Want * Need * Wish

As a year nears its end, I feel much as I do when reading a really wonderful book… and I see that my bookmark is nearly at the back cover, and I see so few pages LEFT  and that I’ve only a chapter or so to go, and I just WANT SO BAD for the last pages to have a climactic event or profoundly perfect paragraph, clear up any confusion in the story line, tie together all the loose ends of character development, bring closure to anything uncertain or unclear or incomplete, that has me closing the book after the last sentence and just contentedly sighing with joy…I LOVE, positively adore it, when I finish a book and feel like this…and as another year comes to a close, it seems an appropriate time for any of us to think what should be different, or could be different, in the next 365 days to come.  Much like the end of a book, wanting all the loose ends to be neatly tied, a year ending to me is a closure and a fresh start all rolled up in one neat package.  I know people who make these really detailed & succinct resolutions at the end of a year, with definitive wants, needs, and wishes, but who, as I, seldom if ever achieve them, or even diligently maintain them through Valentine’s Day!…so  I have not made “resolutions” in the formal sense for many years, I do however think it feels really good, and might matter very much, to make choices in the coming year that better reflect what I claim to care so much about.  I am all about that Free Will business, particularly this time of year, when a whole year of living boils down to a recognition of where things went wrong and where things went right, and what to do about any of it.

It’s perfectly fine to say that I want to lead a healthier lifestyle so that I can better, and more likely, enjoy as many years as possible watching my granddaughters evolve into young ladies and grow into women, but if the only thing good I do for myself on any random day is get plenty of antioxidants by consuming copious mugs of coffee…it’s not really doing anything whatsoever to achieve this desire.  It’s fine to say that I want to make a more secure financial status for myself,  but if I keep buying things that I don’t really need, I am no closer to that goal with every billing statement.  I am very fond of talking and writing about change, but seldom if ever am particularly fond of changing…it’s a pattern, but at least one that I recognize, so there’s that…

I have just weeks left of the year and I have thought a lot about what I wish I had done differently these past 343 days, what I need to do better next year, and what I really want to change or to happen in these next 12 months.  I have been thinking about choices that I made and things that I’ve done, things I’ve neglected,  and wondering, deeply reflecting really, on whether any of my behavior leads me closer to what I want, what I need, and what I wish for.  Let me be clear, in my cogitation I determined and I can honestly write, that nothing I did this last year has gotten me any closer, at all, to what I think I want, need, or wish for.  That’s a hard f**king pill to swallow friends.  It’s a mighty hard row to how.  It’s a hard rain on my parade, yadda, yadda, yadda.  Can you ‘yadda yadda yadda’ your future?  Is making changes that lead you nearer to your goals really yadda-yadda-yadda worthy?  If my ruminations were worth any of the time I devoted to them, I guess I’ve concluded that I strongly feel, or BELIEVE, that if one thing, or one issue, is so multifaceted, that it is a want a need and a wish, then it MUST be addressed, fully, head on and a follow through is in order…it’s that “gut feeling” that “little voice” that we so often hear about, and are, in every “self help” book we read, reminded that we ought to pay attention to, but seldom do…or we talk ourselves OUT of listening…tell ourselves we are being ridiculous…but the gut knows, that little voice is sometimes the most important voice of our lives…those things that *feel* off or not quite right…if you have one of those, or many, a new year is a good place to begin to make the choices and the changes that you think will lead you to satisfying those desires and quieting that voice.

I get so many fabulous catalogs this time of year, filled with page after page after page of glossy photos of colorful beautiful needless things…I can finger through these catalogs and think I want several of the items, but know in my heart I really don’t need any of them, and could if I had to, narrow it all down to one item I really would wish for if I was told to “pick one.”  So it is a reminder really of how little there is out there that I could honestly use and that I honestly want or need.  I saw this morning a candle, featured in a list of hot Christmas giftsGifts for a cheery fragrant colorful season that had a fabulous Roy Lichtenstein like design on the glass, but was just filled with some scented wax and a wick, like any other candle…but it cost $495…and I wondered to myself, as burning candles is  really just like lighting money on fire; sure the house smells good for a bit, but basically you are just spending money on temporary olfactory pleasure, and I wondered, how much could I possibly want THAT candle, no matter how fabulous the vessel might be, that I could justify $495 for it, even if I HAD that kind of money or even if it was a gift to me and I was allowed to pick anything??!!

I remember, more than twenty years ago, when my daughter was little, reading The Little House on the Prairie series to her at bedtime over many weeks.  One of the stories took place at Christmas time and the Ingalls children were so excited that they got an orange and a peppermint stick in their stockings, and my daughter looked at me positively aghast, and said something like, “that is why they were so happy, over an orange and a candy cane?!”  and I remember thinking and explaining to her that yes, to them that was a REALLY big deal, to have a piece of fresh fruit in the winter, and to have a piece of candy, but I don’t think she “got” it and perhaps I didn’t either, as I spoiled her as much as I could over all the years of her life, and my family spoiled her more, and we are spoiling her children now, especially this time of year, indulging their every want and wish and trying to quiet the voices in our heads that scream out that ‘they need nothing’…I feel like the start of a new year would be a great time to help my daughter’s children understand more clearly the differences between wants and wishes and needs, but we live in a world where even “average” kids need nothing…even poor kids have ipods and playstations and bikes…if I gave the girls some fruit and a candy cane in their stocking I can’t image what they would think!  I know there is a lesson here just dying to be taught, but I can’t quite figure out how to execute it…perhaps I need to change my own way of thinking about wants needs and wishes before I try to school the next generation on the matter…that seems as good a resolution as any…


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