Monday, February 04, 2008

Wants vs.Needs

spring bloosom
February 2nd, was the cross-quarter day known in the pagan religions as Imbolc. Imbolc marks the half way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. I have read that Imbolc derives from words meaning "in the belly" as in the earth's belly awaiting the birth of spring . The earth with the spring thaw prepares to burst forth with the lengthening hours of the days with new life.
The sun is said to mark the four Quarter Days of the year (the Solstices and Equinoxes) and the midpoints are the cross-quarter days. Candlemas and Imbolc are traditionally a time to look forward. Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in the Christian tradition starts tommorrow and it seems to be an appropriate time to look within and ponder what can be reborn and renewed in your life as the earth slowly wakes up from her winters nap.
I have also been thinking about what the wants vs. needs in my life.The farther I get into middle age the more that I see what I want isn't necessarily what I thought I wanted and that I need very little to make me truly happy.
I grew up without a lot of money and I thought that having a nice house and nice cars etc where what made up a happy life. Now at almost 44 I know that what I truly want is very little. I want to have the love of my family, my animals, books, music and nature, a roof over my head and a car that gets me back and forth to work.
Since moving to Oregon I have come to realize that in fact I would much rather rent a house and not be in debt for mortages and the like and to not be tied down to one area/town as much. I find that the places that give me the most joy are communties with an active cultural scene,a good library system and the proximity to the Ocean and the Mountains. I have that here and for the most part the whole of theWest Coast.
I also have found that buying used(cars, books, clothes) etc isn't so bad for me ,my pocketbook or the environment as well. There was a time in my life when I thought I had to have a new car about every three years.Not anymore.I used to be really into scrapbooking and like some of the women in that community I thought when a new product came out I had to have it.I will give you an example of this for years the Canon Digital Rebel Xt was the camera to have . I got mine after much scrimping and saving in March of 06 and about 4 months later the came out with the Rebel Xti and like a lot of people I thought I really want the new one . Now I am satisfied with what I have and will use it until it completely falls apart and can't be fixed because for my needs it does just fine. I know that photograpy is a passion of mine and that I will never be able to make a living at it so for my needs what I have is just what I need right now.This has been a huge shift in my thinking and for that I am grateful.
Now when I think I have to have something that isn't a need I make myself think about it for months if it is a luxury purchase to justify if it is really something I am willing to work overtime for. I sometimes think how many hours did you have to work to make enough money for something I really didn't need in the first place. It seems to put things into Perspective for me.

On another note. Hip Hip Hooray for the NY Giants for the winning the Superbowl. I am a Giants fan because Eli Manning is from the area I grew up in and I am proud for him and the whole team today. I am always for the Underdog.
I also want to say a Huge Thank You to you all the last post prior to this one was my 200th and I also wanted to thank all of you who visit here. It amazes me that 52 people read my last post and commented. I am humbled. I appreciate all of you .

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. Carl JungSwiss Psychologist


Minnesota Matron said...

Sometimes the stars align in strange ways: I needed to read that post. I've been thinking a lot about these things over the past few weeks as I too frequently quantify my success by that great big bank account (which we don't have). But when I was moaning about this to a friend, she pointed out this: ""If you really really cared about money, you would've made a lot of different choices. I don't think money is your priority in life."

Wow - that felt liberating. My priorities? Family, art, and leaving the world a better place for my presence in it.

Nice to have clarity! The harder part, at times, is keeping this vision in the middle of the consumer hustle.

kate said...

Ah, that post struck a chord, Yolanda. It is a conversation we often have in this house, as we struggle to live in a town where the toys and the holidays are much talked about.
But as MM above said, our priorties are not the big bank account. We are teaching our son some different lessons, and we make choices to take us in that direction.
As you know, I value honest insight into our daily lives and what makes us all tick, it opens up such valuable conversations. You have let me know we are not alone in our thoughts. Thank you.

lissa said...

needs and wants can sometimes merge but it's nice when someone takes the time to consider their choices. thanks for the reminder.

yes, Yolanda, I've received the book you sent me, still trying to find time to read it. thank you so much and I hope you enjoy reading the book I've sent you.

have a wonderful week!

mjd said...

Thank you for the visit to my blog.This was an interesting bit of information, "Imbolc marks the half way point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox." I also can appreciate your reflection on needs vs.wants. You have given this topic an interesting perspective.

Love Bears All Things said...

I like your thinking. We rented for 7 years before buying this house. It is nice to have the interest to claim on income tax. As to cars, we want to have good cars when Papa Bear retires in a few years so we'll probably trade up soon. We usually buy program cars with about 20,000 miles on them. Lately, I've been trying to stay away form the stores and not shop. I don't need anything and don't like mindless spending.
Thanks for stopping by.
Mama Bear

DarylE said...

Yeah for Eli .. YEA! for the Giants ..

And your photos are lovely

Lilli & Nevada said...

Very nice, Oregon is a great place to live, altho right now i have to say i would rather be back in Az were it was much warmer than here and no snow.

bluemountainsmary said...

As we are similar ages (I am a year older) your thoughtful post echoes a lot of the thinking I am doing.

One of the main reasons I live in the mountains is that life feels simpler and slower here!

Mrs. G. said...

The older I get, the less I want. I didn't grow up with money, and I don't have much to spare as an adult. But I have been able to stay home with my kids and I wouldn't trade that for anything. Time is so much more important than me anyway.

Great post.

Carver said...

Great post Yolanda. I know what you mean about how perspectives change. I find that I'm happier too when I realize the difference between wants and needs.

Theresa said...

