Wants vs. needs

We hear a lot of people discuss weighing in on the ‘wants vs. needs’ in multiple areas of our lives. When it comes to shopping… When it comes to choosing certain things when doing home improvements… there are many ways that we can apply wants vs. needs in anyone’s day-to-day life.

Now what I’m talking about when it comes to ‘wants vs. needs’ isn’t so ‘easy’, in most cases. When it comes to choosing a DMT (Disease Modifying Therapy) for our MS, I for one compare the wants vs. needs or the risks vs. benefits, as some would say.

But another things that I use this method is in everyday life and that’s something that a lot of people around me don’t understand completely. Usually if you want to go do something, you just go do it, and that is true for a lot of people… I used to do that as well.

However, it’s not that easy now. Because as most of you know or have experienced… we want to do a lot of things, but we have to keep in mind to not ‘over-do’. So I will sit here and go over my wants vs. needs. If there is things that I NEED to go do, they must be done before I even consider doing anything that I WANT to do.

Now I’m not saying to NEVER do what you want to do, because that’s not something that would make life very enjoyable, now would it? Most people would say (without having MS) that they want to go shopping for new clothes, but they need to go grocery shopping first. That’s an easy decision now that you look at it… but used to, it was a debatable decision (when I was younger).

So when it comes to my MS and weighing the wants vs. needs into certain situations, it can be used in a variety of ways. It might be something like, “Well I want to clean my house, but I need my energy saved to go grocery shopping, or something similar to that.

A lot of my family and friends don’t understand why I have to pick and choose on what I can and cannot do because “I look fine…” But that’s just the thing, I can look find and even feel fine, but overtime I have learned my limits and how I need to separate certain tasks. This way I do not suffer in a BIG way for doing certain activities or chores.

My husband actually just texted me yesterday saying, “Hey, we have a softball tournament on Saturday, so take it easy.” I’m glad that he has learned that I need that heads up in order to plan accordingly. This way, I don’t do too much during the week to where I can’t go to the softball tournament on Saturday or if I go, it won’t be as enjoyable as it would have, if I had taken it easy.

I have also come to learn to, “expect the unexpected”. With that I mean, I don’t do too much at any point in time as long as I can control it. You never know what’s going to happen. Like for example, a loved one getting sick, a family emergency, etc.

As most of you know, I do some traveling to MS Conferences for MSWorld. Well, earlier this month I attended the ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS Joint Meeting in Boston, MA. Now obviously this is a big difference with temperature and such from Austin, TX. So I had to plan accordingly and pack something besides shorts and t-shirts that I am still wearing in Texas.

When preparing to make this trip, I’ve learned form past experience that I need to start my prep and packing about a week before. This way I’m not doing laundry, shopping for last minute items, and packing all at once. While during all of that, I’m still a stay-at-home mom, so it’s not like I could “take vacation” to get everything done before leaving.  I may want to get a bunch of these things done in one day’s time… but I need to make sure that I don’t over do because I will be gone at a Conference for a week.

This is also something that I’ve had to try and explain to my friends overtime. Because If they invite me to a party or out for drinks, I may want to go… but I need to take care of myself first. I’m not saying that I don’t ever go and do things with my friends… but it can’t be all the time. And having to explain to them that if I decline a request to do something, it’s not because I don’t want to go, it’s that I can’t at that certain time.

The above has of course not gone over pleasantly… as I discussed in my previous blog, “Friends Forever! … Or Not?”

I’ve come to learn that developing a wants vs. needs process doesn’t happen over night… it’s something that you have to work on and even if you have been using it for a while… it doesn’t work for every situation we face.

I could probably write a 10-page article about this – and difference scenarios, but I’m going to stop there, because I know that most of you living with MS like me, are already nodding your heads because “You get it”…

And on another note…. HAPPY FALL!


Ashley Ringstaff

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