A few days ago while riding the ski lift I began thinking about delayed gratification. It occurred to me that skiing is good training to practice delayed gratification in all aspects of ones life. Of course when I state this, I am assuming that delayed gratification is useful.
If you love skiing you want to be going down the slope as much and as soon as possible. Time on the lift is a waste of your precious day. However, perhaps the lift time is good for you since you truly appreciate the time on the runs. If there was not a wait time you would have instant gratification and could become jaundiced about the sport.
If I extend these thoughts beyond skiing and reflect on my long life of dealing with delayed gratification that I have experienced both in the present and the past, I am struck by how useful that has been in appreciation of each desire being satisfied. Reaching back to my youth during World Ware II it was a time when toys were not being manufactured. Thus at least in my experience there were few to no toys for Christmas. Only after World War II was I able to get a new Schwinn bicycle that I had yearned for. How sweet it was to ride that shining new bicycle after the long years of wait. Later on in my high school years I longed for a motor scooter! My parents were in no position financially to satisfy my wishes. After a year or so of extra hard work, I was able to buy my Cushman motor scooter. You can imagine how much I appreciated that acquisition.
As my life has spun out beyond growing up, marrying, raising families and having a professional life, I believe my early life experience kept me in the mode of delayed gratification. Whenever possible I delayed acquisition of material things until I had accumulated the means to obtain them. Avoidance of debt has been my mantra. Perhaps this denial behavior has been onerous for others but in my latter years I think there are immense rewards for this behavior. In the order of the mundane let me mention that as I finish this blog, I am anticipating my delayed after dinner dessert. How sweet it will be now!
Readers, I look forward to your reactions on my thoughts about delayed gratification.