Interesting- I never heard of Imbolc before.

Yes, being older I rarely want or really need anything-in fact this year my hubby and I decided our trip and our company during our trip would be our Christmas present to each other, and we had a great time.

The year before that we put a $20 cap on spending, so we really had to be creative about a gift, putting thought and love into it. Unfortunately somehow, people started equating the 2 things (love & money) as the same- and oh how different they are.

Thanks for the thoughtful post,
Happy 200!

Willow said...

MM's friend is correct. When it is all said and done, we do what we want with our lives. The Prof and I have not chased money, we figure we have 'enough'--we certainly have more than 90% of the world's people.

We chose to buy a very humble home--note that we CHOSE it--and we love Southern California for the climate, the ambience, our family and friends. (I do miss my Oregon family and friends, though). There are a lot of us out here who don't live consumer lifestyle; we're just quietly living our lives the way we want.

Hurray for you for coming to this place in your life.

dot said...

Sounds to me like you have all your ducks in a row.

Sandy Carlson said...

Oh, this speaks to me. We really don't need much! I relate to what you say about needing little, making the most of the lifespan of whatever I have, and enjoying the freedom from the need to possess.

I remember my bridal shower. I was loaded up with what my sister and my husband's family wanted. I didn't want any of that sort of thing. All those expectations drove me mad. Almost 12 years later, I use three of these gifts on a regular basis: paring knife, cutting board, mixing bowl.

Your post exudes the peace that comes with being happy with exactly who you are. Thanks for sharing so much. God bless.

Kerstin said...

This seems to be a persistent theme these days; and you articulated it so well.

I have never dreamed of a big home or fancy cars, yet I've traveled a very rocky road financially because I never lived within my means. But I am learning and reading your post really helps. Asking myself whether I really need something has me say "not really" more often than not these days.

And this is a gorgeous photo, as was the one on the previous post; you always make me long so much for the Pacific Northwest.

Kerstin xo

one little acorn said...

How often we get lost in our desires. We forget the things that truly matter. I love this post - it is a timely reminder.
Beautiful pic in this and the previous post too. Stunning coastal shot.

His Girl Friday said...

good post!
keeping needs/wants/priorities in perspective...if we only knew then what we know now!! Yet, it's not to late (44) is still young (at least that's what I keep telling myself!! haha
(that's me in a few months! :)

Marg said...

A Powerful Post!! It's amazing how we begin to value what's important.
Just lost a friend to cancer yesterday, 52 years old. Makes you realize that we are given a short time on earth.
So often it's the affluence and trying to keep up that makes us go crazy.
I feel privileged to be at home now and give back to my community through volunteering.
Had that long discussion with my daughter yesterday regarding cutting back and giving more to other needs.
Thanks for your perspective

ArneA said...

As long as you continue to deliver that quality photos on SWF at least 52 comments will come.

Journey Through Life said...

Hi Yolanda, thanks for visiting my blog! I like your blog too. I've been to your Flickr photos. They are great. A few of them I added to my favs! I'm really grateful to have come across your site for all your photography links. I'm having a wonderful time exploring them all, seeing so many wonderful photos and being exposed to new ideas. Thanks.

Old Wom Tigley said...

This post is very interesting... these old ideas are now becoming popular again. They are not looked down on as much now.

Wild Rose said...

A lovely post about this half-way point in the season. I was interested to read your comments aobut needs/wants too. I agree with you ~ to me, thrifting makes sense and I am quite happy to go out and shop, not knowing what I will find.

Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog Yolanda.


Andrea said...

While raising our girls I constantly taught them the difference between your wants and your needs. I wish I could teach more people on this subject. I admire you for this post.

Evelyn said...

I love this post. I have never been big on wanting all new things. The car I had before my present car was purchased new, but that was more out being able to get it financed easier. I bought a plain jane 1994 Nissan Sentra but boy did it last. I had it for 12 years and Mike put a used motor in it about 3 years ago, but finally in Dec06 we decided we had to get something a bit newer. I have a very long commute. We bought a used car this time off of E-Bay and we plan to make this one last as long as possible too. Mike says he has never met anyone that can make clothes last as long as I can. I work with so many people that want the newest thing that comes along, but it just makes me more determined to make things last and share with others the importance of it too.

I can hardly wait till we all move to Oregon. One of the things I detest most about Orlando is the hustle and bustle and so many people just don't care about much of anything. I am fortunate to know some very nice people here, but I long for the small town peacefulness. So this particular move I think will qualify as a want and a need put together.

jason evans said...

A turning point based on the coming arrival of new life. I see how important this holiday can be.

storyteller said...

After reading through this post for the 3rd time just now, I marvel at how familiar these thoughts feel to me at 63 ... how I wish I'd had them at 44 when life was taking so much from me that I wanted to hold on to but no longer needed ... (chuckling now realizing all of that DID answer my prayers … just not in the way I'd hoped back then, but in ways that were in my best interest overall). I'm reminded of the quote (though I forget who said it) "Live simply so that others may simply live." Each day I want and need less ... and each day I choose to let go of a little more of what I've "collected" through the years in order to simplify my life now. I recognize it's a process and I'm doing my best. It will take as long as it takes … but I can’t fail if I don’t quit. I suspect there are many of us thinking these thoughts and doing these things. Thanks for sharing.
Hugs and blessings,

RuneE said...

A very thoughtful an rewarding post to read. I wish there were more who followed the same "rules".

Thank you for visiting my Blog!

caroline : my pocket said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog - I'm so happy you found me so I could find you! I will be back to read more soon, I know I will like it. Love your photography and thoughts. :) x