What Do You Want?

I am still working on being grateful.  The problem as I see it is that there is always more to crave.  The trick for me is realizing what parts of that “more” I actually want.

My life works pretty well for me.  It may not for others, but I have no severe reasons for complaints.  And I do not need all the luxuries that are offered.  The healthy choice would lie in acknowledging what I have, recognizing some goals, and discarding that which I have no use for. 

(Your results may vary.  Here is my situation.)

Pets

What I have

My cat is reasonably cute.  She is healthy.  She loves to play.  She is quick to purr.  She cuddles (on her terms).

What I want

I could do with less scratches.  If I never got hissed at again, that would be nice.  Oh, and if we could get a pet and I to agree on a feeding schedule and amount, I would be thrilled.

What I am supposed to want

I am not a dog person.  If someone I love has a dog, I will walk said dog.  But I have yet to see a dog that does not salivate all over or poop massive amounts of crap.  The commercials show dogs bounding about with tails wagging and tongues happily flapping.  Pass.  Indoor pets are for me.

Job

What I have

My job is fine.  I always have something to do.  I have no phone extension, no desk, no fancy title.  I have started hugging coworkers again.  Coworkers say that everybody loves me.  I get home on time.  All my bills are paid.  I have a free bus pass.

What I want

It is hard to save.  It feels like every year my bank account is exactly the same as it was in January.  Everybody could use a little more salary.  I would love it if I could get a job involving books again.

What I am supposed to want

I do not need the title.  I will never be a high-powered CEO with a seven-digit salary.  (I will also never pull my hair out or start smoking because of a job.)  I refuse to travel for work.  I do not need a corner office.  I certainly do not need my career decisions to make the news.  Nope. 

Vacation

What I have

Whenever I want, I can take a day or two off and relax.  If I want to go hiking, I am healthy enough and I have a car.  More often, I spend the day at home reading.  My vacation plans are very simple and very achievable.

What I want

Honestly, I do pretty well with vacations.  I could always go on more hikes.  For the most part, I have enough time to do as I please.

What I am supposed to want

I have never had a passport.  I have no great urge to visit every continent.  If I go through life and never set foot in Europe, I will be okay.  I might enjoy a trip to Ireland.  In general, travel does not entice me.

Wife

What I have

I have people that love me.  My family and I all get along.  I get hugged at church and work.  I am reasonably lovable.  Yet this is my biggest struggle.  This is what I am most dissatisfied with.

What I want

Marriage sounds delightful.  I will sign up if given the right teammate.  I always hope for an attractive gal to like the fact that I go to church, and then challenge me to a game of Scrabble. 

What I am supposed to want

I can do without the Instagram models.  I do not need a Hollywood actress.  I know all the ads demand slinky black dresses draped with jewelry and legs that just do not quit.  (Toss a ponytail through a cap and wear some jeans.  That is more my style.)  I do not need exemplary beauty or exotic sex appeal.

Car

What I have

My 2011 four-door works fine.  I buy gas for it once every two months.  I have yet to hit 35,000 miles.  I am loyal to walking and buses.

What I want

The tree-hugger would be happy with an electric car.  (Though I still think all those cadmium/lithium batteries are bad for the planet.  Which is worse; fossil fuels spewed through tailpipes or contamination through chemical leaks?)  Less pollution, that is what I want.

What I am supposed to want

Ugh. GPS, how I loathe you.  I do not want a car with Wi-Fi or Blu-ray.  I like as few electronics in a car as possible.  No Bluetooth.  No multiple-screen displays.  Let the car be simple.  Do I like the electric part of a Tesla?  Yep.  Do I like the luxury part of it?  Not at all.  Nor do I need a car that is the size (and as bad for the Earth) of a small asteroid.  If a car cannot fit into a moderately sized parking spot than I have no use for it. 

House

What I have

Blissfully, my house is a few blocks uphill of a river.  It also is on the ground floor of an apartment complex.  That makes for a nifty convergence zone where my place is cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  I have space for everything.  I have a washer, drier, and dishwasher.  My bookshelves fit and my modest tv fills the living room.  No mice, no roaches, no spongy walls.

What I want

Oh, what I would not give for a soundproof apartment.  And if neighbors would obey posted signs banning smoking, that would be bliss.  Also, why I am paying a percentage of the water bill?  I want to pay for what I actually use.    

What I am supposed to want

This is one of my biggest struggles.  The American Dream demands that I buy a house.  I do not know if I will every be able to do that.  In the city where I live and at the rate I am paid, it would take me seventeen years of paychecks to buy a place.  (Tragically, I need to pay for things like food, rent, and tithe.)  Also, I would have to pay property tax or condo dues.  And houses need new roofs, new carpets, and lawn mowers.  (All of which I currently get for free as a renter.)  My friends want me to celebrate with them when they get a house.  It is one of those life goals I am told I should work for.  I know full well that if I struggle to keep an apartment clean that a house would be too much.  Yet I am constantly tempted by this lofty goal that I may never achieve.  I do not need a house.  I cannot afford a house.  And yet…

Health

What I have

I spend less than a hundred dollars a year on medicine, including toothpaste.  When I tweaked my back, I was back to normal within a week.  I can run long distances, hike whatever I please, and eat whatever I like.  My metabolism has never slowed.  My joints, especially my knees and wrists, crack quite a bit.  Yet everything works.  I can do anything I darn well please.

What I want

I think asking for a new pair of knees is a reasonable request.  No surgery, though.  Nope, I would like my knees to simply fix themselves.  And if I could stay in shape all my life and never have to worry about calcium deposits or deterioration, that would be great.  (Despite my robust lung capacity, I do not think I should hold my breath.)

What I am supposed to want

I cannot swim.  It does not bug me.  But I should learn.  Getting water in eyes freaks me out.  And I do not know how to ride a bike.  I prefer jogging.  But I should learn.  I have never run a marathon.  It sounds painful.  Life will not miraculously improve if I run 26 miles.  Yet I am told that I should.  I am not getting Botox to keep my skin tight.  I like having muscles, but not enough to sign up for any Marvel Action Hero/ Be a Movie Star work out regimes.  I like being able to walk through a door without turning sideways, thankyouverymuch.

———–

My life is pretty darned grand.  Some folks have wars going on in their backyards.  Some folks have rivers of sewage cascading into their homes whenever there is a flood.  Some folks do not have a home, a pet, or a constant source of food.  My life is blessed.

I try to remind myself that I have things pretty great.  The cat, nature, time for reading; most of my wants are met.  When I get frustrated about my one or two wish-list items not being met, I keep trying to focus on all the things I do have. 

Those two items though; they take up a lot of my mindscape.  Everything else comes easily.  Why not one more thing?  And another?  And another?  Therein lies the slippery slope.

If I had everything I was supposed to want, I would be miserable.  With what I have currently, I can usually be content.  I do not think there is anything wrong with wanting more in life.  It pushes us to try new things, to work hard, and to have adventures.  Having goals is reasonable.  Yet, I think we should keep ourselves in check.  Personally, I have to keep reminding myself of the hundreds of things that have gone well for me as I strive to fix the few things that I would like to have different.  

About anecdotaltales

He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.
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