Note: this post is entirely void of emojis.
Do you tend to focus on what you want? Or does your focus shift to what you don’t want?
I found as I traveled past my 50th birthday that I have a few core, mostly static wants which I either already have, am close to obtaining, or in the process of actively planning on achieving (with consistent action, not wishful thinking).
Things I want
- a room with a door (achieved)
- good friends (ongoing)
- internal peace and fulfillment (working on it)
- periodic solitude (achieved)
- to understand men (um…)
- be able to run an errand without the need to pee (I wish I could use a head blowing up emoji here)
- publish a book (achieved, self-published)
- love (ongoing)
- minimalist domestic lifestyle (ongoing)
anothervanilla cream filled cannoli (there is one in the fridge mocking me)
Ok, some of those items are ridiculous but we need a little fun at times, no?
Over the years I met a few needs and desires because I took steps toward them. I’m working toward others still unachieved or unattained. I am on a path in the right direction. I feel the forward propulsion.
I have more confidence and deeper insights to reflect on this list partly because I get to engage with you and pick your brains. Most of you are much smarter than I am and I value your feedback and input. (heart emoji)
Now, what about the don’t wants?
I can feel, and see, the eye-rolls of the online dating bloggers. I bet they have a long list of don’t wants in their desired potential love interest…
It’s funny, really, when I think back to my own dating apps experience (surfing but not connecting), how many men put the following sentence at the top of their list: No Drama.
I remembered thinking, have they met women? lol (oh how I wish I could insert a nice little emoji in here…)
The point I’m trying to make is that these men focused primarily on what they don’t want in a future love interest (dramatic women), rather than on what they do want.*
* Let it be known many men have extensive lists of wants for women, much of which is beyond reasonable or even attainable. Remember this idiot? I’ve more to say on this topic but will address it another time.
Anyway, the don’t wants. Here’s what I think about that:
The older I get, the more I realize my don’t wants outweigh the wants.
Meaning… I know what I don’t want more, and better, than what I do want.
Maybe this means I’m a relatively content person, mostly…
Is this complicated to follow?
Let me approach it from another angle.
If I know I want this and that, but leave myself open to discover something I didn’t know I wanted, that would be a good thing, no?
Say I meet a new group of friends after covid with whom I can share common interests. Currently, my feeling is I’m quite happy with my tiny little intimate circle of friends, as well as with my ever expanding writing tribe here on this blog and on other platforms. I’m not actively seeking out new friends.
Why limit myself to possibilities for new, different relationships? Maybe I simply don’t know that I could possibly want new friends…
So I want to leave my wants list open.
Which brings me back to my don’t wants.
I know more clearly, and with more conviction than ever, that my don’t wants are at least equally if not more important than my wants.
If only I had known this ten years ago… (eye roll emoji)
Things I don’t want
- to live with (a lot of) people (less is more, at least for the foreseeable future)
- to share my work space (writing and creativity requires solitude, if I can’t be undisturbed I can’t function)
- short hair (because it looks ridiculous on me)
- clutter, knicknacks, other people’s stuff in my space (working on it)
- writing prompts (unless I get paid for them but even then I’d rather not write based on prompts)
- white carbs (but there’s the aforementioned cannoli)
- arguments with teenagers (which have been few and far between since we changed our domestic living situation)
- more pets (Tucker can stay of course but the kids talked about guinea pigs before and then cats later… no)
- nurture relationships with people who don’t reciprocate (the purge began last year and is ongoing, which resulted in some pleasant surprises )
- waste time (this takes determination and focus and is ongoing )
- lose more eyesight or hearing (that is beyond my control although some preventative measures will help prevail what is still functioning)
I could go on. What I’m saying is, I feel less inclined to spend my energy on desiring and wanting things that seem too far out of reach and instead focus on the pragmatic approaches that will lead to gainful achievement of my wants and desires.
Gratitude works. I can honestly say I’m grateful for everyone in my family who has accepted and accommodated my desire to live in a room with a door, and in some cases sacrificed their own personal situation to make this happen. I used to feel guilty, but I don’t anymore. I earned/am entitled to the right to pursue my passion (if that’s the right way to say it) and I’m doing it (even if much of it is not publicized here on the blog).
The above lists are a little superficial in nature, but the point of this post is to get you thinking about your wants and don’t wants.
Most of us focus on what we want, but do we know acutely what we don’t want?
Do the two lists supplement each other and help guide us?
I think yes. If I’m not clear about what I don’t want, and express this precisely and clearly to my orbiting tribe, confusion and chaos will reign in my environment. I can’t waver and constantly accommodate everyone else’s need – there has to be a balance while still managing the interests and needs of others who matter to me.
Funny how as a Libra I only recently, in middle age, figured out how to tip the scales into equilibrium…
So now it’s your turn.
Do you know clearly what you want and don’t want?
See you in the comments.
*I might write a couple of X-rated lists, to tie in with my erotica writing. No promises. I may or may not lock it up under Premium Content. (winky eye emoji)