Instant Gratification


I’ve more or less been holed up in my apartment for three weeks now socially isolating.  I leave the house to walk the dog several times a day which keeps cabin fever at bay.  I’m limiting my grocery runs to once a week.  SARS-CoV-2 is expected to peak in the next few weeks and I will do my best to go nowhere unless needed and I laid in supplies this last weekend.

That being said – I want rye bread.

I noticed liverwurst in my fridge and now all I want is a loaf of rye bread to make a sandwich.  My grocery store is less than a mile away.  I could walk there and get rye bread.  With the spread of the virus it seems irresponsible to go to the store just for rye bread while I have more than two weeks of food in my apartment.

This led me to think about instant gratification.  I wasn’t aware of how subconsciously used to it I’ve become: running to the store on a whim, take-out delivery and overnight delivery.  Everything I want when and where I want it.  I have even gotten upset when something I didn’t really need didn’t arrive in the two-day window I was “promised”

I have no concept deprivation and waiting.  It’s doubtful I know anyone who does.  With the world going topsy-turvy I’m learning lessons I wasn’t aware I needed.

Stores are barely keeping up with people’s hording instincts and I need to adjust my desires to match what’s available.  The big online stores are giving delivery dates of a month and not the normal next day allowing me to rethink my orders and make do with what I have on hand.

It’s also just irresponsible to go out to the store to satisfy every whim.  Do I want a liverwurst sandwich on rye?  Yes, yes I do.  Writing this makes me want it more.  Do I need a liverwurst sandwich on rye?  By all objective measures – no; no I do not.  Are most of the things I have ever wanted in my life needs that were required instantly – most likely no.

I will be isolating for at three more weeks from the looks of things.  There will be many whims I want to satisfy in this time. These whims need to be paid attention to, analyzed and learned from.  With concentration I can take the lessons from this unprecedented period in history and unlearn my reliance on instant gratification.



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