• Immediate Gratification Frustration

    I know you haven’t heard from me in nearly a month, and for that I apologize. My shoulders are slumped and eyes bleary. You see, I’ve been working on launching a new collection. It’s been nearly a year since it’s inception and I was so close I could taste it, even having written copy for the website. I spent minutes, hours and days researching, developing, creating and directing. A friend even came up with the concept of writing a little ‘behind the scenes’ piece so you could get an idea of what was to come. After several roadblocks and being inches away from the finish line, I hit a snag last week.

    I won’t bore you with the details, but I felt defeated. A dark cloud loomed over me like I was Charlie Brown on his pitcher’s mound. My frustration seeped it’s way into my routine, my sleep, and worst of all, my relationships. At this point, I’m resigned to the reality I may not have anything to launch until Spring 2018. Cue the Price Is Right loser music. Once I was alright with this (it took a few days), the pressure mounting inside of my heart dissipated. It’s crazy how much pressure we put on ourselves and I wondered why we do it? Then I got my answer the next day…as I made a purchase on Amazon.

    Aha!

    We are wired to crave immediate gratification. We have the ability to obtain anything at the snap of a finger, or for our generation, at the click of a button. It’s mind-blowing if you think about it, but we can purchase practically anything with one right swipe of an index finger and like a Christmas Day miracle, the purchase appears days later on our front porch step. It’s magical. It plays to our senses. Nearly every advertisement thrown in our direction shows how quickly we can obtain a meal…a car…a house! But people, we weren’t always like this.

    Our generation, Generation X, is in the unique position to know what it’s like to have everything at our fingertips and nothing at our fingertips. I read an article in Vanity Fair recently that stated “We are the last Americans to have the old-time childhood. It was coherent, hands-on, dirty and fun.” Somewhere between staying out until the street lights came on and having to figure out how to use a computer with a blue screen, we lost our ability to understand good things just take time. Or at least I did. I mean, I’m not chopping wood to construct my own log cabin anytime soon, but it would be nice to let go of the frenetic pace of life I’ve established. Maybe be a touch off the grid but not completely off. To go on a vacation without seeing someone else’s vacation on my feed. Side note: remember how tragic it was when you went on a vacation and couldn’t talk to anyone but your family? That’s my dream come true now.

    I realized I have developed an “immediate gratification lobe” somewhere in my brain. This is why I was frustrated with the pace of my collection. I wanted it finished and in my hands. I wanted it done yesterday. My immediate gratification lobe was stomping her feet like a toddler, red-faced and pouting. Oh, give me a break! Not allowing this lobe to get any bigger, I would like to mold my ‘immediate gratification’ lobe into a ‘satisfied’ lobe. Satisfied with the pace of life being a little slower. Satisfied knowing sometimes things in life can get derailed. Knowing that I can have a satisfied and fulfilling life when I’m not trying to stuff everything into it.

    Deadlines can still be met and goals achieved, but in the meantime let’s not forget to play kick-the-can until the street lights come on. I’m going to need some playmates.
  • Comments on this post (1 comment)

    • Jodi Crutchfield says...

      Great story, Liz. I have found myself feeling the same way on so many occasions, I want something yesterday and why can’t I have it yesterday. And managing a business, and raising children, too, are both good ways to remind us to take it one day a time. Thanks for sharing!

      September 19, 2017

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