Thoughts for Myself

Delay of gratification

… Or none thereof. Whatsoever. I cannot resist the temptation for an immediate reward!


That’s me, when it comes to Kakuro – a number-placement puzzle with similar rules to Sudoku (did you know that the name is a short-form for “numbers (Suji) shall stay single (Dokushin)”?), but with an added twist… a little pun intended, if you know the game… hehe


As I have written in my profile, I can never ever get enough of this puzzle because I love it too much and it is only published once every six months. So imagine how ballistic I went when I found out that a special edition had just come out!


I rushed to the bookstore the very next day, and by that night I had forgotten all other things to do. The only time I am without a pencil in my hand is when I am here. Sleep, you ask? I still hold one in my dream. Eat, you ask? I am a lefty whose writing has been corrected to be done with my right hand, so no problem with dual-tasking. Work, you ask? Well, don’t ask…




But, as I pass by the two-thirds mark, I am already beginning to feel sad that it is quickly coming to an end. I am mad at myself for devouring it and not savouring it more. I feel bad for not being able to better regulate my emotion and behaviour to prevent myself from becoming completely dysfunctional.


So I try to put down the pencil. I do, honest to God! But even with all these feelings of regret and guilt and shame, I just cannot help myself coming back to the puzzle.


Maybe after I solve this one, I can go do some chores… oh, but it was too easy and I don’t feel satisfied, maybe one more.

Maybe after I solve this one, I can start a new tatting project… oh, but I didn’t like the way I solved it and I don’t feel satisfied, maybe one more.


Maybe after I solve this one, I can make a post on my blog… oh, but I couldn’t beat the clock and I don’t feel satisfied, maybe one more.


Then it hit me – it would be the first day since I started this blog to miss a post if I do not put down the pencil now. Am I willing to throw away all my efforts up until now just to keep doing something that can never ever satisfy me? Well, I don’t mind not being able to do the chores and starting a new tatting project, but I don’t want to end my streak of consecutive blog posting and lose the record.


I guess it is true what psychologists say about delay of gratification – it is not so tough to live without what we do not yet have, but it is very difficult to live without what we already have. Not losing something for a long time to come is a far greater reward than gaining something right away. At least it is for me.


The pencil finally rests, for the time being anyway.


2 thoughts on “Delay of gratification

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