Here’s the word I’m grappling with lately:
There’s hard sound to enough when you say. The f sound at its end, together with the short u just before it suggest curtness, a finality.
The word enough is loaded for me because it mostly associates with food. I often don’t know what is enough when it comes to eating. A lot of people have a governor that tells them when they’re done, when they’re sated, but I don’t. Or I’ve had food issues long enough that I’ve overridden the governor and it’s completely given up. Or maybe I’m ignoring it. Whatever I ate, whenever I ate was suspect in my family because I was born chubby and developed chubby. So I might have been consuming half of what my siblings were, but it was scrutizined, and then I’d hear “Haven’t you had enough?”
I don’t know. Have I? What’s it supposed to be?
Part of it is, I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like. I know what stuffed feels like, and I do not like that. I know what hungry feels like, and for me, more often than not, it’s not just that I want to eat, my vision gets blurry and I get headachy and crabby and deaf and cannot concentrate and completely unreasonable.
And there are some foods that I look at and I know, intellectually, that it will never be enough. As I heard someone wise once say in a perfect paradox that describes it for me: one bite is too many and thousand bites are not enough.
It means to occur in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations. Interestingly enough, Merriam-Webster’s ancillary site for those learning English puts a finer point is put on it: equal to what is needed. IE, Have you got enough money? There’s enough food for everyone.
The word “equal” is interesting to me in that context. “Equal to what is needed.” What is implied is no more, no less.
And maybe that’s what’s at the heart of it: am I meeting my body’s needs? Or feeding its expectations? Expectations that have been muddled and muddied and confused from food issues in my family of origin. As I continue my eating career, I’m trying to be aware of that, and know that, and have the word enough not have such a harsh sound to it, but rather a peaceful connotation.