Needs vs Wants vs Reality

Yesterday, in the middle of my post-meltdown stupor, I received my Compassionate Parenting Tips email. It asked me this:

When your needs are met it is easier to meet your child’s needs, too. What needs – yours and your child’s – aren’t currently being met as well as you would like?

It then went on to suggest making a list of our needs and simple, inexpensive ways to meet those needs right now.

There are a lot of things we need right now that we aren’t getting: down time/processing time, time spent together, healthier food, an unchanging plan, a bit more “simplicity”. We’re rushing around trying to get everything down by a date we chose and driving ourselves mad in the meantime.

Yesterday was my breaking point and several things have happened since to confirm what I didn’t want to hear.

First, we have a ton to do in the house and the RV and unless I suddenly get an unsuspected surge of healing energy, it just ain’t gonna happen in three days. Second, the tank for the veggie conversion will not be here until Friday, which means Benny will be lucky to make his own going away party on Saturday. Third, Zeb had a total meltdown last night over a spilled glass of water and I was so emotionally drained it was a serious struggle to be present and helpful with him and that is NOT how I want to start this adventure.

Next, in my inbox this morning was this horrible, hideous picture of me from Sara (not horrible because she took it; she did the best she could given the circumstances!) and a note:

Here is the photo I took today…you look weary, tired, beat :) And yet, still beautiful! I wanted to just send it to you for your records. So you can remember. That you got rid of all your possessions…and you survived.

Looking at this and reading what she wrote made me realize I’m practically killing myself to get out of Vegas by Monday. And for what? No matter when we leave, these last few days will fly by. A couple extra days will go by in a blink, too. Why the rush? (I know why: I’m excited to shake the dust of this town off my feet and finally feel as if I’m living Authentically. I want to go!)

Then, I woke up this morning to a message that my grandfather’s sister has passed away (I didn’t know her) and my Grandma and Grandpa are leaving town today and won’t be able to say goodbye if we leave on Monday. And that pretty much confirms it; we aren’t leaving until I get time to properly say goodbye to my grandparents.

I may not be able to meet every need of ours right now, but the simple act of slowing down and letting go of this arbitrary deadline will enable me to meet quite a few.

So, there you have it. I’m (re)learning to let go. I have no idea when we’ll leave and I may not like that fact, but it is what it is. I am NOT in control of everything. And I don’t want to control it at the risk of blocking opportunities trying to come our way. That is not what this journey is about for me. And I can’t remain open to what it is about if I’m stressing over something like this.

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22 Comments. Leave new

Amen! Good call.

I think the fact that we are the type of people who sit down and analyze these things about ourselves and are aware of our weaknesses and limitations and wants and needs… I think this bodes well. *hugs*

You’re really quite wise, Tara.

My Year in Haiku
February 24, 2010 10:33 am

Take a deep breath and take it slow. You’ll get moving when you get moving…
and it will be great when you do. I think your Grandparents not getting back before Monday is a gift.

I can completely and totally empathize with your impatience to get the hell out of Dodge. I’ve wanted to shake this town since …oh, I guess since 1988 when we moved back. We’ll be glad to have you a little bit longer though. :)

I had actually had this passing thought about y’all and (dum, dum, duuuuum) “the deadline.” I even read posts over again to find what the deadline meant and why it was set for that day. I am so relieved to hear that y’all will leave when the time is right. There is no rush. Mentally letting go is when the adventure actually begins, I think. You making that first decision to let go of the deadline is the first decision to living authentically. So, congratulations. If I had a sword I would tap each of your shoulders and pronounce you officially in charge of life’s next adventure!

Yes! You are going on the road to “let go” of the norms and constraints. I’m glad you aren’t tying yourself to a schedule to leave. It’ll happen. Enjoy now.

And yes, you are beautiful – tired or not. *hugs*

February 24, 2010 10:56 am

@Andrew, I have no idea where the “deadline” came from. I think we just picked a tentative date we hoped to get it done by and then forgot it was only an arbitrary, tentative date (despite the fact that March 1st sounds good, doesn’t it?). I do that. I over-plan. It’s definitely something I’m hoping to work on while traveling. :/

I think taking a deep breath and slowing down is the best thing for you.
I’m glad you took the time to realize this. :)

You are so beautiful despite being exhausted! (And I’m so curious what photo treatment you are using on these pictures!)

