Delayed gratification is something that kids now don’t even hear about anymore . Everything in today’s world is “on demand”. You can get any TV show, movie or video clip on your TV or on the computer, any time you want. Listening to music is no longer a passive activity and you can download any song you like from the web, or right from your phone or music player to listen to instantly. Just about anything you can think of is available in a very short amount of time but is that really good for us?
I could go on and on about the problems instant gratification create such as the credit crisis, obesity, etc. but today I want to talk about delayed gratification.
My wife and I have been married for four years and we have been sleeping on a mattress that was handed down to my wife when she was still living at home. Honestly, I have no idea how old it is but it has been growing ever more uncomfortable as each day passes. I’m not the slimmest guy and my back really doesn’t appreciate the mattress’s shape nor it’s firmness. My wife doesn’t seem to have a problem with the mattress but I believe that’s more an emotional attachment she has created with it rather than her being comfortable or not though she is in much better shape than I.
Lately I have been noticing the mattress more than ever. One of my new years resolutions was to get in shape (surprise surprise) but I have actually been sticking with it this year and worked out in some form every day in January and so far every day in February too. Because of this, I have been pretty sore and much more tired than my previous sedentary self. I wake up in the morning and feel like I slept for only a few minutes.
We have been shopping around for a mattress for about two years now. The first time we decided to get a new mattress was before we started paying much attention to our money but we knew we didn’t want to put it on a credit card and that a new mattress was just too expensive to buy at the time. So we put it off. We didn’t realize we should start saving for one because it didn’t seem like that big of a deal at the time but come around the time when I started paying attention to money a year ago, we started putting a good amount of money away just as an emergency fund. That money and several other money pots have continued to grow since then and this week we were able to buy a new mattress with cash from our savings.
This was a big purchase. Anyone that has ever purchased a mattress will know there are mattresses in the lower hundreds to those costing upwards of a few thousand. Having stopped into the mattress stores half a dozen times over the past two years, my wife and I knew this and we were never able to look past the numbers. This time was very different. I didn’t feel the strain of money in the back of my mind while looking at the mattresses. I was able to focus on the bigger picture, the comfort and rest we will get sleeping on a new mattress. We were able to pick out a mattress that cost more than we would have thought spending on a mattress any previous visit.
This was unprecedented for me, being so money conscious for the past year but it was a good feeling because I knew we had money in our savings, separate from our emergency fund, separate from any money we had put aside for anything else specifically. This was money put away to buy a nice mattress and here we were buying one. Knowing exactly what we wanted and how much we had to spend made me so at ease I was even able to haggle a bit and had a couple hundred dollars knocked off the price.
I only had buyers remorse for about ten seconds as I climbed into bed on the old mattress as the new one hasn’t been delivered yet. As I climbed into bed I thought about the price for a split second..then I rolled over on our current mattress and as my leg and shoulder went numb, the remorse quickly passed but the feeling of satisfaction from having waited, and saved for the mattress will stay with me every time I sleep on the mattress because I know it was a smart, conscious decision.
That is the feeling of delayed gratification. br>
Tags: amount of time, credit card, credit crisis, Delayed Gratification, emotional attachment, few minutes, firmness, instant gratification, listening to music, living at home, mattress, money, music player, new years resolutions, obesity, passive activity, shape, surprise surprise, tv show, video clip