You would think that the difference between wants and needs would be ridiculously obvious. But in reality, most people these days live their lives without really differentiating between the two. We seem to feel like we need things that we really could easily live without: the internet, caffeine, our iPhones, a vacation.
We live in a world where consumerism is inescapable. It is impossible to go anywhere these days without seeing a logo, an advertisement, hearing about a promotion, the latest tech, fashion trend, celebrity gossip. It’s on the television, on our phones, in our ears, on our clothes, and in our food; we can’t avoid it.
When I became a Mum things really came into focus for me, and I am able to see now which things I really do need, and which ones I could live without.
We can skip the obvious needs, things that I literally could not live without: food, water, clothing, and shelter. When it really comes down to it, if I needed to, I could live with these four things. But would I be happy? Probably not. So let’s add happiness to the list of essentials. The one thing in my life that makes me the happiest is my family, so I need them. There it is, all I really need to make it through this life.
Pretty much anything and everything that wasn’t mentioned above can now be considered wants. Although I may want to wear the latest fashion, all I really need is to stay warm or be protected from the sun. I enjoy eating delicious meals, steaks, fresh vegetables, fine cheeses and wines. But all I really need is for my family to have food on the table at each meal and clean water to drink (we are very fortunate to live in a place where fresh, healthy food is plentiful, and we don’t ever take this for granted).
The internet keeps me entertained, but nature can too. Social media keeps me connected, but face-to-face connections are much more cherished. My belongings can show you who I am, but through them you will never know me.
I am incredibly thankful for all that I have in this life, the love and support of my friends and family, my incredible son, a husband who takes care of us. As long as the people that I love are happy and healthy, everything else is just icing on this beautiful cake I call my life.