Impatiently Happy

. So it turns out–research has shown–that too much patience makes you unhappy. Evidently a little is all right and possibly healthy, but if you carry that delayed gratification too far (beyond the 88th percentile, whatever that means), it makes you miserable. The takeaway: Delayed gratification takes too long; joy is in going for it. (That’s my takeaway, your mileage may vary.)

How did you lunge for happiness this week?

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38 thoughts on “Impatiently Happy

  1. This make a lot of sense to me. Many a time, I’ve put in the time and hard work, saving up, sacrificing practical pleasures waiting for something to come to fruition. Like a house or new car or a trip. Even a marriage. Usually the patience is required when these things involve another person who either doesn’t contribute or is not committed to your degree. And so you become very patient until they catch up. And you wait. And wait. And wait. Until you get to the point where you cannot enjoy the trip or the house or the marriage. Patience does have a breaking point and then achievement becomes a sad burden. The only exception may be when it comes to revenge. That requires almost unlimited patience. If you are especially lucky, the revenge is karmic and your patience is rewarded.

  2. I took a huge lunge at happiness and applied for the horticultural program at the local community college, starting next fall. Found out this week that I got accepted!!! Next step is to retire from my day job – likely in June or July. This is a big step (haven’t done homework or tests in 40 years), but I’m going more for the experience than the certification. Not only do I get to learn about plants, I get to buy myself some cute steel-toed boots (course requirement). Leaving for a week in the Dominican in a couple of days and looking forward to relaxing on the beach and getting ahead on my book club reading.

    1. Fantastic!

      I was a “mature” grad student–which refers to my age, not my character. I went back to school at 41. I think you’ll enjoy it and excel–which is often the case with “mature” students, who are motivated to be in the courses they’ve chosen and used to the disciplines of working for a living.

  3. I’ve been lunging in my extravagant purchase of plants and the time I’m spending making my gardens. Also booked handyman Tony to make raised beds in the front and side return, so shrubs and climbers will thrive there. I keep wondering whether I should do all this, given my low earning power, but I’m going for it. I know how happy my gardens make me.

    Also working on my backlog of unedited photographs, which I hope will clear the way for me to do more photography.

      1. Thanks, Jessie: I think we’re getting less of it because the Welsh hills are sheltering us. It’s still pretty windy, but not many trees down, I don’t think – I’m mostly staying in!

  4. Everything you say about patience is true for me and trips. Unendurable patience is waiting for all the elements outside of me to float into conjunction so that I can make plans.

    To truly bask in enjoyment of a trip, I need to plan and book the basics — transportation and lodging — well in advance. (Occasionally that includes getting tickets for events ahead of time.) Those bits done, I enjoy relaxing and anticipating the fun to come.

    The opposite is to spend empty months yearning for something to look forward to, but being stymied by other people’s needs, other people’s procrastination, lack of money. I hate being patient while the world turns to death and ashes and I have no beacon lighting my way to the future.

    I’ve even carefully planned my total knee replacement this coming June 25th. Back in December the surgeon was surprised when I had a date in mind and that the date was well beyond his current bookings. But, see — July and August are terrible months for traveling and lovely times here in western Massachusetts. I even had a mini-split air conditiong unit installed last summer to make my coming rehab comfortable.

  5. Life may be short – eat chocolate now! Or on February 28th, in my immediate case.

    I remember watching a middle aged woman helping her aged mother do some banking, and thinking how nice and patient she was. Then I realized, she wasn’t being patient, she was enjoying being with her mother and accomplishing a task. I have never looked at patience as a virtue since then – I want joyful participation in the moment, or anticipating the future with joy, none of this “not getting what you want but being nice about it” stuff, which is how I now view “patience”. Others may keep their more positive meaning for this word, of course.

    Joyfully anticipating future chocolate AND a good number on my scale.

  6. This makes sense. I try to be patient, but it is frustrating. My successes all seem to come from spontaneity (otherwise known as immediate gratification, I think.)

  7. My sister called it critical mission I think. What it takes to accomplish something. i.e if you want to watch a film, if you can only manage get yourself there, go by yourself, cause it is better then not doing it.

    I crocheted a tiny heart, because I saw yours and thought they were cute

  8. I took a leap and signed up for a Yoga Teacher Training course. Send FGBVs that I achieve my 200 hours, please because it’s a weekend course and sometimes there are other commitments. In an effort to develop properly and engage in true self care, this is my major focus for the next 4 months.

  9. Hmm, I have gotten complimented on my patience mutiple times, but really I think there’s some laziness and passivity in there too. And those qualities have brought unhappiness more than once. So I definitely believe in all things in moderation, including patience.

    Happiness this week was my grown up sleepover at a friend’s house, a successful 5k run, and some lovely birthday presents. And now a nap.

  10. Well, I’ve never had patience. Well-known for lacking it, actually. When I want something, I want it RIGHT NOW. (“Lord grant me patience, and grant it RIGHT NOW.”) So I figure out how to get something done, so something happens. OK, occasionally I will plan for a future event – but I’ll do all the planning now, and put everything in motion, so the event will occur. I’ve learned to do this, because otherwise, I excel at procrastination! I’m planning senior trip events for my senior center today, and I’m calling all around to arrange two-night overnights at various activities. I really enjoy this, so looking forward to a fun day today, and fun events in the future.

  11. I am still stuck being patient, patient, patient, because nobody else is willing to cooperate with me for me to get what I want and I can’t get it alone. Sigh.

