Instant Gratification (Patience, Grasshopper)

I’m not a patient person.   I am almost pathologically goal-oriented.

Matryoshka Nesting Dolls

My fixation on achieving a goal is the single most effective way for me to short-circuit my needs for instant gratification.  The promise of a payoff from a matryoshka doll set of plans within plans within dreams that coalesce in 2020 is enough to keep me from splurging on a haircut and a bottle of $30 shampoo…. most of the time.

I’ve learned the art and eventual value of perseverance and diligence.  Endurance running, cycling, hiking, writing a novel, querying. These are the efforts and results of patience.

That being said, I don’t think I’m naturally a patient person. At all.  It is a learned skill, rather than a born-in personality characteristic.  The goal-oriented thing is more of a hard-coded personality trait. I leverage the natural one to encourage aspects of the skill I’ve yet to master.

I’m mulling about all of this, because I’m seeing the signs in myself of goal-self-sabotage. I can see the resolve toward 2020 goals cracking a little around the edges.

I really just want to go shopping this weekend.

My inner princess wants some goddamned instant gratification.

What you want and what you need aren't always ...

 (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

She wants that $60 haircut and a trip into the black hole that is Ulta that always costs $100 or more to leave.  My little instant gratification monster wants a steak dinner and a real date.  She wants to go to the fabric store and make a new skirt.  She wants to get a tattoo and to go ziplining in the mountains (though those last two smack of the voice of Pink-Tulle Princess’s adrenaline-junkie twin sister, the Warrior Princess).   Even my inner Ms. Practical says I need to fix the dishwasher and stop scrimping and saving and being so cheap by washing everything by hand.

What’s new this time around is that I can see it coming.

Usually, I scrimp and save and self-deny for months only to dip into that savings on a resentful and impulsive splurge-spree.  I usually feel a good bit of “I deserve this” when I do it, and the remorse doesn’t come up until I see that I’m further behind on my goal. That I’ll have to tighten the belt even more next paycheck to make up for this folly.

This time, I can make a plan. I will not leave the house with my wallet until I have that plan, either.  That busted water pipe I saw yesterday on the front sidewalk will have to be part of the plan, I’m afraid.

I’m going to give the Princess Committee a budget and the car keys. They can haggle amongst themselves how to spend it.


2 thoughts on “Instant Gratification (Patience, Grasshopper)

  1. Oh, this all sounds so, so familiar. I feel like you’ve just taken a walk through my head. 🙂 My Princess Committee just had to spring for new tires, and my hair is lookin’ pretty shaggy, and now that we’re nearing Christmas, ALL THE THINGS ARE SO SHINY.

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