So here I am, idling, playing a bit of Sims 4 because I wanted to build some houses, and now there’s this thing where sim kids and teens learn an extra set of personality traits aside from the pre-selected ones. They’re traits you have to pick up by doing, concerning levels of empathy, manners, responsibility, conflict resolution, and whatnot. It’s cute, and it actually provides some incentive to play a sim childhood as something other than a pure skill-building exercise for whatever career the grown-up will have. Currently I have an athletic teenager who can helpfully jog to clear mind, but also wants to play a guitar a lot because it makes her feel better. Anyway… aaaanyway. I was thinking about certain traits I picked up through childhood and how they affect me as an adult. I didn’t learn a lot of house cleaning, unfortunately, so now I spend a little more time than (I assume) the average, staring at the shop aisles of sponges and soaps. A pretty minor problem, really. On the other hand, I absolutely and thorougly learned about delayed gratification, and it, um, it went wrong.
To clarify – you know how kids have to learn that if they eat the candy immediately, there won’t be any left for later. If they open all their birthday presents at once, it’ll all be over too fast… et cetera. Impulse control, or whatever. It’s a useful thing to master, but here’s what happened to me:
I get hold of something super nice, like a fantastically scented soap, or an expensive box of delicious licorice, or… a book by a favourite author. I decide to save it for some imagined future moment when I’ll be able to enjoy it the most, as a special treat. I’m so good at saving these special treats that eventually I forget all about them.
Hello, expired and dried out fancy licorice in the back of the drawer.
Hello, books I was crazy to get to read, and… didn’t.
This is why I still haven’t read the last book in the Flex trilogy, despite owning it for… at least a year, right? And Becky Chambers’ A closed and common orbit. And probably 20 more books I wanted so badly that I pre-ordered them, because it felt so urgent that I get to read them.
So dumb. I have to start teaching myself to do a little less having and a lot more eating of the proverbial cake.