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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

by Adam Zack — December 19, 2018

Adam Zack

Makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice

You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometime you find

You get what you need

– Jagger/Richards, The Rolling Stones

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Christmas time is loaded with lists. What gifts to get who. Who’s coming for dinner. What do you need to shop for. What’s the menu. Who to send cards to. Who not to send cards to. Who’s naughty. Who’s nice. As a kid we always made lists of what we wanted Santa (and a bit later, say 9 years old or so) or our parents to get us for Christmas. We started by looking at the Sears catalog in September. Marking pages, reading it over and over. Adding and subtracting to the list as fall marched towards Christmas. Not putting anything on the list that’s too far out of reach, but still with hopeful, lofty goals.

Grandparents wanted to know what was on the list. And since I had three sets of grandparents, the list got fulfilled a bit more. It’s a very exciting time of year for list makers. Because I have great parents and family, the lists usually reached a pretty saturated state of cross-outedness. And since my birthday was a week after Christmas, any list stragglers usually got covered then. It was a very exciting time of year for me. I was, and am, very fortunate and grateful, as I know there are a lot of lists that don’t even come close to being checked off. In fact, I know there were times that I was disappointed, and maybe even sad or moody that I didn’t get what I want. It’s embarrassing to myself now. What kind of spoiled brat turns into a big old baby because he didn’t get the Hot Wheels set he wanted? Was I a total dick? It may have taken a few years, but I know now that I can’t always get what I want. We all can’t. Whether it’s business goals, customer satisfaction levels, response from contact emails or phone calls or improvements in our personal lives, it just may not happen. That’s reality. We still need to make our lists and be good and diligent to make them reality, but sometimes we are going to be disappointed come holiday time that our lists are unchecked. We just need to have learned enough along the way not to be a dick about it.

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