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By LuAnn Schindler

-Isms: Views on life in rural America


August 26, 2021

An interesting question posed in church a few weeks ago has been on my mind lately.

What do you want?

It’s a simple question, but the answer isn’t.

At age 20, I wanted it all: law school, a job on printer’s row in Chicago, a husband and children, the white picket fence surrounding the house.

At age 60, wants look a lot different. Good health, family time, good friends, quality sleep time and a positive outlook seem satisfying.

Somehow, I think pastor was seeking a different response, a more spiritual outlook on our one-on-one with the man upstairs.

Honestly, I think the answer to the question depends on a lot of factors: age, how we view our successes and failures, our relationships, including the one with God and our personal interpretation of the question.

It’s like the moment you give an honest response when asked, ‘What would you like for Christmas?’ The first year we were dating, Scott posed that question.

My response: new bath towels.

I think he was appalled. He even called Cassie and asked her what she thought I wanted. I ended up with a new-to-me Jimmy that I needed since my pickup was in average condition.

I have a feeling, if, when asked, most of us would immediately think about the tangibles: the latest, greatest iPhone, a new vehicle, a tropical vacation, etc.

What about the intangibles? What about the little elements of life we typically take for granted? What about the minute details that, in actuality, bring a smile and sense of peace?

For two weeks, I have been contemplating the question, “You can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need” by the Rolling Stones playing on repeat in the back of my mind.

It’s complicated. After deadline, I’d like a margarita. That’s only a temporary fix.

In the long run, only a few wants come to mind. First, I think the world needs a huge dose of peace, whether it’s inner peace or an overall understanding and accepting nature of this world. We can agree to disagree and remain friends.

I want genuine family and friends to cheer me on and stand with me through tough times.

Most of all, I want time. Dad used to tell me the days go fast until you’re old and they fade into one another. They still go pretty fast. Sometimes a slow down seems like a welcome reprieve.

And, I still want bath towels, preferably mint green or neon blue. (Scott, add it to your Christmas shopping list.)


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