The Space Between Want and Need

          Lately, Amy and I have put ourselves on the Dave Ramsey "baby step" program to getting totally out of debt -- The Total Money Makeover.  Before I changed careers we had saved a lot of money and had no car payments and no credit card debt. That came in handy when I got laid off and had to pay for nursing school -- and start over at the bottom of the career ladder. When I got my RN, however, I bought a new truck. The old one was 13 years old and had 280,000 miles on it -- and no airbags and no back seats for the girls. We also took a trip to Hawaii. We ended up with a truck payment, credit card debt and student loans. 
Thanks to Amy and Dave Ramsey, we're getting them all paid off. 
However, along the way we've had a lot of conversations about things that we need and things that we want and how to have fun, fix up the house, etc ... without spending money.
It's actually a lot of fun to think this way. Creative thinking. That said, it doesn't mean we have to give up our dreams. We don't really need everything that we want, but it is still okay to want it. There's nothing wrong with aspiration, as long as material things are comfortably ensconced in their proper place.
Most importantly, it's vital not to live your life centered on the yearning for some material thing. Once obtained, it will only disappoint. Even if it is perfectly adequate, practical and as beautiful as you hoped, nothing lives up to the imagined contentment of our desire.
I need nothing that I do not already have. I have a home, a good job, a family -- air, food, water and love.
Wanting, however, has a place. It moves us forward, fuels progress, creates beauty. It motivates. Long days at the library were often punctuated by visits to the dealership to test drive trucks. A new truck wasn't my only motivation, but it was a symbol of the financial security for myself and my family that lay ahead.
Somehow, even in our contentment, I think it is good to see something and want it. I still have this reaction when I see beautiful industrial design or works of art. I often experience the "I want that but I don't have anywhere to put it" sort of feeling. I know I don't need it, can't afford it, can't practically keep it even if I could. 
But I still want it. 
Last summer, a friend offered to give me his sail boat for free. It was a great little sail boat, and it wasn't in too bad of shape. Even the moorage cost was pretty cheap. However, it just didn't feel right. It wasn't the right time, the cockpit was too small and shallow and the girls still too young. I wanted it. I still want a sail boat and I have ever since I was a kid watching the tall ship races during the 1976 bicentennial. 
        Yet, I found I was more than comfortable just wanting it.
I don't know that we have a good way to describe this space between wants and needs -- these aspirations we are content to leave unmet. It is kind of the material equivalent of infatuation. If you can think of a word to describe this feeling, I'd love to hear it.
Meanwhile, I'll be looking at my favorite websites for motorcycles, high tech gear, boats, hot air balloons, airplanes ....

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