We spend a lot of time learning to identify things and to teach our young to identify them. It’s important to be able to discern friend from foe, and danger from safety, right? We learn to identify things that are obviously different – chalk from cheese, fish from fowl, and Mississippi State fan from Ole Miss fan. (We’re the ones with the cowbells. They’re the ones with no mascot. Or, put another way, we’re the ones with the cowbells. They’re the ones that just beat LSU.)
Here are a few teasers: can you tell a dolphin from a porpoise? How about an ape from a monkey? A sea lion from a seal? Or, here’s a big one, a want from a need?
That’s the kicker. Knowing what we need.
Without going too far into detail (on account of you really don’t need all that nonsense) I’ll tell you that at this particular juncture in my life, I’m having to relearn this skill. My pets need food. I WANT for them to have Iam’s. My cats need litter. I need for them to have Dr. Elsey’s litter (otherwise, the smell. Oh, god! The smell.) I need a car. I WANT my Subaru. I need food. I WANT seafood and sirloin prepared by someone else. When my Sweet recently did a scarper, I WANTED an explanation. I didn’t get one and I’m still alive; so, I don’t guess I needed that. I WANTED his company; but, as it turns out, I just NEEDED my friends.
Eating healthfully, exercising, sleeping enough, hydrating, spending time with positive people – these are things that I need and that you need. The rest of what we do are more wants that needs. I want to go to the movies. I want to go to the library. I want to go back to Venice. Right now, I need to focus on building my business. I need to stay in touch with good people. I need to take care of my body. My daily productive time is limited; so, it’s essential that I be able to discern my needs from my wants.
I had thought that life would be easier when I got to this age. Of course, I also thought that I would have had a normal life with at least one marriage, PTO meetings, soccer games, job security, etc. I somehow missed the boat on a lot of those things and I don’t know if these current challenges are a result of that or if they would have come my way anyway. I do know that the challenges have a wide exit path leading to self-pity, anger and depression. That path is easy to find. They have a much narrower exit path leading to success. That path is hard to find.
Simple or difficult, I have to continue to search for that path. I need it.