It seems that we live in an instant everything society these days. We want everything yesterday. And if we can’t have it yesterday, at least today. Right this second. Information is constantly at our finger tips.
Having a heated debate at a dinner party? No longer do we have to agree to disagree, we just get whip out a mobile to “google” it and hey presto, we have an answer. Get a crazy urge to buy something at 2am? No longer do we have to wait until the shops open at 9am. Just jump on a computer or a phone app. Boom, order placed and delivery underway. From anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world.
But going back not all that long ago, things were a little bit different. Back in those dim, dark days when the internet wasn’t a thing yet, we couldn’t just have whatever we wanted whenever we wanted it. Sometimes we just had to wait.
And having to wait for access to information and goods wasn’t just limited in terms of physical accessibility. It was also more limited in terms of finances. Once upon a time, there was no question of whacking the latest purchase on the credit card to be paid for at some unspecified point in the future, because this method of payment didn’t exist, or at least not readily. If you didn’t have the cash, you didn’t get the goods. Ah, the simplicity of it all.
When I was a child, I never really wanted a great deal in terms of material possessions. But when I did want something, and it was a big something, I didn’t just get it straight away. I had to wait. Until my birthday or Christmas. A special occasion. I don’t actually think this was linked in any way to finances. Just an idea that my parents had that it would be a good idea for me to learn how to wait for good things to come along. An idea that we couldn’t just have whatever we wanted whenever we wanted, or otherwise these things wouldn’t be special anymore.
This notion may seem quaint and old fashioned. But… I have to admit that I kind of like it. So when my Dad offered to buy me a (much-needed) new phone going back about 6 months, I graciously accepted his offer. But on one condition. It was to be my birthday present. Not an early birthday present, no matter how handy it might have been to have had internet access readily available on my phone at various points over the last couple of months. But a genuine birthday present, like in the good old days. I wanted to wait for it.
Why? Because sometimes it’s enjoyable to wait. It’s fun to have a shiny new something not in your hands right now, but in the foreseeable future. To imagine what it will be like to have your new toy, without actually having it. It adds a sense of anticipation.
And when you finally get it? Like a kid in a candy shop. I was hopping around the office this afternoon, waving the parcel containing my new Nexus 5 around in excitement. So much excitement, in fact, that I almost didn’t stop to take a photo. And for a girl who loves her photos as much as I do, that’s really saying something!