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October 5, 2020: Wants and Needs

My lifestyle is such that I have plenty of time to think things through. I don’t take this for granted; rather, I am very appreciative of the fact that I have it. If I were to lose this now, I would find it difficult to function. This would happen, I suppose, if I got a 40 hour a week job, one in which I’d have to be accountable both in time and place. I know that I’d rebel, and of course without knowing how or why.

It occurred to me this morning (as I was cleaning the horse pen) that my having time to think things through is something I need. I then made a small associative leap. This was that in life there are wants and there are needs.

Stormy and Buckwheat

I have been lucky in that always, and without exception, I have gotten what I need. First and foremost, my basic needs have always been met. I’ve always had access to food and water, a roof over my head, and either an income or an income source.

My secondary needs have also been met – the long, long list includes a partner who enjoys living a more rural lifestyle, good friends and confidants, books, lots of books, more books than I will ever read in this lifetime, and a ready supply of toilet paper.

There is, of course, a fine line between needs and wants. Did I really need what I now have, that is, five chickens, four horses, three goats, and two dogs? Or were these animals just something I wanted. I think that, actually, they fit into the want category. I could have gotten by without them.

I thought I needed a job at an academic institution teaching graduate level courses in creative nonfiction writing. I suspect now that this was just something I wanted.

Last Friday our neighbor Karen appeared at our door at the undogly hour of 10 a.m. and asked us if we wanted to go hiking. She lives by herself, very simply, and so she can, at a drop of the hat, go off and hike, bike, or run. I told her no, that I could not hike to the top of Castle Mountain because it was a nice day and I needed to get the dogs and horses out. I also had fall chores that needed doing.

There was a time in my life when I was much like her. My life was very simple, and I had few possessions. I was physically very active. I enjoyed living this way and presumed that this was the way it was always going to be. I presumed wrong. I acquired animals and animals have tied me down.

I got what I wanted at the time. Well, now I need for someone to move into our hood who has an interest in tending to animals and a summer garden. Like I said, I have always gotten what I want, so I am confident that in the near future that this need will be met.

Do I want it? Do I need it? This is now going to be a question that I am going to routinely ask myself when the acquisition of something new materializes.

Next: 276. 10/6/20: Bright Lights Go On, Bright Lights Go Off

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