Monday, September 15, 2014

Delaying Gratification and Not So Sorry

The Marshmallow Experiment was a series of studies conducted in the late '60s and early '70s that delved into delayed gratification. Children age 4 to 6 were placed in a room with no distractions except for an inviting treat placed on a table in front of them. They were told that they could have the treat now or they could wait (about 15 minutes) and receive two treats. On average only a third of the children were able to hold out for the extra treat.

What was interesting about the experiment was a follow-up study done years later which suggested that those who were able to wait the 15 minutes were significantly less likely to have behavioral problems or issues with obesity and drug addiction later in life when compared to those children who showed less willpower during the test. Those who successfully passed the marshmallow test also scored an average of 210 points higher on the SAT.

I'm not sure how I would've done had I been given the test. I'd like to think I'd have passed but I really don't know. All I do know is that I'm sort of immersed in my own version of the marshmallow test as I try and delay the gratification of retiring now for the easy life and instead, continue the trek into the salt mine each week with hopes that our delaying retirement gratification will be worth the wait. Time will tell.

I think the Synvisc injection I received in my right knee back in the spring is beginning to wear off. I'm noticing that familiar pain out on the road once again but I'm not complaining. The benefits of the shot were amazing to me and I hope to have another next spring before road-riding season spools up.

We've both been struggling with our eyeglass prescriptions lately. I was trying to read the fine print on the back of my insurance card and couldn't discern a 6 from an 8. I knew it was time to get a stronger prescription. We found a place close by (Lakeville Family Eye Care) that did a much more thorough exam on us than what we typically receive at the more common eyeglass shops in the mall. I was a little shocked at the $185 price for the exam but our AARP membership brought it down to $45 and also qualified us for a 30% discount on frames and lenses.

Rachel is back from her camping trip to the Boundary Waters. She and Tony and their friends came out of the woods a few days early which didn't surprise me. Ten days is a lot to bite off for the first time I would think. Still, they made it one week and did well together. They stopped by the house on Friday on their way back into the cities and spent the night with us. We had such a nice time catching up and hearing about their trip. Tony mentioned how his dad always said that you never really get to know your partner until you've spent some time in a canoe with them. Haha—they had a few trying moments out there but nothing more than just that; moments.

I stopped by Mom's yesterday on the way into work. She met me out in the driveway with her walker. I was a little surprised by how fast she gets around with it. She took a while to warm up to the idea that she should be using one but once she accepted it there's been no looking back for her. She was as happy as I'd seen her in a while and that was nice. She showed me all of her walker's functions which included a storage area under the seat, perfect for storing her mail. She's come a long way in the last year considering the loss of vision in her right eye and the loss of her ability to drive. Having Tim living with her has been such a blessing as he's been able to cushion the blow of these losses for her.

Thanks, Tim!

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