Friday, August 20, 2010

Delayed or Instant?

"Instant gratification" might have been given a bad rap a little unfairly.

The question of when to take time out for enjoying life seems a very important one, and yet I don’t think that a whole lot has been written about it. (Or at least, I haven't come across that.)

My middle class roots dictate the collective script I must follow. Be a diligent employee, work hard, save scrupulously and retire at around 65. And you will be assured of a very comfortable life thereafter.

Which is exactly what my father did. He worked all his life to attain financial freedom. And just a few years after that, he has lost much of his physical freedom. I see how enfeebled he is these days.

And I have inherited his genes. I have a dozen good years, maybe two dozen if I am very lucky, until my physique too, gives out.

Which is why the question seems so important to me for each one of us to ponder seriously: Do you cash-in whatever chips you have, or do you sit at the table a little longer?


Mike said...

I detest much of modern societies compulsion for instant gratification and the desire to live a "plastic fantastic" lifestyle. Yet, at the same time, no male in my family has ever lived past age 50. Will I ? Probably. But, what if I don't ? What are my days worth and is every day spent under the fluorescent lights of the paper mine an even worse waste than the pursuit of the latest digital googah or matching stainless steel toaster ovens ?

Bob said...

Instant gratification for consumer products is a never-ending, unsatisfying journey.

But, instant gratification for enriching your life, seizing the moment, and grabbing for experiences instead of things is the course of a wise person.

Don't let the draw of the future destroy the joy of the present.