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How One Pair Of Pajamas Awakened Me To My Self-Harming Delayed Gratification

Pajamas Awakened Me To My Self-Harming Delayed Gratification

Near the beginning of the pandemic I cleared out and reorganized my closet, like many of us. The exercise left a glaring hole in my pajama stack.

At 56 years of age, I decided, finally, to rid myself of my ratty, old, collection of mismatched oversized sweatshirts and bottoms. Now that pajama-wear is a “thing,” I resolved to level-up my sleep-turned-into-work attire.

Fan Of OnLine Discount Shopping:

I am a big fan of RueLaLa. RueLaLa is an online shopping website offering best-selling brands at up to 70% off retail prices. Each day, RueLaLa pushes out different curated sales for fashion, home, travel, kids and more. These boutiques open at 11 AM EST and are typically open for a short time, anywhere from a few hours to a few days. I typically use the site to proactively add higher-end pieces to my wardrobe. However, this time I turned to RueLaLa to source new loungewear.

I ordered five different sets, excited at the prospect of becoming one of those always-put-together women. (Don’t ask how this worked out for me.) Seven to 10 days later the big package arrived. 

This quotidian snippet of life might first seem unworthy of exploration.”

After running them through the laundry, I painstakingly folded, then arranged them by color palette, and filled in the newly empty section in my closet. I started at the top of the pile. Three sets in I donned a pair of pajamas that I didn’t like. A pink set, which is a predominant color in my life (sometimes I can do an entire load in the washer of “just” pink-ish colored clothes). But, these bottoms have a clumsy, uber-long drawstring waistband that hangs gangly around the front of my body. And the elastic cuffs at the ankles rise, willy-nilly, up my legs while I sleep. To “top if all off,” the shirt does me no favors either. Plain and simple, I don’t like them.

This quotidian snippet of life might first seem unworthy of exploration. How dull must my life be to dive deeper into what I am about to disclose next? Don’t I have more important matters to mull?

I WEAR Those Pajamas. 

Instead of weeding them out of my weekly rotation, it seems as if I actually wear them MORE often than the pairs I do like. And, each time I have the same disdain for them… quickly changing out of them as soon as I rise. See, they don’t even serve the original purpose of keeping me clothed through the early morning drink-coffee, check-email, plan-the-work-day section of my day.

Turns out that this quirk of mine is some variation on the theme of “Saving the best for last”.”

Always curious, I decided to dig into this bizarre behaviour. Am I the only one? Turns out that this quirk of mine is some variation on the theme of “Saving the best for last”. And, before you dismiss this premise entirely, let’s explore.

It is not uncommon for us to postpone pleasure. Yes, everyone knows about the famous Marshmallow Test conducted by Stanford University professor Walter Mischel in 1972. In this experiment preschoolers were given a marshmallow with the information that if they waited they would receive TWO. Yes, a later follow-up study found that the kids who waited for TWO entire marshmallows grew up to be adults with greater self-control. 

And while we may all buy into the notion that more self-control is better, too much of it comes at the price of spontaneity and creativity. Delayed gratification isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be and can create a nonsensical paradigm whereby we end up missing out on easily attained, everyday pleasures.

Somehow, choosing the pair of pajamas I dislike the most first, every time they are clean and available, is my twisted subconscious way of saving my best pajamas for “last”… or later, in this case. Unintentionally, the pajama wearing/washing/wearing rotation makes the least desirable nightwear the MOST available. I found myself caught in a do-loop of wearing ill-fitting, unattractive clothing. Hadn’t I eliminated all those early on in the pandemic? How did I end up in crappy pjs, at least twice a week, with only ONE cruddy choice? 

My Self-Talk:

every time I wear those pajamas I am telling myself in no uncertain terms that I don’t deserve or am not good enough to enjoy what it is I want to enjoy.”

What am I saying to myself when I choose the pajama set I don’t enjoy? What message am I delivering? Before you accuse me of spending too much time on seemingly unimportant minutiae, sometimes the bigger picture is difficult to comprehend and all we have is the trifle to give us a glimpse at the higher-level matter. It is true that one pair of pajamas awakened me to my self-harming delayed gratification leanings.

I see only one way out of this quagmire. I mean, I could just stop washing them, leaving them at the bottom of my dirty laundry pile indefinitely. And maybe that is a good first step. Sure I can remove or hide the offensive culprit but that doesn’t really solve the bigger issue. 

I realized that every time I wear those pajamas I am telling myself in no uncertain terms that I don’t deserve or am not good enough to enjoy what it is I want to enjoy. 

Maybe those pajamas need to be front and center in my closet. A constant reminder to reach past them in order to seize today’s pleasures, no matter how seemingly insignificant. I guess the only way that will work is to keep them unwashed and balled-up in an undesirably wrinkly state.

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3 thoughts on “How One Pair Of Pajamas Awakened Me To My Self-Harming Delayed Gratification

    • Kuel Life says:

      Of course you’d MAKE THE WORK for you…. Me… not so much. They are officially OFF the stack of wearable PJs. That was my answer to the problem. xx

  1. Rena says:

    Jack,

    Interesting self-observation. I do believe that delayed gratification can be the cause behind some less desirable behaviors or actions. In the case of your PJs though, perhaps you might designate them as the pair of last resort. The last ones clean which would indicate that it’s time to do a load of laundry.

    Rena
    http://www.finewhateverblog.com

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