elegant way of living

  9. Sandy and Tabitha, thank you for your comments. The two of you always make me think with the responses you give.
    @Sandy-thank you for your lovely comments. I guess it's the psychologist in me that is constantly enquiring ;-)As you say, it's something that takes daily practise, and it's not always easy; I'll be the first to admit that.

  10. Oh I LOVE this post!! What perfect timing for me too. :-) I've been thinking about this very thing for several months as I plan this next phase of my life. Figuring out what IS enough and then how to make it happen. Thank you for this beautiful inspiration to be content with enough. :-) Big hug to you!

  11. very interesting post...frankly, i am not sure yet what "enough" is for me. I am only 25, going on 26, so i think i have time though :)

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