I’ve been wondering lately about “Instant Gratification”. We live in a society full of that. Online dating, drive-thru restaurants, diet crazes ~ you name it, there is a supposed “quick fix” for it.
It got me thinking.
Hey, I’m all about some tasty nom nomz that I don’t have to cook. 😉 I’m all about having fun and enjoying life as comfortably as possible. But does some of the quick-fix mentality cause us to miss some great things?
I used to be the Instant Gratification Queen. I kid you not. One example: I didn’t like my shyness so I used substances to make me feel outgoing. I always had to be where the party was. I always had to have that “love” around me, with tons of people I thought were friends. Always had to have some excitement going on. I liked living fast and frivolously.
What I missed out on, was, knowing myself and the people around me, in deeper ways. I missed out on lessons that I could have learned at 20, but didn’t learn until 40. While I was running from myself, and others, I ran past some great people, and events. Some things can’t be revisited or replaced. Meanwhile, the things I thought I gained with Instant Gratification – well, those things are about 95% GONE. They remain wrapped up in the tornado of erratic “seeking”. They were never “mine”.
Nowadays, I see the value of slowing down. Getting to know people and environments over time. Enjoying meals while sitting at the table with a loved one. Treating my body better, losing “inches” over the long term, rather than chasing the next fad diet or starving myself. Communicating rather than glossing over issues, thinking they will just go away or, that someone will be able to read my mind.
Some might say that it’s boring to reduce the pace of life, to savor every moment as a gift ~ even the uneventful moments. I used to think so, too, in a lot of ways. However, it’s different now. I enjoy learning all I can. Being where I am, rather than fast forwarding to the unknown. Call me old fashioned, but our Great Grandmothers had it right in a lot of ways. Have dinner as a family, talk about your day, your dreams. Get to know that potential friend or partner, over months rather than days, learn what they’re all about. Get out and breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds chirping, enjoy a nice walk by a sparkling stream. Listen to your body, treat it with love. Eat well. Rest well.
I think taking the time to do things mindfully like that really brings quality to life. It brings awareness that just can’t come to you otherwise.
Do I get a bit jealous sometimes when I see others enjoying that Instant Gratification? Sure I do. Am I still guilty of chasing that sometimes? Of course. The difference is, now, once I recognize it, I can slow down again. I can move into gratitude and motivation from there. I remind myself to step back. Fast-fixes rarely turn out in our favor. Steady, gentle progress, almost always does.
The great news in my life is, there isn’t a tornado of fleeting “stuff” anymore. Anything with that energy gets deflected from my life very quickly. There is a soft meadow of quality experiences, people, and things in my life now. I like that much better.
Here’s the thing. We can’t speed up time. We can’t slow down time. So sitting and wishing for either one is just wasting time. Precious moments in the NOW are full of gifts that we miss when we do anything other than consciously live them.
My wish for you is a life full of joy, and quality people & experiences. Deeply connected relationships with family and friends. And most importantly, awareness, acceptance, and tremendous self-love.
You deserve it. 🙂 <3