What We Want and Don’t Want (at the same time, in the same breath)

An older brother shows his younger brother how to get out of his crib.

Watch this:

On the one hand, as a parent helping your children to be kind and loving to each other is something you strive for.  On the other hand, the expectation that the small child you put into the crib will stay there is always a kind of hope against hope until experience teaches you better. We want our children to love and help each other. We don’t necessarily want them to organize their own liberation quite so seamlessly (at that age).

My 9 year old is starting out in competitive sports. He’s ambitious, confident and keen to work at getting better. He also does not like losing. It’s a process. He will learn. The more he competes, the more he will know and understand about not winning. At this point, he certainly wants to compete. And he also does not want to lose (currently defined as not medalling).

I’m currently on summer vacation. I have whole days to myself to go and do pretty much as I please. I’m spending a lot of time at home. In front of my computer. On certain social media sites. Yes, I’m reading and writing and thinking and conversing. But I am also feeling somewhat lethargic and slow to attend to things that would benefit others in particular. I want and treasure this free time and space. I also don’t want to feel after the fact that I wasted it.

We want and don’t want. Want and don’t want. Want and don’t want. Literally, can’t get no satisfaction.

Irony: I’m a trained life coach. I know there are strategies, pathways, questions that lead out of this seeming conundrum. Yet my very human interest is fixed on the dilemma, the itch, the irritation. Surprise, no surprise – those feelings can be the most challenging to let go of.

I want to feel productive, useful, helpful.

Stop. I’m leaving out the second part.

I’ll do what I do and let it be what it is. Without guilt, without reproach.

A challenge, yes. And doable.

I want to enjoy the time I have and …

leave it at that.

Takes practice but I’m going to get better. Just watch.