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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Can You Always Get What You Want?

By Samantha Grace

When I was a young girl, one of my favorite things to do the day after Christmas was compare gifts with my best friend. She was an only child and the only grandchild on her dad’s side of the family, so needless to say I usually felt jealous at the end of our show-and-tell.

I grew up in a working class family of five. Our parents managed to give us a good Christmas every year, but we couldn’t afford speed skates or that awesome leather jacket I wanted so badly. At the time, I was devastated. I was so sure that jacket was going to change my life for the better. Now I will never, never know. (Oh, the drama!!!)

Fast-forward many years, and I see the value in not always having everything you want. For one thing, there is joy in living in the moment and appreciating what you have. Then there can be great pleasure in longing for something with all your heart.  You imagine what your life will be like once you have it. Maybe you make plans for how you’re going to get it. Perhaps it becomes your passion, something to look forward to.

I heard about a study done with employees working in a very high stress environment where they had to have blood tests done at the end of every day to make sure they hadn’t been exposed to dangerous chemicals. The experimental group was given something fun to look forward to at the end of the week – i.e. a day off work attending a baseball game with the boss. The control group just went about their regular workweek, the poor schmucks. Well, wouldn’t you know it? The blood samples of the experimental group showed lower levels of stress hormones than the control group. It seems that having something exciting or fun on the horizon is healthier for us.

So, if you didn’t get everything you wanted this year, take a moment to consider what you already have in your life. Here’s my list for 2012:
My health
My family
A home
Good friends (even more than I started with in January 2012)
Closer connections with my fellow Lady Scribes thanks to the conferences I attended
Memories of a great family vacation
Three novels published

And here’s what I’m looking forward to so far this coming year:
Having our bathroom remodel finished
Annual Valley Fair trip with our kids
Attending the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City
Attending RWA in Atlanta
Release day for my fourth book
Finishing two new books

Something I still really, really want:
I want to quit my day job (I don’t know if it will happen this year, but you can bet I’m dreaming about it!)

What about you? What great things do you already have? What are you looking forward to in 2013? What is something you still really, really want?


  1. This is a great post. I will admit, there is one thing I wanted very badly this year, even though I knew it was impossible - my daughter home from Christmas. I would have given anything to have her and her husband home but he could not get off work. Thank goodness for the telephone though. It has been a great year for me too. I have many wonderful friends,and my family had an awesome vacation when we visited the oldest in Oregon. This year, I am looking forward to taking my husband to Europe. I've been pinching pennies for months and am really looking forward to showing him some of the sights I've been able to share with each of my children.
    For what I really, really want (besides my daughter living closer) would be, like you, to quit the day job so I can write full time.

  2. Jane,
    A trip to Europe sounds wonderful!!! That's definitely something to look forward to in 2013. I hope you get to see your daughter for Christmas next year. I didn't get to see my mom this year either, but we talked on the phone for about an hour Christmas Eve, mostly uninterrupted by my daughter. When my mom and I are together, you can forget it. My kids want all of her attention so we barely get to spend time together just the two of us.

  3. Sam, this a great blog. Honestly. I never plan anything really. I mean I can kind of project what I would like in the present year and what I would like in the next year. I never plan the things I did this year. Ok, maybe the move. Other than that I kind of say I would like to do that. Hmm, maybe this will be a great idea. However, I would like to project I would like to happen in the next year: I would love to hit about another five thousand views on my blog (BTW did not expect that to happen). I would love to get back to being health and stop being frumpy. Seriously try to lose the baby weight I have been carring since I had my son. Learn to appreciate my surrounds and not mope because I'm not in warmer climates. I think that's a good start, right? :D

    1. Melody,
      How awesome that you had five thousand views on your blog!!! Congratulations! I like the idea of having some things in mind, but not being so tied into it that I miss opportunities that come up because I can't see them. That's a smart way to approach it. :)

      I'm with you on getting healthier, only I'm really going to be working with my family on their eating. I'm sure they will be thrilled. LOL

  4. Samantha,
    I count my families health and happiness as the great things I already have. This year I saw two of my books published and that was a huge dream of mine! I'd love to make the NYT bestseller list next year! That's a pretty lofty dream! And on the family front, I would love to take my whole family to England!

    1. Dream big, Julie! What have you got to lose? Nothing! Congratulations on your two new releases this year. I have no doubt the NYT bestseller list is in your future. :)

  5. Sam ~ The best thing I got this Christmas was being able to spend it with my son, my scientist and his daughter. My son, who has been having a difficult time with all the changes this year, made a special attempt at filling kind of a big brother role and that made everything so much better.

    Hope all of you had wonderful holidays as well.

    1. Yay! That's so great to hear, Ava. I'm glad your Christmas wishes came true. :)

  6. So many things to be thankful for. I have my health; my loving family; my fabulous husband of 46 years; freedom from financial worry; I live in southwest Florida where the weather is wonderful; a chance to read all I want; and I am happy!

    We are looking forward to a cruise with our son and family in March. Should be wonderful!

    The only thing I really, really want is to be able to read more and more books. I'm very lucky, thankful and grateful for what I have.

    1. Connie,
      That all sounds wonderful! Lots of blessings in your life. :)

      Where are you going on your cruise?

    2. Hi, Samantha! We are going to the southern Caribbean. My husband and I have cruised several times before but never with our family. It should be so much fun to be together with no one having to work cooking, cleaning and such. Cannot wait. It will be our fourth trip on Princess cruises. Love that cruise line! Join us? :-)

    3. I wish, Connie! We took a cruise last January and it was a fun vacation. If we take another one in the future, I will want to try another cruise line, though. A little more luxury would be appreciated. :)

      I bet y'all will have a blast!