“Have to” vs “Want to”

Today my son turns double digits. Yup the Big One-O!!! But instead of waking up excited, happy and ready to celebrate this momentous occasion… I woke up cranky, emotional and completely on edge. It was no accident that the jacket I chose to throw on this morning to walk the kids to school had a giant picture of GRUMPY on it.

My husband took the day off from work so that we can both go to school and have lunch with Jay. After school we are having a few of the neighborhood boys over for cake and ice cream. And tonight we will go to dinner at a restaurant of the birthday boy’s choice. But after the way I treated my hubby this morning, he is probably wishing he would have gone to work. I did not just snap at him… I bit him in the behind. (Figuratively not literally. He might have actually enjoyed the literal version.) I pushed and pushed until he finally threw his hands up in defeat and left for the gym just to get away from me I am sure. When he left I felt anything but victorious, that is for sure. Numb and not really sure why I behaved the way I did, I decided I needed to go for a walk to clear my head.

Don’t worry, I did not trip over any possums today. But to make sure I wouldn’t, I chose to walk on the track behind the kid’s school. Four times around equals a mile. I figured I would do at least 8 times and then go home to do all the things I had to do.

Being cranky is exhausting. Seriously… it takes much more energy then just being happy. As I began to walk my legs felt like cement blocks. And it was cold out. My nose was running and well I was feeling miserable and quite sorry for myself. I knew I needed to stop. I also knew that I could not figure out how to. So I started thinking about the article my niece wrote yesterday after reading my post on Signs. If you want to read something beautiful, I recommend that you read this article.  ( ). I so admire my niece and I have to admit I am a bit envious too. She has such passion. She graduated from college last summer and then packed up and moved to Israel to do a year of study there and well to just LEARN. Learn about her religion and more important I think about herself. She seems so content and HAPPY!!! She is able to do the one thing that I just cannot seem to do, “LET GO LET G-D”.  This is what I was thinking about as I walked. I started thinking about how my niece lives in the moment. Then I made a mental note that I would do some more research on that. I quickly erased that note with the realization that if I have to research living in the moment, well then I would not really be doing it would I?

That is when I got dizzy. Granted by this time I had been walking around in circles for who knows how long (A lot more than the 8 times I set out to do that is for sure). I was physically dizzy. I mean I had to stop and put my head between my legs. I suddenly realized why I was so unhappy today. It is not because I am sad that my baby boy is growing up. Nope, it is because I don’t know what comes next. You see I live from one event to the next. I love planning things. His birthday party, decorating the house, making him special pancakes with a candle in them, taking him lunch… but the day will end and then what? What comes next? Instead of being excited about the unknown… it terrifies me. I have no control. That was why I was being such a freak this morning yelling at my husband about how I have to do this and that. He kept saying, “No you don’t.” I did not want to listen to him, and I certainly hate admitting when I am wrong about things… but he is right. I don’t really HAVE to do anything. I don’t have to have lunch with him. I WANT to have lunch with him. There is a huge difference between Have to and Want to. I never realized that before. Maybe that is the key to living in the moment or as my niece is doing, “letting Go-Letting G-d”. Perhaps the key to this happiness thing I so desire is to spend less time doing the things I feel I have to do, and more time doing the things I want to. Of course there has to be a balance there. I mean some Have to things still Have to get done. I have never really been good at balancing things. Oh I am excellent at multitasking… but that is the problem. I want to do everything and it has to be done NOW!!! But maybe it really doesn’t Have to be done now.

So with that said… I am now going to do something I have been wanting to do for a long time, ever since I have moved into this house, but never seemed to have the time to do. I am going to take a bath in my huge Jacuzzi tub! And while I am doing it I am not going to think about all the things I HAVE to do today. I am going to concentrate on just being in the moment. I deserve it. After all, as my friend Rebecca put it, it is not just my son’s birthday today, it is my 10th Anniversary of being a mom! Happy Anniversary to me.


6 thoughts on ““Have to” vs “Want to”

  1. Happy Anniverary, yes you are right but you just have to let go and let G-D handle it sometimes, it will work it self out in the end and you will look back some day and wonder what the fuss was all about. Enjoy the rest of the day.

  2. Sharon,

    First, Happy 10th Anniversary to being a Mom! It is the most, if not the best title we can ever have. It is certainly not the easiest. I don’t think there is one word that can best describe motherhood but…. WOW!!

    Justin is 20. I can tell you I still feel I have “have to’s” and “want to’s” with him. Someone told me yesterday to “let go…let him be the man you raised him to be.” Do you know how hard that is?! Let go? Never! Sometimes I think I can’t let go, because I’m still in focus with Jamie at 9 because she needs so much direction. You can’t turn it off for one and not the other. But, honestly I don’t think we can let go. It’s the nature of being a mom. It comes with the title and we can’t just turn it off.

    Enjoy your day. Hope you found some relaxation in that tub. Take more time for yourself. I know I need to do the same.

  3. Sharon, As Moms, we always strive to give our kids everything within our power. Sometimes, it is overwhelming. Moms focus all their energy to make their kids happy that they often forget what makes them happy. My husband always tells me I ‘overplan’. But, I feel like the kids are young for such a short amount of time. So I try to maximize my time with them- figuring I will be me later. It is so important to remember who you are and t0 fulfill your needs. Hope you have a good bath and know you are a great Mommy.

  4. I’m glad you are not waiting as long as I did to take that jacuzzi bath… Make your bucket list, your children will enjoy you more when u are happy in your life. I love you… And tell Jay we still need to make snow angels some day!

  5. Hope Jay had a wonderful birthday and you had a wonderful bath! My kids definitely use my jacuzzi tub more than I do. I know what you mean about living in the moment. I am a planner too and have a hard time just being sometimes. My husband is not a planner at all so we balance each other out a bit. I get the same response from him “You don’t have to” when I am stressed and trying to get a lot done in a short period of time (for me, the holidays are the worst but I keep trying to simplify each year).

    1. I think when you have an Aspie kid you have to be somewhat of a planner. I find myself trying to play fortune teller with Jay. Trying to see what could possibly trigger a meltdown before they happen. That is good but sometimes I think it makes me sell my son short. He has surprised me many of times by trying something I never ever imagined he would or handling something I thought he could not. I am learning so much from him. Aspie kids do live in their own moments. They get lost in them… but that is not the point. LOL It also sounds like our hubbies are very similar! Probably why we married them… to balance us! Oh and I did enjoy the bath. Actually I did not stay in it long… it was cold… but that is not the point. I did it!!!

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