Thursday, September 20, 2007

Having Everything You Want

Maybe you've heard this saying:

Happiness is not having what you want.
It is wanting what you have.

I've seen this credited to Shakespeare, and to an unknown author. I don't know who wrote it, but I think he or she was a very wise person.

In today's society, it's difficult to avoid the advertising trap. Every day we are inundated with print or online ads and television or radio commercials for things we could have. Things we should want. Things that will make other people like us. Things that will simultaneously make us unique, get us attention, put us out in front, yet assure us we're normal, average people just like everyone else.

I've never been what you'd call on the cutting edge when it comes to the latest fashions or technology, but I've fallen into the advertising trap like just about everyone else. Especially in my younger years, I would fall prey to ads in magazines, commercials on television. I thought that if I had these clothes or that stereo system, then I'd be happier. And on the rare occasion I got exactly what I (thought) I wanted, no matter how nice an item it was, it really didn't have any bearing on my happiness.

Over the years, my perception has changed. I tend to look at for comfort in clothing and simple functionality in household objects. While I don't necessarily want to be decades behind the current trends, it doesn't bother me to be years, or even a decade, behind everyone else. The "latest and greatest" -- and it's price tag -- just doesn't appeal to me much.

I'm not entirely without wants, though. My list isn't long:

  • I want new carpeting for our house. We moved in a little more than a year ago and have no idea how old the carpeting is. It's ugly, stained and needs to be replaced.
  • I want a hot tub. Shane's work is physically demanding, and my body aches a lot. With every passing year, Shane and I say this is becoming more of a need than a want.
  • I want more hours in a day. Fat chance that's going to happen, but I'd like to work on my priorities and simplify my routines so that it seems like I have more spare time. I want time to just sit on the patio and read, or spend a couple of hours doing a craft or playing with Kat without feeling as if I should be up "doing something important". Relaxation is important and need to make time for it.
When it comes to having what I want, in a material sense, my wants are so simple that most of the time, I feel as if I have just about everything. At this point in my life, I also have nearly everything I want in the non-materialistic sense. I have a great husband and family, we live in a safe and comfortable home, I'm generally healthy, and I have peace of mind that I didn't have as a young adult.

The other side of the coin is wanting everything I already have. This beast needs to be tamed a little more. I think I'll write about that in another post.


Violet said...

Let us know when you get that hot tub... One more perk of coming out that way to visit!

Annie Jones said...

Violet: So, is that what it's gonna take? I see how you are....