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Beacon Senior News

You can’t always get what you want

Jun 28, 2021 09:06AM ● By Terri Kaiser
Young grandma smiles at camera with two granddaughters smiling with her.

But you get what you need


That Rolling Stones song is really so apt to life, isn’t it? 

Sometimes I envy those who really don’t want much. Those who know there’s nothing sweeter than a day at home reading a book, a drive in the country, watching a movie, walking in the woods or around the block, or spending time with family over a meal or a birthday cake.

Want can be a dangerous word. We all want, want, want and so many feel they’re not getting their share. That’s when trouble starts.

Life can be tough when it takes you down a road you didn’t see coming or wasn’t according to plan.

When I was a teenager, I wanted long blond hair, a good tan and a gorgeous singing voice. But, alas, my hair was mousy brown and my parents wouldn’t let me dye it. Every time I tried to tan I burned and gained a few more moles. And in eighth grade, I failed to make choir. My confidence was deeply shattered.

As a young adult, I wanted healthy kids, good enough parenting skills that neither kid would embarrass me too much (come on, admit it), and a job that gave me a paycheck and a bit of satisfaction.

I mistakenly thought that once the kids were gone, I’d be gloriously free to do whatever I wanted. And there was so much I thought I wanted. But guess what? Parenting never ends. Never. Thank heaven for that, for the most part.

Now, I think simplicity is the key to satisfaction. (Somehow, I don’t think Mick Jagger and I are on the same wave-length here.)

For one thing, I’ve learned that simplicity can be ever so sweet. The older I get, the more I savor the moments to be still and take it all in. By this, I mean sitting on the porch and listening to the birds, watching the flowers grow or the snow accumulate, listening to music, reading a book, or watching a movie without the guilt for spending the time doing it.

What is it you want in life? It doesn’t have to be those things your younger self thought you’d acquire or achieve. Life sends us on many paths, most of which we choose. We go through multiple chapters like a book, and in each life chapter you may find your wants and needs differing.

What I thought I’d want at this point isn’t really all that important now. Instead, a conversation with a grandchild, a few laughs with a sibling, lunch with a parent, and time, sweet time, with my kids are what matters most.

The Rolling Stones song ends with “You just might find, you get what you need.” It’s true if we stop to look for it. Sometimes what we truly want has been there all the while. We just need to peel back the layers to get there.


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