Friday, October 24, 2014

Focus Friday: Let's Focus on Delayed Gratification

First of all, I'm happy (yes, really happy) to report that I am feeling very good lately. The medicine is working and I am enjoying life again. That said, I know that I have some work to do as I talk with my psychiatrist and counselor in upcoming weeks.

I can feel anxiety rising when I think too much about how I let the teaching job go. I can feel worry start to nibble at me when I sense that someone may be getting angry at me (and I don't even wait to see if they're really angry, I just assume they are because of the conversation I start having with myself in my head). Yes, I have work to do.

I asked my psychiatrist about dropping one of the medicines I'm on last week and she explained that she wouldn't do that until I'm on it for a month or two. "You're just newly well" she cautioned. She didn't want to mess with anything as long as I was feeling good. In the office I nodded my head, but I'm afraid of what it says about me when I went home thinking about just going off it for a few days to see if it really would make a difference. I stayed on it. I'm learning to trust my doctors.

As I think about all of that, I've become aware of a tendency I have. A tendency many of us have if we're willing to admit it. I don't like to practice delayed gratification. I want things to happen in my life NOW. Not six months from now, not six weeks from now, not six days from now. Today, please God.

I look around my house and see things that need to be cleaned and organized and I want it done right away. I forget that it accumulated over several months or years, so it may take a little time to sort through it and have it looking clean and orderly.

I look at extra pounds I'm carrying around and I want them gone soon. I know they crept on little by little as I made some poor choices with diet and exercise. It's going to take some time to make better choices and get more fit.

I look at the various writing projects I have started and I want them published this year. This is where most of my frustration lies, because I have lots of things in my life like that. I have big ideas, but I don't get some things accomplished because I don't put the time in now that will make those ideas become a reality somewhere down the road.

These are the things I need to work on with my counselor in the next few months. I already feel like I have a little more focus now that I'm feeling better, so I'm hoping I can make some headway in those areas of my life.

As we focus on delayed gratification today, we all need to remember that the choices we make today will affect things in the future. Choosing to sort through a pile of papers for a few minutes every day will lead to less chaos in our home. Choosing water instead of Pepsi and fruit instead of candy will lead to healthier habits and possible weight loss (if only I can avoid buying candy corn during this season!). Choosing to write for an hour instead of watching a mindless TV show may lead to a finished book eventually.

We need to say no to some things now so that we can enjoy wonderful benefits someday. Mostly, we need to keep our focus on God. He's the one who will show us where we are now and will lead us to where He wants us in the future.

Now that is worth some delayed gratification.

(I just have to thank for teaching me to make this awesome graphic.)

Do you find it difficult to say "no" to something now because you don't want to wait? Can you see how focusing on God can help you say no and enjoy some wonderful results in the future?


  1. Good article. Thanks for your vulnerability. It's hard to turn off our inner critic. Glad you're feeling better.

  2. Thanks Angie! I wish we lived closer to each other so we could get together once in a while. Hope you're doing well! ~Robyn