Some Things are Worth the Wait
I have to admit that this month’s theme was a problem for me. The only thing I could come up with when presented with “Instant Gratification” was a ridiculous rant about how the instantaneous nature of modern technology has actually degraded interpersonal interactions and society at large.
What interested me instead was a dichotomy of sorts: the idea that even though we live in what could be safely called an “instantaneous” society, that some things in life still benefit from patience, forethought, and the ability to see the long view.
It seems to me that our views as a society have changed in terms of how long we’re willing to wait for things. The advent of downloading and “On Demand” options has made us less deliberate. This has pervaded everything in our society, whether we realize it or not. News channels like CNN and Fox News are required to fill 24 hours a day, devoting absurd amounts of “analysis” to the most trivial events. Even sports news has the same problem. Someone hears that a player is being traded, and several hours of coverage are devoted to the rumor, only to find out it’s total bullshit.
Print journalism comes closer to death every single day, as most major papers seem, to be shifting to Web-based platforms in favor of print, which now seems to be considered slow and behind the times.
But in spite of all that, some of the best things that have happened in my life got to where they did because I either chose or was forced to wait to get to them. When I met my fiance, we lived in different states. When we actually decided to date, we did the long distance thing for 10 months. I could have thrown all caution to the wind and relocated immediately. In some ways that might have been preferable, as aspects of that period were very lonely and rather miserable.
It turns out that that period of time was the best thing that we could have done. Being limited to talking on the phone for that long really forced s to get to know each other more deeply than a couple that actually had immediate proximity to each other might have. When I moved in, we had already had all of the discussions that you’re supposed to have in pre-marriage counseling. How would we work our finances? Did we eventually want children? All the kinds of questions that can derail relationships were asked and answered well in advance. As a result, when I asked Kory to marry me after only 18 months of dating and she accepted, absolutely no one was surprised. Several people asked me, “What took you so long?”
When it came time to start planning or wedding, my baby brother announced that his upcoming wedding, scheduled for summer of 2011 was going to have to be moved up to November of 2010 due to certain commitments. This gave him a mere seven weeks to plan the entire event. He and his wife seemed happy with the way that things turned out, given the circumstances. I’m sure though, that they might eventually have some regrets as far as things they would have preferred to do if they had had more time to prepare.
Kory and I looked at that example, especially how stressful the preparation was for them, and decided to do the polar opposite, giving ourselves a year and a half to plan everything. Some people have told s that we’re insane for locking in to vendors, sites and the like so early, but it’s made the whole process a lot less stressful for us. I’m sure the event won’t be perfect, as nothing ever is, but it’ll be a lot closer to what we want it to be.
If you take anything out of reading this, I hope it’s this. Sometimes it can work to your benefit to do things at your own speed, rather than feeling pressured to do things as quickly as everyone else is. The payoff can be worth it.