I’ve noticed that even in this year where most of us have been in quarantine for most of the time, there’s still a pervasive sense of “time famine.”
We’re not commuting to and from the office, we’re not going places, many events have been cancelled, and yet we still feel like we don’t have enough time. Time is just one of our many resources, of course, and typically the relationship we have with one reflects the relationship we with have with others. Patterns. How you feel about time is often how you feel about money or energy or your follower or friend count.
Never enough. Always wanting more. And no matter how much more we get, it’s still never enough.
Earlier this year, you couldn’t find toilet paper in stock in a store. The pandemic ignited the innate hoarding tendency in our primitive brains, the deeply conditioned response to “stock up for winter.” I read recently that this trend was returning, in line with the spike in COVID cases.
Tonight is the first night of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the 8-day Festival of Lights. Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of enoughness.
After the Maccabees defeated the Greeks to fend off persecution, the Jews returned to the holy temple to find it had been desecrated. There was only one vial of pure oil left — enough to light the Temple Menorah for only one day.
It would have been easy for the Jews to believe that they lacked enough oil.
Yet the oil miraculously lasted for 8 nights — enough time to press new oil.
They had enough.
The story serves as a potent reminder in a year that saw Americans hoarding toilet paper and PPE.
Hanukkah comes as the days grow shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, as the Gregorian calendar year comes to a close, and as winter begins to show its bite.
It’s hard to escape the feeling that we don’t have enough time or daylight, or enough provisions to get us through the dark, cold winter.
In this context, Hanukkah reminds us that a one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days. There was enough.
What if we trusted that what we have is enough?