    On the happiness quotient, I did meet up with friends to go bowling and shopping and I am going to some hippie workshop today, so we’ll see how it goes.

      1. You’ve got me wondering what a “hippie workshop” is. Maybe something I did back in the early ’70s in Laguna Beach?

        1. Agree. I WAS a hippie, and I don’t recall doing anything that would require a workshop. Tie dye and weaving, I suppose. The rest was pretty much whatever we felt like.

          1. Me too. I asked a friend who is now a very respected executive and deacon in her church what she has told her daughter about drugs and her lifestyle back then.She said “She’s never asked me about the 60’s. She thinks I spent them in the library.”

  12. I wonder if patience is like what they say about self-discipline/willpower — that you’ve only got so much, and if you use it up on one thing, you’ll have less for other things. In that case, I’ve had all the patience in the world when it came to long-term planning for retirement, but it left me with absolutely zero willingness to defer gratification on little things like the pizza I decided to get for National Pizza Day today!

    Also, I’m finding that I have less and less patience as I age. I get irritated/frustrated with stuff more quickly than ever before.

    But on a happier note — I’m patiently working toward my cat going into remission from his diabetes. It’s reasonably common these days with better treatment, and his blood-glucose levels have been dropping significantly from week to week, so last time he was only about 20 points above normal (and he was 80 points above normal the first week after starting insulin). He’s definitely heading in the right direction with only the tiniest dose of insulin, and I’ll be fine if I have to keep dosing him (he’s very cooperative), but it would be nice for us both if he didn’t need twice-daily jabs.

  13. I cleaned out one of the water gardens and my gardening patience has been rewarded with the appearance of two buds on the water lily and the very first bud on the water poppy. I’m so happy!
    It’s raining here, steady, light-moderate rain. I’m happy we are not getting the apocalyptic rain they are on the coast (how many different apocalyptic weathers are normal in a summer, do you think). I went out with a torch last night a culled a lot of snails, very satisfying.

  14. I bought myself a box (okay, another box, since I got one in December) of the expensive hand-crafted chocolates I like. I justified it as a reward for going through with my colonoscopy.

  15. Excellent week on the decluttering front (12 big boxes to Goodwill, and our bonus room is now is a state that I can move on to the garage (send prayers!).

  16. I filed my taxes. If I procrastinate, I’m miserable. So it’s done.

    I find delayed gratification is good when it comes to purchasing things. It allows me to really figure out if I want them.

    As for patience… People tell me they find me very patient. I think, it’s mostly taking a deep breath and reminding myself that ‘this too shall pass’.

  17. It’s Sunday, so I took the dotter out to Dinner and Shopping Therapy. We went to Ruby Tuesday for the Dinner. She always gets the Endless Garden Bar as one of her sides. I nearly always get the Cajun Ribeye (which I finished at home a little while ago.) I can’t help but notice that Ruby Tuesday is one of the restaurants always named in the clickbait articles, like “20 Restaurants Most Likely To Fail by the End of 2016/2017/2018/2019/2020.” But I digress.

    Shopping started with JoAnn Fabrics, moved to Michaels, and ended at Target. The dotter needed materials so the twins could build Valentines Day arts and crafts. Also the mandatory cards for class mates, plus candy to affix to cards, plus crafty stuff in general.

    No groceries. We both need to clear space and use up what’s on hand.

    Trips like this have always made me happy. They’re weekly and scheduled – little patience is involved.

  18. I don’t know that I lunged for it, but my ladies’ group meeting program yesterday was a chocolate tasting session . . . .

  19. We booked a random holiday for next week including some things from our bucket list – Stonehenge, taking a hovercraft to the Isle of Wight, and then going on their railway which uses London tube trains from the 1930s. Fingers crossed for the weather!

  20. Interesting article!

    Snow hit us hard, requiring three rounds of patient shoveling. But DH and I also did my annual Picnic Table Photoshoot. Will try to make pix available on Wednesday.

  21. The dotter has had an opportunity to practice impatience to achieve happiness. Incredibly, I own the only printer in the house, so when she wants something printed, she has to email it to me. The impatient part comes from some error in her emails – they didn’t even show up in my spam queue.

    When they finally appeared last night, there was a new name and email address displayed. Backing up just a bit, the dotter has inherited some of my geekiness; she is a Star Trek Fan Girl. The name on the email was “I Am The Cutest of Borg,” which for the non-Trekkers is a play on “I am Locutus of Borg,” a statement of “introduction” from the assimilated-by-the-Borg Captain Jean-Luc Picard. If none of that made any sense to you, just trust me that it is Too Cute For Words.

    ANYway, what she was sending was pictures of bunny rabbit skeletons to be printed on card stock so she could cut them out, give them another dimension, and make decorations that would be more appropriate for Halloween – except that in addition to a Trek Fan Girl, the dotter is just a little Goth. Black leggings, black leather jackets, a black duster, that sort of thing. Miley Cyrus hair.

    It makes me happy to make a thirty-five YO girl squee over gothy bunnies on card stock. I should replenish my card stock soon. 🙂

  22. Yesterday we had sunshine after a whole lot of dreary and bolted off to go see a waterfall instead of staying home doing chores. Sometimes you have to say “chores will always be there but today the sun is shining”. Much happy making!

  23. I highly recommend the ukulele for happiness. Although my roommates may disagree. Luckily they are very nice young people and never complain. I don’t think I’m a very good roommate. I forget to do my dishes (not that there are a lot of them) and I play ukulele badly. And sing.

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