How much do I need to live? Monetarily I could use more and I’ve lived with less. I am always concerned about not having enough or losing what I have. I need money to eat, to pay bills, to be independent. I have thought often about what I need to live. And I’ve noticed the way I think about this has changed over the years. The things I fear losing have greatly changed over the years. Because “things” now means “people”.
My list of what I need seems to grow every day. But the list of what I need to buy dwindles.
I need my husband. He gives me a sense of security. Knowing he is there to listen to me, to share my joys or help carry my burden is something I can not get from just anywhere. There is comfort in knowing there is always someone who multiplies my successes by sharing them, or halves my worries by taking them as his own. I can’t buy that. You cannot pay for the feelings that one has, or does not have, for you. I need this thing called love. There is no money in that equation. Or that need.
I need my parents and siblings. Without them I would not have that foundation that I will spend the rest of my life comparing it to. Having others who bring me familiarity and a sense of sameness is something I could never replicate no matter how much money I have. Shared expressions. Shared memories. Shared bonds. No matter what else anyone thinks they know about my childhood experiences there are very few who know them. No money can buy that.
I need my children. Without them what have I done? Who taught me to be a role model? Who did I strive to protect and to teach? For them I learned, I grew, I became a parent. From them I learned. In becoming a parent I became a better and stronger person. In becoming a parent I learned to be a better child. There are no monies in the world that could have bought me the life I had because of having children.
I need my faith. Without it I am just existing. I want to do more than exist. I want to live a life that has greater rewards than anything I can buy here. I know that my existence here is an education and I have much to learn.
I need people who have chosen to include me in their lives. People who didn’t get stuck with me, so to speak, by being born to my life. People who choose by our interactions, our common grounds, or even through our opposing grounds to be a part of my life. And to include me in theirs. How amazing it is to know that someone out there shares their valuable life time with me, because they choose to? How does anyone ever put a price on that?
I need to learn. I need to be able to read, to write, to express my own and to share others, expressions. There is such reward in a thought expressed in prose, or song, or the spoken word when it ripples through your own emotions and you get it.
I have discovered “owning” is not always an actual possession. I have “owned” property for many years. Beautiful property where I could walk, wander, and enjoy the freedom of wild life. Yet I did not take advantage of it. But it was there. It was mine. Last week Husband and I walked a city owned path, taking a long hike through a country setting, right in the city. It was undeveloped, pretty, and fresh. It was not mine. But I realized that it was “mine” when I needed it. The moment I walked it, breathing the tree and plant scented air, traversing the dirt and grass trail, it was mine. I did not own it. Yet when I stood there, enjoyed it, appreciated it-it was indeed mine. For the moment I needed it and used it. And that’s all I needed it for.
I can’t very well talk about what I need without including the thing that makes me feel almost immortal. Just this weekend my uncle told me the Jewish believe you die twice. Your actual death and then the last time anyone ever thinks about you. I have spent many years thinking about my ancestors. In depth thinking, imagining and studying them. Some have obviously been gone for centuries. Gone since Adam and Eve. None of them are dead yet! They are still being thought about. Now, I have generations, notice the plural, after me. Babies are being born. My children’s children. When you think you know everything about love, wait until your child has a child. I need the power boost my heart and life gets from their existence. Their very littleness and dependence on my love as their Mamo is something I could never have understood or explained or expected. Until the first one was born. An entire world unknown to me was then created. A world I didn’t know I needed. Now I can not live without. They give me something that I need now and they give me an extended life because I know full well I will never let them forget me! They will talk about me to their grandchildren. And so on. I will be a legend in their eyes. I can’t pay for that. But I can earn it.
I need so very much to live. The things I need the most I can’t buy at all. The things I have money for don’t seem to be near as important.
Nothing is as important as you.