Do we get what we want, or do we learn to want whatever we can get?
Late last year, I received a text message from my family physician. No, no, nothing’s wrong with me – she is a very good friend of my mother from college, and she has been looking after my well-being ever since I returned to my homeland. She checks in on me from time to time to see if I am eating healthy, working out periodically, not staying up and/or out too late, not catching any cold or flu or any other bugs… you know, she is sometimes more motherly than my real mother!
Anyhow, in her message, it said that she had turned seventy years old and had decided to take a few days off per month of her practice, giving her a couple of long weekends every other week to take a break. At first, being the energetic person that she is, she took short trips every long weekend and went to places she always wished to go but never had the time to. But after a while, she noticed that she was more fatigued after work than before – she realized she had put the cart before the horse.
So, even though there are still many places she would like to visit, now she takes trips only on one of the two long weekends per month. When she does not travel, she procrastinates at home, maybe do a bit of house chores, run some errands, and of course, checks in on me!
Now, would you say she got what she wanted, or do you think she has learned to want whatever she can get?
Maybe she did get what she wanted, to slow down a little after years and years of running at top speed.
But maybe she got too much and could not hold them all in her hands, so she had to drop some and learn to want just what remained in her hands.
Even if it turns out to be the latter, maybe many of us would still be envious of her – we usually do not get to hold much and we must play the hand that is dealt to us.
Then, maybe it is better to learn to want whatever we can get and have something to hold than to chase after what we can never get and end up holding nothing.
But maybe that is a strategy only when you have nothing yet to hold.
Once you have gotten something, and you have a firm grip on it, maybe it is not a bad idea to reach for what you really want.
Maybe to have more options available, to spice up your life, or to stay young at heart.
Maybe there is no such thing as a perfect life, and we cannot get everything we want.
But maybe we do not have to settle for less too quickly – maybe by learning to want whatever we can get, we keep the way open to getting what we really want.
Maybe life is much longer now than it used to be. Turning seventy years old is a special milestone birthday in my homeland, called “Old and Rare,” but I see energetic seventy-year-olds everywhere around me these days… more energetic than much of the younger generations, I tell you!
So, maybe if you never stop wanting, there will come a time in your life when you will get what you want.
I am planning a little milestone birthday gift tat for my motherly doctor. So far, I got a thread that I think fits her image perfectly and a hanky that I think matches it perfectly, but I have R-E-A-L-L-Y been struggling to find what I think to be the perfect edging pattern to go with them… arrrgh!
Hmm, maybe we need to be careful not to want so much that we set the bar too high for ourselves…