Monday, May 2, 2011

Instant Gratification

My cast-iron tea pot
We live in a world of instant gratification. We want it nowWe don't want to wait for anything. We want instant success, instant information, instant weight-loss. We play the lottery and buy scratch-off tickets hoping to become instant millionaires.  We take the fastest route to arrive at our destination as quickly as possible, we submit to surgery, botox and other cosmetic procedures for instant beauty. We want instant health, wealth and even instant orgasms.  And we get frustrated when these things don't happen quickly enough.

We serve instant meals to our families: faux food loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives.  All we have to do is take a package out of the freezer or  pour it from a box.  Pop it into the microwave and VIOLA!  Instant dinner! We are addicted to fast food, and god forbid  that poor over-worked, underpaid girl behind the counter takes longer than five minutes to toss our meal into a bag. We get angry and frustrated. We yell at her, at her manager, at our children who stand there demanding their instant hamburger and fries. 

Think about it for a moment. We have instant mac-n-cheese, instant coffee, quick-dry nail polish, one-minute miracle-cure hair conditioners, over-night delivery. Right now, I am redecorating my apartment. My sister suggested a one-coat, quick dry paint that has the primer already mixed in. This way I can avoid two steps and the inconvenience of waiting for it to dry! Okay, I admit, this does sound awesome and although it is expensive, I will probably buy it.

We curse, we yell, we get angry because we can't have it now, become it now, get where we need to go now. A little bit of traffic on the expressway sets us into such a rage that we drive recklessly, repeatedly honking our horns, and flipping the bird at innocent people on the road. Why? We want to get there.....instantly!

What we don't realize is this quick-fix,  fast-food, instant gratification state of mind is killing us......slowly.

We are not made live in the constant rat-race, the fast lane, the non-stop rollercoaster. We can't help it.  If we don't move as quickly as everyone else, we are afraid will be trampled, left behind or left to die.

High blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, even depression: all symptoms of the need for instant gratification.  We push ourselves to the limit, eat unhealthy foods, and survive on a few hours of sleep nightly. When was the last time you sat back and rested? Hmmmm?

The answer is so simple.  Just slow it down.........

Yesterday, I took a day to do just this.  The original plan was to re-organize my closets and drawers.  I have so much stuff I don't need. I want to sell it all or donate to a local charity. This task has been looming over me for months but I decided yesterday to let it go a few more days. Instead, I stayed in my pajamas all day and lounged around.  I watched movies.  I turned off the computer for most of the day.  I didn't want to chat with anyone, read anything, write anything, or spend time job hunting or researching. I didn't want to deal with the constant "ding" on my Blackberry alerting me to an incoming email, a missed call, a new text message so I just turned it off and disconnected myself from everyone and everything.

And I made myself a pot of tea.

A pot of tea? Who the heck makes a pot of tea? The British.  They have tea time every day. They sit, relax,  sip tea and munch on crumpets and sweets. Usually, this ritual is shared with others and guess what they do? They talk.  What a lovely tradition.

I usually enjoy a cup of tea every night before I go to bed.  I do it the instant way.  I take a tea bag, plop it into a mug of water and pop it into the micrwave for two minutes, forty-five seconds. This way the tea brews as it boils. I can't be bothered waiting for water to boil on the stove or allowing the tea bag to steep for a minute or two.

Why? Because I want it now!

Yesterday I had the brilliant idea to dig out my little japanese cast-iron tea pot that I had to have but never used.  I boiled water on the stove and put tea leaves into a little basket that sits inside the tea pot.  As the water boiled, I put a load of laundry into the washer.  Then I poured the boiling water over the tea leaves, covered it and let it steep. While I waited, I folded another load of laundry.  When this task was completed, I poured myself  perfectly brewed cup of tea.

I cannot tell you how wonderful it was.  There was something so healing, so worldly, and so beautiful about this simple practice.  I sat back on my brand new couch with the cat curled up beside me and sipped my tea.  I breathed a sigh of peaceful satisfaction.  It was the best cup of tea I ever had and I decided from now on--this is the way I am going to have it.

Take the long way once in awhile.  Enjoy the ride, take in the view. Cook a dinner from scratch and let the delicious aroma fill your home. Sit back and savor a cup of tea. 

Instant is not necessarily bad, but if instant is all you know and all you want- you are sadly missing out on such simple pleasures.

Good things take time.

 If you want the best life, the best body, the best health, the best career, the best relationship- it is going to take time. There is no instant. If it happens instantly--it isn't real and as quickly as you get it, you can lose it.

Good things come to those who wait.

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

No comments:

Post a Comment