I am remembering a phone call with my dear friend Kathleen. Instead of asking what was my New Year’s resolution she asked what do I want in the new year? Hmmm.
This simple word substitution opened a totally different door in my psyche.
What do I want?
Honestly? After thinking about it, I want it all.
Life is a veritable, all-you-can-eat, smorgasbord. It all looks so appetizing my mouth waters. I want to taste most everything. I want to read the Better After 50 booklist. I want to learn how to knit a hat–I can knit a scarf. I want to join a cooking club where we take turns trying new recipes on each other. I want to take a writing class, a meditation class, a succulent wreath making class, a Spanish class, a typing class. I want to learn to use Facebook and Twitter like a 20-something-year-old.
I confessed my desire to my monthly women’s group telling them I want it all. I heard myself repeating it several times because it felt soooo good to admit. I want it all. I want it all. I want it all. Iwantitall. Jude suggested this was greed. Everyone in the circle gasped. Did Jude just call me greedy?
I didn’t feel offended, I felt interested. Am I greedy? Is this greed? Gimme-gimme-have-you-got, my mom’s voice chided.
I looked up the definition of greed; an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power or food. Hmmm. I thought about this. Lord knows I don’t want to be selfish…I have heard of what happens to selfish women…
I realized I felt more hungry than greedy, more interested and excited than insatiable. I just don’t want to miss anything.
I wonder if this is what happens after 50, after the kids are grown, the nest is empty, and the diaper money that morphed into soccer camps, that morphed into prom gowns, that morphed into gas money, has finally found it’s way back into my wallet? Do I want it all because I have more time and resources? Because it’s my turn again?
Sorting through my many wants, in any given moment, takes discernment. It also requires the ability to tolerate disappointment. I don’t always get what I want. Sometimes because it is too much money. Or too much time. Or my work schedule gets in the way. Or I have conflicting wants–I want to go to that event but I also want to spend time by myself.
Letting myself want is a tricky business. Not so easy after-all.
Yet, I am enjoying going after what I want. I am even having fun telling you what I want…I want to sit home all day watching movie marathons in my p.j.’s, eating popcorn and homemade soup. I want to clean and organize the garage, paint the spare room, have lunch with my son, volunteer, go shopping with my daughter, write more, nap often…
Hmmm…Maybe the myth of selfish women is untrue. Maybe when we look out for our selves, trust what we want, we are happier. More fulfilled. Content.