Well, at least you’ve got all that work out of the way and can enjoy your last days in Vegas, right? I always hate leaving in a rush. I’ll bet this new journey helps you learn to let go in many ways.

this over-planning thing is like a cancer sometimes – what it can do to our joy and loving-ness — i’m so relieved you had the chance to see this is happening and were able to choose to reject it and slow down – i hope you and Zeb are having a good and mellow day today :)

February 24, 2010 5:37 pm

@Lisa C, that photo was Sara’s and edited by her as well. But I’ve been editing the rest of my photos in Photoshop with free actions from CoffeeShop (Butterscotch in particular). I looove it! I have a lot more to learn though!

Thanks for sharing. I’m feeling a similar stress. We are moving from the east to the west coast this week. About two days after we get there my husband leaves for two months. I’ve been feeling so stressed to find a house so that he can be there to help me and the kids move in instead of just being at peace that at the right time we’ll find the right place and there really isn’t a reason that he has to be there for the move in.

ps. i love the picture.

rachel whetzel
February 24, 2010 9:37 pm

The best thing I ever did during this move was to let go of time… lol Here’s to leaving when the time is RIGHT. :)

I think that’s a beautiful photo, your dreads look amazing, and yes, you look tired, but peaceful.

Your post reminded me to chill, relinquish control, and relax a little in our house selling/ house buying transition. Thank you!

Lots of love from Cape Town.

it so sounds like you have done the right thing. You can almost touch the sense of relief in your words. It will all come in good time, and in the meantime, you can make your leaving more peaceful and complete – otherwise if you start out stressed on the road, it’ll only take you longer to get into the vibe that you are seeking, so in the end, a little more time now probably means a little less time before the Adventure starts properly. Take care, all of you and hope this revised schedule helps put Z more at ease too.

Heather (hmariey on Twitter)
February 25, 2010 7:14 am

I have been reading your story though due to my own circumstances have not been commenting. However, I wanted to encourage you– staying in God’s timing is the best place to be, regardless of how comfortable it is or is not. His timing is perfect and it will all work out. And in the meantime the only thing you, or anyone else involved, has to do right now is the very next thing. That’s it. Nothing else. Do the next thing, and then, once that is done, do the next. Sometimes the next thing is active, something that needs done, and sometimes it is stopping, resting, taking time with your boy, whatever is the very next thing. I have been praying and continue to pray for you, for peace, and wisdom, and strength.

Laryssa @ Heaven In The Home
February 25, 2010 9:22 am

So glad you are slowing it down. I’m really bad about putting myself into a time box…one that I’ve made for myself….that’s not really important. Trying to stop that! I’m tired of all the rushing around. :-l

Free spirit mama
February 25, 2010 9:45 am

Big hugs to you!!!! I do understand exactly what you are going through. These lessons can be so hard while you’re in the midst of them, but really getting the lesson now will make the rest of your life a bit easier- lighter in some ways as that detachment from material stuff, and a Trust mindset bcome a real part of you. The Trusting gets easier as you pick up on things like the fact that there us a reason for you staying there a little longer, maybe you’ll meet someone along your journey that you might not have met if you’d left sooner. It’s all going to be fine…and if you remember to consider the needs and desires of the people in your family, before any material thing that “needs” to be done, it will be absolutely wonderful! Love to you all…

It is amazing to me that things will never happen when or how we want. There are days when I HAVE to finish something for the business – not an option to not do it. Yet, a series of events go awry, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

It’s so strange, but I’m starting to really, deeply realize just how much the world revolves around timing. Things happen when they are ready, not when we are ready.

Ahhhhhh the deadline. We are sooooo alike. We need to pull our RV’s into a commune together so we can plan our life away while the boys sit in lawn chairs and watch the birds fly. *hugs*

Someday SOON, when we are insta-neighbors at an RV park down the road…you and I will escape away for some real fun. There will be no deadline. No rushing. No cleaning. No waiting for veggie oil tanks. No nothing. Except rest. Sanity. Happiness. And LIGHTNESS!! You will get there.


Huge hugs! When my son breaks down I also lose it and feel very emotionally drained too. I know how it feels.

You look beautiful and very young in that shot. :)

You are right. Sometimes I wonder too why I am in such a rush. We all should slow down sometimes. Our kids exist on different time.

Hugs again!

sara is right…you look beautiful!!!

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