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Musing on deferred pleasure

Thoughts today about self-indulgence, risk, and personality:

When I was a kid, we generally only ate out on special occasions. As an adult, I have patronized restaurants far more frequently, but there remains an air of self-indulgence about it; I’m aware that I’m doing something that I like to do, not something I need to do.

Which might be why I’m perfectly comfortable with shifting to a lifestyle where restaurants are a source of take-out and delivery, not a place to actually sit and eat the food. And why I watch, a little baffled, as so many people appear eager to risk eating at restaurants. Sure, it’s important to support those businesses, but one can do that with takeout and delivery.

There are public encounters that I’m willing to risk, because they’re things I feel I can’t live without. Like going to the doctor or dentist. Finding some way to acquire groceries and household supplies (though we’re doing mostly curbside pickup these days, since the ICUs went to phase 2). If something breaks, I recognize I’ll need to either deal with repair folks or risk shopping for tools and materials to fix things.

I’m not sure how long my capacity for “right now, it’s a better idea to defer doing things that are fun but not necessary” is; I’m confident it’s longer than six months. I survived seven years of med school and residency, so I guess my record for self-control extends at least that long.

I recognize that everyone has to make their own analyses and choices, so I’m not posting this as a way of telling other people what to do, or even suggesting that my choices are the right ones for everyone else. I’m just documenting the way my mind works, and noting how it’s evidently different than other people in some ways.


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