Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Finding Peace in the Cover of a 5 year-old's Book

While walking through our staff room I saw this reading book some of our teachers use with the five year-old students here to help them decipher the difference between a need and a want. But I think that every year of our lives we should study this kind of a lesson. The needs and wants get trickier the older we get because with time we develop rationale, we develop self-manipulation, we develop  a sense of what we are owed in life, what we deserve. The very nature of becoming an adult is based on understanding the difference between these two ideas. I want to go to that music show that starts at midnight on a Wednesday, but I need to be a functioning adult the next morning for work. I want those pair of $250 pumps that would be perfect for that wedding I'm attending, but I need to make a credit card payment and get an oil change. I want a burger with an extra large fries and a coke, but I need to eat more root veggies and fruit if I'm going to make it though the day without crashing into a food coma at 3:00p.m. Choices, decisions, desires.

It sounds easy, right? But so often I get these two ideas mixed up. I need caffeine. I need to lose 10 pounds. I need to "figure it out." (Whatever the hell that means!) I need to go out! But if I were to make a list of what I actually needed right now, in my life, I have everything I need and everything I actually say that "I need" is pretty much "a want."

It's so easy to take what we have for granted. So easy to look over the needs we have met while chasing the wants we would like. I have an apartment, a job, and food in my refrigerator. I have shoes on my feet, and even if they aren't always the ones that I want, I have shoes on my feet. I am healthy and because of this I have the ability to be fit. I am fit. Not super fit, just fit.

I have two conversations going on in my head at all time. One that constantly says I'm not doing enough and one that is telling me to give myself a break. Unfortunately, the former voice is the more dominant voice, and yesterday I was at a loss with what to do with that voice. I was again at a loss with what to do with that dreaded "c-word"- career. I was even at a loss with what to write about. But then I found this picture I snapped a couple of weeks ago because I knew the cover of this little book would become significant in some way and sometime soon. I knew that it stood out to me for a reason, and I think now it's because the two voices in my head are also fueled by these two ideas. I want more money, more satisfaction, more freedom! But I need to be sane and healthy and peaceful if I am going to enjoy any of that. While I feel that I need a bigger, better job, I need to "grow" career-wise, maybe what this job affords me is actually what I need: to be able to write, to read, to listen, little stress, lots of time, which makes me think what I really need, I already have: love, health, expression.  Everything else is just spaghetti.

3 comments:

mk said...

You continue to "wow" me with your amazing writing.
Keep it up! I look forward to reading your every word.

Lindsey said...

Thanks "MK!" It means a lot to get encouragement, especially yours! xo

Carmen said...

i love that last line.