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A Royal Commission into industry scandals
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What Women Want - August 2011

02 Aug 2011

“You should be careful of what you wish for”.

I remember these words being frequently said to me, as a youngster, and now increasingly as I grow up.  (I point-blank refuse to say “older”, on the grounds that I’m already mildly freaking out about an upcoming birthday. A big birthday. I’m just ignoring it. It might go away.)

It never really made sense to me before. I mean you’re pretty clear when you want something, right? Obviously you’re wishing for something you really, really want, and if you really, really want it, it could never be wrong for you, right? Besides, it never seemed to me that you got what you wished for anyway, so you never really had a chance to experience this post-wish regret.

I wished fervently as a child – on every evening star, on every eyelash, and every tiny pink birthday candle – I wished for a pony. Perfect for me, in my backyard, in inner suburbia. Well it never arrived and, whilst we’ll never know for sure, I still think I wouldn’t regret it. (I can feel my mother rolling her eyes – in a very exaggerated way!)

But I have had a chance to experience a little “post-wish anxiety” lately. My son, in our new “après house fire” rental property, wished he could have a puppy.

And you wouldn’t believe it but, that Sunday afternoon, a puppy walked up the driveway. It was instant love for my son. The pup had no collar, looked slightly mange, was kind of orange and black (seriously) and looked like it could have been mastiff bred with something else illegal – or a hyena.

It’s puppy teeth tore through his jeans, drew blood from his little knee and promptly fell asleep in his arms.

You just know this one’s not going to end well.

Long story short, it was a true wanderer and escaped my son’s lovingly-set-up dog haven, to be free. Some things we wish for bring a little bit of joy and then a big bit of pain and we wish they hadn’t shown up at all.

I too have found myself wishing for things lately – an emotionally available man to come into my life, for example. “Zing”, wish granted. But he was too, well, emotional and very, very, very … nice (always the kiss of death for me). It became awkward.

Then I wished I could lose just a little bit of weight. “Zing”, wish granted – I got food poisoning. Definitely not what I meant. And then I just put the weight right back on.

You see? Sometimes when we really, really wish for something, we might get it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to be better or happier for it.

Now, in my opinion, wishing for something is very different to having a “dream”. A dream is something you nurture. It’s well thought out. It’s reflective of our goals. It can motivate and nourish our soul to know what we dream of – where we’re trying to go, what we’re trying to achieve. But simply wishing for random things you think are going to fulfil your life, well – be careful what you wish for.

Which reminds me of the other saying I heard a lot as a kid, and find myself repeating as an adult, “quit wishing for what you don’t have, and start appreciating what you do”.

So I am focusing on my wonderful peaceful single life, my fantastic businesses and the plans I have for them, my gorgeous (dog-less) son, and I’m going to quit “wishing” for my perfect man (or my ex for that matter) to turn up or any other crazy thing and just be open enough to try to trust that life is taking the path it’s meant to.

But I don’t see the harm in wishing I could win lotto. I really don’t.

Till next month!
Abby x

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