I think we all get it at one time or another, for one reason or another... that feeling that you're missing out and it isnt' much fun. Sometime's its about something important and meaningful, and other times, not so much.
Today I realized that I didn't have that feeling in one particular area. I didn't feel like I was missing out, which then made me realize that I had felt it before. Quite often as a matter of fact. Sometimes I acted on it and sometimes I didn't.
Let me rewind a bit. We've been on this weird journey of simplifying, which might sound all pretty and fine on digital paper, but when you actually vocalize it to someone else in real life, person to person, it just sounds plain ol' nutso. and then when you try to live it out, sometimes you stop and ask yourself, "does this really make sense? are we crazy?" But we have a purpose behind it, so yes it does make sense. we want to give more. we want to make a habit of telling ourselves no, and saying yes to others.
Sometimes, though I'm not sure where my kids fall. Are they in the "ourselves" category or in the "others" category. They're kinda stuck in the middle... our decisions effect their lives, but obviously we want to give them good things because we love them, but we also want to teach them to live for a greater purpose... we have to find a balance and it isn't always easy. and sometimes the difficulty comes in simply trying to figure out what's a need and what's a luxury. our perception of things can really wreak havoc in this area.
My teenage son (sheesh, that's still hard to fathom) enjoys hanging out with the neighborhood boys and of course I'm thrilled that they'd rather be out riding around than stuck on a video game (don't get me wrong they love their games too, but they love adventuring outdoors as well). Well, my son's bike has been waaay too small for him for a couple years now. Technically, he rides his sisters bike which i guess was technically passed down from him... ok it's all very confusing. four kids and three bikes, but really only one bike works for the older three. i know it's silly. but I'm a little bummed that I can't get a bike for my boy for his birthday in a couple weeks, or for Christmas... or for a while. I feel like he's missing out. i could very easily say he "needs" a bike.
Buuuut, it's been a good lesson in bike sharing, and because we have other options, like scooters and a long board, it certainly doesn't mean he's stuck at home, wasting away. No, he's still out adventuring. and the kids deal with some frustration at times with who gets to ride what, but they work through it. I think ultimately, they remember how 15 of their friends in India share one bike. As a matter of fact, my oldest daughter wants a bike like the one in India, that has room for a person to sit on the back so she can give people rides. so i can just as easily say, he does not need a bike.
whether its in regards to myself or my kids, I am constantly on this roller-coaster ride of wanting and not wanting to want and not wanting and not caring and back to wanting again. And there's nothing wrong with wanting a bike for your kids, cause honestly, i would love to get all the kids at Asha House a bike of their own as well as my own kids.
That brings us to yesterday. Black Friday. The day you save money... we all know that's a load of crap, right?! You buy more than.... ok never mind, dont get me started. my point... some Black Fridays I start to feel like I'm going to miss out on a deal. So i start reaching into the recesses of my mind and start thinking about what i can start looking for to see if i can find a good deal. but Sometimes i dont actually want anything (and certainly dont need anything), but i'll browse to see IF there's anything i MIGHT want. (can you catch where this is going?). this is no bueno.
I sat on my couch in a moment of quiet yesterday, and suddenly realized this was the first time I didn't have that feeling of missing out. and it felt nice to not get pulled into the notion that i need to find a good deal on something. See I may have had the self discipline before not to buy anything on a black friday, but that doesn't mean i didn't want to.
It really is having to break free from an addiction. Ya know, you go through a time where you really want that thing, and you have to battle really really hard against the feeling that you just have to have it. you have to fight to the death. and eventually, sometimes years later, you get to a place where you don't even think about it.
i'll admit, i still wish my son had a bike that fit him. i still wish my daughter could join the tumbling team. i still wish i could send my other daughter to dance class. I still wish i could give my kids lessons with the instrument of their choice. i wish a lot of things sometimes. and mostly i wish very selfishly. even when it's for my kids, it affects how I feel, and how I look to other people.
i think what's hardest is that, honestly, i just want to have my cake and eat it too... i want to give a sizable chunk of our income to people who actually NEED it; i want to be used for a greater purpose. heck, at times i really just want to give it all and be free from things and stuff and more stsuff. seriously. but i also wanna give ALL the things to my kids. I want them to have all the opportunities too. but is that what's best? is that what will change a person's life? is that what will change this world we live in?
the line we walk is so very thin... the line that divides the want and the need. the line that divides give and keep. the line that divides the lust for more and the sacrifice of less. the line that divides "for me" or "for them"?
what are your thoughts... how do you decipher between want and need? between dissatisfaction and contentment? How do you say no to yourself? how do you say yes to others? too often I rationalize my wants. but what i truly DESIRE is to stand firm in my convictions.
anyone else on this struggle bus?