Delayed Gratification....and how I don't have any of it.

I stood at the counter of the chip shop whilst they finished wrapping the order I had placed through the website not 10 minutes earlier and debated in my head about whether I should quickly grab a homemade fish cake to eat on the journey home. Home being 5 minutes away in the car. And I'd already ordered a homemade fishcake for my dinner anyway. I 'ummed' and 'aahhed' until the order was finished and the lady behind the counter handed it over and in that instance I scolded myself. Why on earth was I so unwilling to wait even FIVE MINUTES for delicious chip shop goodness? Where was my delayed gratification.

I've noticed I'm like this in so many areas. I think only a few years ago I wrote a blog post about learning to develop patience, yet here I am still struggling with the notion of having to wait to see results. Big things like being able to travel, owning land and seeing our homestead grow I seem to have mastered, but the little every day nuances? Not so much. 

I can't wait until I'm home from the school run until I have a coffee - I almost always buy a drive thru one.

I can't wait a few days for delivery so will pay the extra to have it shipped sooner.

I can't wait for my coffee machine to heat up in the morning and so use instant granules.

I can't wait for the library to stock the book I want so I'll purchase it from amazon.

Mostly, it seems I enjoy spending extra money for the sake of spending extra money. 

It's all incredibly frustrating. I'm really not sure why I feel this way? Is it just a consequence of my generation, brought up in a fast paced, instant-gratification society? Or have I just got a huge character flaw that needs some serious attention?

Probably the latter.

Look, homesteading life requires a lot of patience and a HUGE amount of delayed gratification. I need to seriously improve my score on this one. What's fascinating is my children seem to have it. A few months ago, Adelais (my then 3 year old), stole a bag of sweets and hid them under her bed for later. I'm sure normal kids steal and immediately squirrel themselves away and consume immediately - I certainly did as a child!

Waiting for trees to mature......3 to 4 years, growing vegetables from seed......4 months, building a fish pond......2 years apparently (Lee did promise it would be sooner). Everything on a homestead takes time. Waiting for seeds to germinate and grow. Waiting for plants to produce edible fruit. Waiting for fruit to ripen. Waiting for seasons to encourage good foraging crops. Waiting for sun. Waiting for rain......there's a lot of waiting! I need to get real comfortable with delayed gratification.

So here's the test. Ultimately we're not on the farm yet in the middle of the countryside and convenience is easy - until we're fully reliant on the land I will always have the luxury of nearby shops - but I want to challenge myself to become more patient. Delayed gratification needs to become my new best friend, so I'm setting myself some rules for the next 6 months...

No more drive thru coffee. 

Yikes. This one hurts to write. I'm still going to head out for coffee with friends, and will enjoy a coffee on a walk when the intention is there to actually do so, but those impulsive, "I've not had a coffee this morning and can't possibly wait until I get to the office" moments? Yeah, those are gone. 

No more take aways

It seems so silly to be striving to be more self-sustainable and create a homestead lifestyle, whilst also having a penchant for a deliveroo. Time to kick the habit and start getting creative with snacks in the kitchen. 

Time to read. 

Reading has completely gone out of the window recently and I miss it. I like the intention it creates to slow down and breathe. I like that it takes days rather than hours to get to the end of the plot line. I like that you are often disturbed mid page (well I am with four kids anyway!) and have to hang mid-thought whilst you see to the urgent matter. The benefit is some me-time and some language expansion. A daily practising of reading needs to begin.

The next 6 months are going to be full of self discipline because in 6 months time we'll be waiting on crops and trees and plants to bud and show their harvest. I want to make sure that when I am knee deep in planting season that I am full of patience and hope for something that's going to feel even sweeter simply because I waited.

Until next time...


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