Missing the Toys

missing_toysMaybe this is a shallow post, or even a selfish one, but in these fading moments of Christmas, I find myself missing new toys. When I was kid I loved getting into that new toy, the one that I was especially excited about. I would carefully open the package so I could read all the details later, then explore every nook and cranny, seeing what it did, and launch it into my imagination. I remember often falling asleep content, knowing that the entire next day would be filled with as much time as I wanted playing with my new toys.

As an adult in Christmases past, not much changed. The toys were more expensive or more complicated maybe, but the scenarios would play out the same. I loved setting the new thing up, seeing what it was capable of, and I even liked seeing what its limitations were and if there were ways around them. Again, I’d fall asleep content knowing that I didn’t have to work the day after Christmas and I could find some time to play with my new thing.

This Christmas I didn’t get any toys per se. I got some nice gifts—mostly clothes—but nothing to really set up or play with…and I admit, I miss it. But don’t I already have all the toys I could wish for? I just buy them as I need them and sometimes I even get to buy them because I want them. So what’s my problem? Just another greedy American? Old expectations and patterns bleeding into the present?

Part of my personal betterment plan is taking time to play and do fun things that I want to do, and being okay with wanting. I’m learning that it’s not wrong for me to want—I may not get it, but it’s not wrong. I think there’s been a lot of shame and guilt for me in the past for wanting. In my head, when I’d want something extra, I would hear a little voice yell, “People are starving in Africa and you have a nice place to live, a car, plenty of food, AND a friggin iPhone. Get over it!” Much of the time I just need to adjust my perspective and I’m fine. Sometimes it’s okay to buy something just for fun. And sometimes it’s good to just enjoy what I have. I think this post-Christmas will be about having fun with what I already have and enjoying seeing others play with their new toys.