Delayed Gratification Sucks! . . . even if it does lead to better things in life.

This Sunday morning is sunny and bright. After a long January of snow and ice, this day is a magnificent reminder that spring is on its way. Punxsutawney Phil said so, too, just days ago. If you have been following this blog, you know that Spring is my favorite season of the year. Life bursts out of its hibernation, buds open to new foliage, blossoms blossom, and we humans begin to shed our heavy, dark winter coverings for more colorful, light weight garments. Springtime brings magnificent colors to replace the dull grays and browns associated solitude and isolation wrought by winter’s forbidding cold temperatures which keep us inside.  Mind you, there is a stark beauty in winter, and there are those who thrive in the out-of-doors during that season, but after a while the cold and snow wears thin for most of us.  Springtime, with new life emerging everywhere, provides a photographer’s paradise, and my camera is close by, ready for use. I love spring, and today is almost spring-like, even though snow patches still dot the landscape, reminding me that winter “ain’t over yet.” Today is a wonderful day to get out, take a walk, shoot some photos, and simply enjoy the sunshine.

BUT, I sit here at this computer with journal articles and scholarly books scattered around me. I write about the different Codes of Ethics of the various professional organizations for counselors and psychotherapists. Virginia state laws governing the practices of people in the various counseling professions sits open to the laws of confidentiality. Perched next to it, and open to a section on “referencing components” and “crediting sources,” is the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition. In other words, despite the spring-like environment outside my windows, I sit in this winter cave working on a power point presentation for my ethics class. . .due tonight. I’m not good at ignoring beautiful weather, or excursions to places of interest (that figures in this equation, too, since my husband and I have not taken the time to explore the region since moving here last month.)

Yesterday at our synagogue, Richard and I attended a class after the morning services. It just so happens that one question that arose during the discussion was how to decide which “good thing” to do when faced with the dilemma of “two good things.” Also, how can one tell what the “good thing” is?  Oftentimes what appears like a good thing may not be, and something that appears to be not so good, may be the best thing to do.  The discussion was lively as we considered various scenarios.   Today, as I pondered my present situation and whether or not to throw caution to the wind, grab my camera and head outside, I remembered that I am in school for a good reason, and sometimes I have to put off what I would like to do in order to fulfill my commitments and meet a deadline. . .like now. In the long run, all will be good. I am preparing for an honorable profession, one that serves the needs of others while simultaneously providing a livelihood for my husband and me. In our discussion yesterday, our rabbi referred to the sages when he said that if one is doing a good thing, s/he does not leave that good thing to go do something else, even if the “something else” is also a good thing (unless it is to save a life.) No matter how good or honorable the distraction, it is still a distraction. So, even though I do not like delayed gratification, gratification, mixed with a good dose of a sense of accomplishment, will come in time and I will forget this moment of struggle. Gamzu l’tovah, this too, is for the good!

Ahhh, so there you have it.  I am doing the better thing by sticking with my studies, and who knows, maybe I’ll finish this up in time to take in a movie tonight with my husband.  So, without further delay, I return to my ethics class!

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4 thoughts on “Delayed Gratification Sucks! . . . even if it does lead to better things in life.

  1. I love the way you say life bursts out of hibernation – that’s great visual.

    You know, I have always taught my son “just get your jobs done first THEN play your games/go out/whatever”. I come home from work, buggared, but straight into the kitchen. I’m not so sure where I learned it from but I always do “what I have to” first, then get down to a movie or whatever other fun. I related to this.

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