The good old dictionary defines want as something that is desired, not substantial or necessary. While it defines need as something that is necessary and substantial, the serious twin that was born moments before Want and never let's him forget it. As an elementary teacher I've spent lots of time discussing Wants vs Needs with kids. We would always do a graphic organizer to compare the two and hopefully walk away from the experience understanding how great we have it and thinking about how to focus more on need.
I just spent the last week in NYC steps away from Times Square and some of the most lavish experiences one could imagine. Everywhere you look in downtown Manhattan there is a want. Designer sunglasses that are way cooler than yours. Artisan red velvet cupcake bites, champagne with your eggs, Cadillac Escalade upgrade from your typical yellow cab, imported espresso shots, Maine Lobster at dinner atop the Empire State Building. You quickly get caught up in the wants and start smearing wants all over your needs. We cashed in on the once-in-a-lifetime experience and indulged on the want's as one should do.
When we returned to our quieter, slower paced lives here in Loves Park my mind shifted back to the needs mentality, at least for a few short days. I often daydream about wants, like we all do, it's human nature. I want to be able to grip the steering wheel, punch the gas, and drive for hours, when what I need is to escape. I want to cut up vegetables, I want to throw a baseball, I want to run a 5k, I want to dust in the living room, scratch my nose, pick up a taco, when what I need is to eat. Shotgun a beer, stroke Michelle's hair, I want my ALS progression to cease and just fuck off. The reality is dwelling on these wants, wants that many think are needs, doesn't get me anywhere. ALS has made me say goodbye to many things I want to do and there's nothing I can do about it.
ALS can't control my mind and how I perceive life around me. I can pay less attention to my wants and hone in on my needs. My need to embrace the time I have with my nieces and nephews. My need to stop taking the Lord's name in vain. My need to acknowledge those close to me who have sacrificed much on my behalf. My need to forgive, write, advocate, laugh, explore, listen, love and embrace the tremendous Grace that surrounds me.