Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bigger Picture #4: Wants vs. Needs

Last night the boys and I walked in the house and after first noticing the smell of dinner in the air (I love crock pots!), I noticed that it seemed a little stuffy in the house. I listened and didn't hear the whir of the air conditioner on a hot July day. I checked one thermometer - 85 degrees. I checked the second just to be sure - 85 degrees. Diagnosis: our air conditioner is broken.

So, here are a few of my observations from last night...
1) My children behaved no differently when the house was a steamy 85 than they do when it's a cool 75. They are far more flexible than we adults.
2) My husband and I spent time remembering days when no air conditioning was the common thing. Well, actually, I spent time remembering that. While he had central air since he was two year old, I remember laying on a sheet in the living room in front of the fan which sat in our open door. I remember getting our window units. That was the air conditioning we had the entire time I was growing up. In all this, I remember being warm on many summer days, but I don't think I'm any worse for the wear.
3) We can survive a night without air conditioning. In fact I had as good a night's sleep as I usually do.

Where's the bigger picture in this? For me our little inconvience gave me pause to remember the difference between wants and needs. I am fortunate that I live a life where I get to enjoy many of the things I simply want, not only what I need. But moments like this remind me to be grateful for everything.

Yes, we are calling the air conditioner repair man today. After all, the point of this lesson has been made. And, assuming he can come out today, we will revel in the coolness of our house tonight. If it takes him a day or two...we will survive that, too. And either way, we will be grateful.

Visit Melissa at Peanut Butter in My Hair for more Bigger Picture Moments. And, enjoy your air conditioning!


michelle said...

Our AC went out last summer and it was crazy hot. But it did teach us that we could survive at less than 76 degrees. Now we keep it a little higher and save some $ and energy.

Try and stay cool.
A good excuse for lots of ice cream right?

Jill said...

Ice cream?! You are my kind of gal. Is ice cream for breakfast allowed? Certainly it is when the a/c is out, right?

Christine said...

I remember laying in bed with no air conditioning growing up, and wishing for a fan. For some crazy reason I didn't have one. We now have ceiling fans in all the rooms in our house.

But you are right, we do take these modern conveniences for granted don't we?

Corinne said...

We never had AC growing up, so I remember the same ceiling fan lounging and window fan loving :) We have central air now, but the apartment we were in prior to this we only had a tiny ac unit in our bedroom window. And I remember closing myself and Fynn in there his first summer... sticky bodies from nursing and books spread out on the bed for perusing.
Thanks for conjuring up that memory :) And yes, it's amazing how resilient the kids really are, and how unadaptable to change we are!

Laanykidsmom said...

Loved this post - so true, needs vs. wants. I grew up in an old farmhouse with no A/C. It's just the way it was and I don't remember pining away for A/C. Now we have central air, but I still prefer open windows and fresh air.

Melissa said...

Our last apartment had no air, third floor, hundred year old building, it got HOT. We survived and I can count the number of days we struggled to get a window unit in and all crawl into one small room to share it. I was thinking of that lat night as hubs complained that our room was hot (our bedroom is in the attic) despite the air. I reminded him how we used to put our pillow cases in the freezer before bed.

It's all a matter of perspective isn't it?

Thanks for linking up!

This Heavenly Life said...

You are a saint for seeing such silver linings and big pictures in the midst of this heat. And I do believe this week has been the HOTTEST of the year so far.

You know me -- you know I am no fan of hot days -- and you know I'd be whining about this to high heaven! But your insights, as always, are wonderful :)