Saturday, August 28, 2010

I Want...

"I want candy."
"I want a new DSi game."
"I want Bakugan battle gear."
"I want another flashlight."
"I want a friend to sleep over this weekend."
"I want a puppy. A REAL puppy."

It's good to want things. At least that's what I tell my children when they barrage me with requests. When we want things, we reach for them. We set goals and we work toward them. Wanting moves us forward.

Except when it doesn't.

Often times I find myself telling my children that they cannot have what they want - not because it's an impossible goal but because it's not good for them. For example: they aren't allowed to stay up all hours of the night playing video games. That would wreak havoc on their bodies and brains. Reaching the treasure chest to win Link's hover boots isn't nearly as important as getting a good night's sleep, but when they are in the "zone" they aren't considering that. They only know that they want to continue playing the game. That's when momma has to stand before the power button and say "save now or lose your progress."

The thing is...we don't outgrow the tendency to sometimes long for things that we know are bad for us. What happens when we no longer have mom standing at the power button?

My Facebook friends have heard me whine about my love/hate relationship with Sonic Dr. Pepper. My brain KNOWS what will happen when I finally give in to the craving. The sweet deception will lull me into a false state of optimistic confidence. I'll honestly believe that I'll be able to enjoy the pleasure of that icy joy without consequence. And sometimes I can. That's the clincher. Sometimes I can have one and then go on my merry way through life without wanting needing another for a while.

Sometimes I feel the edge creeping up on me the next day. When that happens, I have two choices. I can either give in to the caffeine call (which will only prolong the inevitable), or I can try to tough it out. The tough it out option can be particularly suckish, but eventually I have to accept its punishment.

How do you deal with wants that you know you shouldn't give into?