One of the items I find myself working through this years is wants and desires.
This has been a rather slow process. Originally I tracked nothing that I wanted, merely got it when I "had the money". This went on for a very, very long time - really until a few years ago.
Then, I began the practice of tracking what I bought personally, the same as if I would track things on a household budget. First it was books, then it was other things. Before long, I was putting everything that I wanted on to a list prior to purchase.
That helped, of course. Now when the question came up "What was I going buy?", I could go look at my list and see what was on there. If it was not on the list, it either got added to the list or fell off it.
But I am undergoing a sort of transition at this point.
Maybe it happens to all of us when we hit a certain age. Maybe it happens at different ages. I am not sure. But at some point, one begins dialing back on what one wants.
Perhaps it is the approaching on-rush of mortality, and the realization that one can only read so many books or have so many clothes. Perhaps it is the realization that no matter how many weapons one has, one can only train with them one at a time. Or perhaps it is the realization and attempted application of the idea that wealth is something else entirely.
I am not against the concept of money or wealth - indeed, the phrase "I have been rich and I have been poor. Rich is better." resonates with me if for no other reason that not having to worry how basic expenses are going to be paid is a great relief. And without wealth, in a service economy, very few people actually have the chance to make a living.
At the same time, the focus on and earning of wealth can become an albatross. One is always concerned about saving, making, conserving one particular item: money. And it can all too soon be swept away by accident or bad judgement - or, we reach that point where we can "enjoy" our wealth, only to realize that we have spent most of our useful life and health trying to get to the point of using it, only to find we have little time or energy left to do so.
This has resulted in a twofold consideration in my life: the first is to go back and re-review everything on my "want" list and re-examine it. Do I really want it? Do I really need it? What will I do when I have it? Several things have fallen off the list this way, as well as coming to the conclusion that there are fields of study and practice I will never achieve because of the investment to start them (time for these as well of course, but that is another discussion).
One immediate implication of all this? Suddenly, it seems, I have enough to do all that I wanted to do. And the things that I get and what they help me to do is truly valued, instead of just being used a few times and put away up on a shelf or in a closet.
It is not that I acquired any more wealth than before. It is that, by the paring of my wants and needs, it suddenly went much further.