Yesterday morning, after finishing my first two cups of coffee, I started to crave breakfast. Being the start of a new year I wisely reached for the Christmas cookies only to notice the box of Christmas marshmallows. Thoughts of watching skewered marshmallows caramelize over the stove’s blue flame made me pause. By chance the box of marshmallows were set next to a box of graham crackers. S’mores, I thought, would be even better.
Except I didn’t have any chocolate bars. Enjoying a lazy, late morning and still in my pajamas plus unwilling to hear one more lecture from myself about excessive wants I remembered about a jar of chocolate hazelnut spread. Which is really more of a pantry anomaly.
You would have been much more likely to find a bar of dark chocolate. This item goes on to the shopping list just like a need. Chocolate hazelnut spread is one of those grocery store items that I pick up and put back and stare at and never purchase. It’s unnecessary, I tell myself. It’s extravagant, I argue. No, I command, you already got all those other wants.
Except for this one time recently when I gave up some other want and promised that I would eat it with apples and bananas and other healthy things. Then, after eating about half the jar I made myself put it in the corner, under the jar of peanut butter — just far enough away from constant temptation. And then I ate through the stash of chocolate bars and chocolate chips.
There is no reason to this. Often it seems like the difference between wants and needs is a little blurry. Especially when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions.
Do you set resolutions? How are they coming along? Do you feel obligated to keep them? Of course — you wouldn’t want to be marked a failure. Now how many resolutions are really genuine needs? Think about it…be honest. Most, it seems, are wants, but so forcefully wanted they turn into needs. In part because they are given the official title of “New Year’s Resolution”. Now, I can resolve to eat more chocolate hazelnut spread — because you never know when it might be needed.
Not that I have. I’m still working on my three-quarter year resolution. Which, now that I think about it, is all about wants.