On to Phase II – When is enough, enough?



Enough is Enough. But what is enough? Am I enough? Do I do enough? Do I earn enough? Do we play enough? Is the house big enough? Are the kids happy enough?

How do you measure? How do you know? Do you just one day wake up feeling content with your accomplishments? Is there some awards ceremony that says, “Congratulations! You have 3 kids, a big house and have worked your way up to middle management! Now sit down and enjoy yourself. Take a load off, pay your mortgage, feed your kids and be happy, damn it!”

Is that how it works?

Did I miss the parade? I mean I remember settings goals for what I wanted to do when I grew up. I set the goal of wanting to be an engineer. I wanted to get my degree and pass my Professional Engineering license exam. I wanted to find a good job and work. Okay, done. So now, what’s next? Am I supposed to keep working up and try and be the boss engineer? Is that how it goes? Don’t stop learning and driving and working until you are the boss? Bosses have a lot of responsibility. I don’t know if that looks like more fun. Do I just stay here for the next 30 years? That doesn’t sound like much fun either. Do I do like the other Millennials do and quit my job to go backpack Asia until I run out of money?

What about the kids?

I always knew I wanted to be a Mom and have my own little circle of crazy.
I’ve got that and then some crazy. Three beautiful, wild, intelligent, funny, spunky, little mini-mes. But is three enough? Everyone seems to think so. But how do you know? Should I be happy with my three or keep going? I’ve come close but haven’t broken completely yet. If you keep going, when do you stop, when you break? Is there a time that the tugging in your heart that says there should be one more stops tugging? Do you wake up and feel “complete”?
Right now, all I have is complete chaos in this house.

And what about this crazy house? We sold our “starter” home, finally. This is our “grown up house”. We have mostly unpacked and settled in. Is that it then? We just sit here now? Am I supposed to join the HOA? Do I mow the grass and wave at the neighbor and mark the kids’ height on the wall? Do I die in this house? Or, do I chase another deal? A bigger house? A bigger yard? A bigger headache?

Am I the only person who feels perpetually unsettled and in a state of indecision? Once you become the adultier adult, are you supposed to circle the wagons or redirect? Is there a sleep away camp for grown-up goal setting? Somewhere I missed the memo on how to tell the difference between being driven and being driven nuts. I have been in the hustle, sleep, work, run mode of having babies, managing crisis, climbing the ladder phase of life for so long, that now that I am finally seeing the top of the hill, I don’t know what to do with myself.

Is this Pikes Peak? Can I go no further? Or am I just to the false summit of the incline and don’t know it yet?

Part of me thinks that I should just sit back and enjoy this time, be quiet and tranquil and grateful nothing disastrous is happening for five minutes. The other part of me thinks it’s a good time to launch a start-up, learn a new language, get a new license, apply to grad school, have another baby!

Will the moss grow under my feet if I rest for a few minutes? Will I atrophy in the indecision of what comes next?

When you get to where you’re going, where do you go next?

Are you still struggling to reach your goals? Do you have it all figured out? Or are you like me in search of some direction?

How did you decide what’s next? Tell me about it in the comments.

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Rachel, Senior Writer
Rachel is a native Coloradoan, though originally from the Western Slope. She followed her husband Chris to his hometown of Colorado Springs after having met in engineering school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. Together they have four beautiful children, Tommy (2011), Tazzy (2014), Zach (2015) and Zinny (2018). Having a young and active family keeps Rachel on her toes trying to find ways to keep the ship sailing while still meeting all the demands of motherhood. Though Rachel loves her most important role as Mommy most, she also works full time outside the home as a Water Resources Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources. This role helps keep her life centered, bouncing from detailed and complex discussions relating to Colorado Water Law with her husband ( a mechanical engineer) to daycare and preschool drop off and pick up schedules, while being constantly interrupted by the equally complex musings of her 4 year.


  1. Rachel – I feel the same! It’s like we have been conditioned to always strive for the next thing, to continue growing and achieving. But can we just take a breather? It’s exhausting!

    • Dana, It is exhausting! It really feels like I need permission to just sit back for a while. I think I need a grown up instruction manual. 🙂

  2. Wow Rachel… this is a well written version of what goes on in my head daily! There are two things that I reflect on daily; don’t sweat the small stuff because it really is small stuff; and the only thing that stays the same is change. It helps when life gets busier! It friends like you that remind us to stop and smell the roses! Thank you!

    • It is hard to learn how to just be grateful, peaceful and quiet, clearly not my strong suit!

  3. You have nailed it Rachel! Work, home, kids…..I feel the same on all counts. Please be sure to share the instruction manual when you figure it out!

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