Probably it was already broken by the time I started wanting the cereal with the toy inside instead of the cereal that I liked. What was I, five? Definitely it was broken by the time I decided I HAD to have the white canopy bed with the pink satin bedspread in the Sears catalog. I still remember the picture and how many times I was absolutely certain that my life would be perfect if I had that bedroom. My mom handled it perfectly--no canopy because of my dust allergies and no satin because it wasn't practical--and I still got the pink and white gingham bedspread with the ballerina sheets and I actually was really, really happy.
Anyway, swimming in the water of consumerism broke my wanter long before the house on Lacyberry.
Here's another example: It wasn't until about the third time that I walked through our new house (the one we'll move into FRIDAY!) that I noticed that parts of it have a cottage-cheese ceiling. For just a second, my heart sank. Not because I hate cottage-cheese ceilings; I'm actually pretty neutral about ceilings. I grew up with cottage-cheese ceilings and so did just about everyone I know. And these ceilings are really clean, really white. But they're . . . you know . . . dated. I was disappointed in ceilings I didn't even care about because someone, somewhere decided that they were no longer stylish.
Fortunately, my disappointment was short-lived. But that's what I mean when I say that my wanter has been broken for a long time.
It seems to me that one big step is learning to see past the pages of magazines and the endless commercials and this season's "in" color and learning to see my broken wanter for what it is and to call it out every now and then. Another step is cultivating gratitude and another step is learning to appreciate the non-consumer things in life which every generation has known are the really important things. Another step would be learning to make do with what I have but I don't see that happening anytime soon. But hey, I'm in love with a house with cottage cheese ceilings. That's a start.