Friday, February 15, 2008

Percentages and Desires

The other night, after a long day of work, after a long battle (in the sweetest sense of the word) with the kids, getting dinner ready, eaten, and cleaned up, I was tired. Bone tired. Lay down on the cold kitchen tile and never get up until Easter tired. Matt was graciously getting the kids in the bath while I endeavored to wipe all traces of dinner from the chairs, tables, bibs, dishes and counters. he walked into the kitchen, and I looked at him imploringly and said

"Right now, I want to take a long, hot bubble bath about 90%."

But when I got to the percentage I got all confused. At that moment I felt like at LEAST 90% of my wants were wrapped up in a hot bath. But I quickly had to refigure my numbers. Because at that moment the chore of cleaning up the kitchen was winning out. So I had to give the kitchen 51% and a bath just 49%. But that is just not what I was feeling. But it was what I was doing. So it had to be right didn't it?

Then I had to revise again.

"Okay, maybe not. Maybe it's more like 35% wants to clean up, 33% wants to help get the kids to bed, and then the left over 32% want a bath." I couldn't come up with the real way to numerically portray how I felt. I still felt like 90% I wanted a bath. But by this time it had crept up to at least 95%.

The real truth was that I finished the kitchen while Matt bathed the boys. Then I went downstairs and put clean sheets on the girls' naked beds, got them in bed, went upstairs and kissed the boys too. Then Matt and I sat down and spent some quality, quiet time just sitting together.

By this time my bath dreams had all but vanished, well, they had faded. My percentages had been wrong again. Being with Matt was well over my desire for a bath too. I kept puzzling over how I could divide up my want-percentages to accurately depict how I felt. Matt told me that the problem was that my votes had been split. That seemed to make sense, but still I wasn't happy.

Since that night I think I've figured it out. My body wanted a bath about 99% that night. My brain wanted the kitchen cleaned 99%. And my heart and soul wanted to help my husband and my kids be happy and settled 99%. I guess my heart must be stronger than my mind or my body, at least that night it was.

This is how it should be. This is what I think I want out of my life. I want to learn how to control my mind and my body and give my heart what it truly needs and wants.

I've also been pondering what I really want out of life. My sister-in-law posed such a question on her blog. This experience seemed to somehow apply to that question.

What does my body want out of life? A beach, good chocolate, and hot baths. What does my mind want? Stimulation, learning, good books, good conversation.

But what does my heart want? What do I really want, in the greatest percentages? I've come up with my answer.

I want to merit eternal life with God.
I want to help my husband gain eternal life with God and me.
I want to help my children gain the blessings of that same eternal life.
I want to make it as easy as possible for the people all around me, the people of the world, to gain eternal life with God.

That is what I want out of life in my heart of heart. And if sometimes my body or my mind want something more and are screaming out for attention, I'm sure I'll give it that too. But I hope that mostly, over the course of my life, I will give my heart what it wants most. I'll give it a chance to learn loving and giving and charity. And then I'll give my heart true happiness and joy. Amen.


Alisa said...

Great essay, Brooke. It was worth linking over, for sure. I want you to know I read each one of Matt's essays as well. What a great guy he is--almost deserving of you! I am also a lover of hot baths with candles, my bath pillow, and the Kiera Knightley Pride and Prejudice soundtrack playing. I suggest it when you really feel the need. It only takes 20 minutes. :)

Shell said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts Brooke!