Today I noticed that I have a problem with instant gratification. Maybe “problem” is a strong word – but then again, maybe not. Nothing in particular happened today, except that I’ve been wanting to adopt another cat and while I originally talked it over with E, we both agreed to hold off until we do a minor renovation in our laundry room. This renovation would allow an ideal space for a 2nd litter box, because we already one sweet girl. But today, I started the hunt and already found two cats that I’m interested in. Of course, I brought it up to E and he’s as agreeable as ever and told me that if I’m really ready we can make it work. There are plenty of other spots for another litter box, but the laundry room would be ideal. But when I get something in my head that I want, I go for it. I have a very hard time being patient, or even just stopping altogether. The cat situation made me think of an article I read in the past couple of weeks that talked about how financially successful people typically avoid instant gratification. Now, we are pretty financially secure, but I have definitely not focused on some of the more important things that I should be and there is some debt to be paid and sadly not enough yet in investments to really carry us into retirement. When I stop to think about that, it makes me nervous and a bit of anxiety sets in. So how do I change this? Stop spending on whatever flavor of the moment catches my fancy, that would be a good start. It isn’t that I’m even a shop-a-holic, it kind of goes in spurts, but in recent months it feels like I’ve gotten a little carried away. My weakness these days is around things for the home, artwork, new flooring, a number of those pricey Hue bulbs to light up some rooms like a disco. Yeah, that sounds a little bit overkill, doesn’t it? There is no question that I could just step back and stop being so frivolous with money, and in fact, there is no question that I need to. A friend of mine put a list out on social media about his changes for 2018 – his “no spend” rules for the year. It was a pretty serious list, and one that I’m not sure I’m willing, or even want to jump in to for the year, but it does have me thinking about ways that I can step back and reset my priorities. I’m debating if I should make one of those lists of rules for myself, but my head is leaning more towards a list of a different sort – something more along the lines of a visualization exercise about what I am aiming for, but will still keep me focused. I suppose there is no time like the present than to set a plan for the new year, a plan to shift away from instant gratification. But the cat is still going to happen, maybe I’ll just wait a little while.
Check out Day 1 for a bit more detail around my writing exercise.