‘Good things come to those who wait’ was the slogan for Heinz tomato ketchup back in the ’80s, when it was available only in a glass bottle. The ketchup could often take a while to pour out, and the thought behind it was even in this hectic world people were happy to wait for their favourite condiment to splash on their chips.
Other products have a similar concept, such as Guinness – waiting for the first part of the pint to settle before topping it up, or the Jim Beam ad featuring Mila Kunis where she says she’ll be back for her barrel of bourbon in four years’ time.
The idea is part of the pleasure of these products waiting to get them. You wait in anticipation of getting your hands on your favourite food or beverage. In theory, the sense of anticipation means the product will be appreciated more, savoured, appreciated. A sign of quality.
We’ve become distanced from the notion of having to wait for things. We want to lose weight, have the perfect body today (ideally while still eating our favourite foods and not doing a moment’s exercise). Information and communication is at our fingertips; TV and films available on demand.
So much is now, now, now.
Or yesterday, preferably.
Taking a step back sometimes is needed, and can feel liberating. If you are always rushing around at a million miles an hour, perhaps with your nose constantly looking at your smartphone chances are you are missing out on life’s simple pleasures. Think of that old cliché – take time to smell the roses.
There are many virtues to be had in waiting for something. Not settling for a partner, spouse, house that isn’t quite right for you, for instance. Saving up for something you want, rather than putting it on a credit card.
Anticipation is related to having something to look forward to. We all need something to look forward to in life, whether it is a simple pleasure like a bacon butty (with lashings of ketchup!) as a weekend treat, a drink after work (which may be Guinness, bourbon or whatever your favourite tipple is), or a bigger deal such as a day out, weekend away or a holiday.
The virtue of patience is linked to the pleasure of anticipating something you really want. Granted, waiting for the perfect partner, spouse or house can be frustrating. Losing weight through a healthier lifestyle takes a lot of willpower. Saving money and frugal living takes self-discipline.
If you put it like that, it patience and anticipation doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?
Let’s look at it from a different angle. The opposite of patience is, of course, impatience. That is often connected to unpleasantness: rudeness in queues, aggression on the roads, stress, upset, self-flagellation from not having achieved unrealistic goals, remorse resulting from having made a bad decision.
But not waiting isn’t always bad. Life is all about balance. Life is short. Carpe diem! Don’t spend so much time smelling roses that you miss out on opportunities.
There are times when you have stick two fingers up to anticipation. An opportunity drops on your lap – to travel, or the perfect job for you, perhaps. Trust your instincts, don’t wait too long, you snooze you lose.
A word of warning, though: combine those instincts with a bit of common sense, research, whether that opportunity is really right for you.
Impulsiveness and spontaneity can be brilliant – but a hasty decision made without thought or care may lead to disappointment.
Think of that glass ketchup bottle: if you were feeling impatient for the sauce to flow out, you had better make sure the lid was tightly screwed on before shaking it, or you and the room would be splattered in red…
So yes, good things do come to those who wait. Take time to make wise decisions – value your worth, don’t settle. You deserve to be happy. Make realistic goals for lifestyle changes, with realistic expectations. If you are always rushing around, take things down a gear.
But remember to enjoy chances that come your way – tomorrow is never guaranteed.
Linking up with Mum Turned Mom: Prompt word ‘anticipation’.