Saturday, May 27, 2006

A little lesson

Wanting something you can't have. You all know what I'm talking about; we've all experienced that feeling at some point.

Remember when you were a little kid and you just HAD to have the newest trend or the coolest toy? My 6 year old daughter goes through what I call The Process about once a day. At least! The Process is the progression of events from the first "want" idea or visual stimuli all the way to the fateful fight and/or grounding.

I have one rule when I take her to the store, just one: look all you want, but I better not hear you say things like "I want that..." or "Mommy, will you buy me this?" She can say things like "Whoa, that's cool!" or "That would be fun to have!" Just no whining or begging. Usually it works out pretty well, but there's always a "Mommy can we go to McDonalds?" or "I'm bored, can you call my cousins and have them come over?" It's always something. She always wants more. I was probably like that too.

As we grow older the wants become much more complicated, and perhaps at higher costs. We rarely want something just for the sake of having it; usually it's also about how we'll look having the thing we want. Or how we perceive that Thing will make us feel about ourselves.

I see my older nephews and nieces puzzling over how to get what they want; how to save enough money, how to get that guy to call, how to get their parents to let them do stuff. They are starting to rely on themselves to get what they want, as opposed to always depending on someone else.

The complex part of it all is the way we deal when we can't get what we want. Do we act like my 6 year old--crying, whining, calling names? Do we act like my teenage nephews/nieces--getting depressive, angry, taking it out on other people? I've been trying to teach myself to let things go more fluidly. I am a whiner, a crier, and someone who'll get angry and take it out on others. So part of my 'self-discovery' is a realization that I need to go with the flow, take things in stride, and not internalize everything so deeply. I need to be able to say "I can't have that, and I'm ok with it". I'm not a 6 year old anymore; I'm not a teenager. But I am still growing up.


DFB said...

La: Can I have that toy? Please, please. I'm at the library now. Good times, good times. Cookydude says "hi."

J. said...

I know how you feel, as well as have been through The Process myself. It's rather difficult sometimes, because things really are not what they seem.

We get upset when things break, because we purcahsed them so they would function. It makes like a tad difficult.

We thrive on inconsistancy it seems at times. We purchase something without considering that it will break. We purcahse the thing that we want, because of a momentary lapse in stability.

Take for example that I purchased a book recently. I purchased it with the full intent to use it. Most likely what will happen is that it is going to sit on my bookshelf for months at a time.

We want things/people/events/etc. that we cannot have. It's part of you. Supressing it, and denying it seems to cause problems too.

Admission that you would like it, but that maybe it's not quite time yet may be good. It's helps rebalance the want/need.

Joseph's Left One said...

Well done, Laura. Sometimes it isn't all about us, and we just need to go with the flow, as you put it. I'm kind of used to not getting what I want. LOL

Sideon said...

This was a great post, LA.

You're getting down deep and looking at who you are. There's something to be said for those carefree days of childhood, but there's something even more cherished about growing up and appreciating those days - hindsight being 20/20, eh?

On the lighter side, one of my favorite quotes is from "Postcards from the Edge" by Carrie Fisher (you know, Princess Leia):

"Instant gratification takes too long."