Delayed gratification (and some leaf cookies)


I’m an instant gratification kind of gal. I was never one of those kids who tried to make a sucker last as long as possible. If there’s a cookie in front of me, I will probably eat it. I’m also better with spontenaity than with planning ahead. I just don’t know ahead of time if I’m going to want to do X when Thursday rolls around. I try to plan ahead because it makes life with other people easier and I don’t want my friends to ditch me. But really? I’d rather just wake up on Thursday, look outside at the weather and inside at how I’m feeling, and decide to go the Arboretum on a whim, perhaps texting a friend or two on the way to see if anyone wants to join us.

That’s me. Spontaneous and in pursuit of instant gratification.

One of the reasons I was attracted to blogging is that it completely appealed to this side of me. If I want to write about something and share it with others, I can do so right away while it is fresh in my mind and important to me. And I can get feedback and have a conversation with others (via comments and facebook) right away. I love it!

Most other forms of publishing are not nearly as quick. With my column (which I just stopped doing, by the way), I turned my copy in a month in advance. When I’ve written for Mothering and Parenting magazines, it was six months or more before the articles were published. With this book that I just turned in, it’ll be spring 2013 before I can share it with you. So much time!


What I’d really like to do is tie a pretty ribbon around my book and hand it straight to you today. A present from me to you. I worked so hard on it and put so much of myself into it. I want to share it. And I don’t want to wait over a year to do so.

But I will wait because I must. And because I trust that my publisher will work all kinds of magic to make this book even better than it is now. Editing, graphic design, printing, and I don’t even know what else lies in store for this little book of mine.

And so, even though I’d really like to hand this book straight to you as is, I will wait. And it will be better with the waiting, I’m sure.

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  • Reply
    Julie Liddle, ART IN HAND
    October 4, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I completely relate. I’m exactly the same way, and hate to admit, but I think I may have lost a frienship with one particularly “scheduled” friend as a result. But as for the waiting part…the anticipation, although grueling at times, usually does make the ultimate “reveal” all the more exciting. And, as you know, life with kids makes time fly pretty quickly and as cliche as it sounds, it’s true that it just gets faster and faster each year. My husband and I often bemoan how short a year now feels. It’s almost scary, the warp speed with which the seasons, and even the years, now seem to pass. :)

  • Reply
    Tracy D.
    October 4, 2011 at 9:41 am

    WOW Jean, a huge Congrats are in order for having finished your book! What a huge accomplishment! I am in awe and have no idea how you manage to do all that you do. Thanks are also in order for all of the great ideas you share on your blog – it definitely helps this sleep deprived mama come up with fun crafty things for the kids to do! So thank you and congrats on a job well done!

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    October 4, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Pretty cookies. I am an instant gratification person too. my husband is a good waiter. I am excited to read your book.

  • Reply
    October 4, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Yes! I am totally this kind of person. I have a question for you: As an artist, does the need for instant gratification help or hinder your creativity? Is the need for instant gratification synonymous with impatience when you’re creating? I find that I will get an idea/image in my head of something I want to create but I want to see it hanging on my wall now and my impatient ways lead to sub par creations that do not make it to my wall…what do you think?

  • Reply
    Ashlea Walter
    October 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    These words really hit home for me. I TRY to plan, but it’s not really in my nature. More importantly, BIG congrats to you. I hope you’re celebrating even if it is going to be over a year away to see your book in print. WOW!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I operate in the same manner and wouldn’t have it any other way (nothing feels more liberating that waking up and deciding to go camping on a whim. I can just ditch “reality” and find instant peace & freedom amongst a backdrop of woods & mountains). However, I hope that my son will have a better balance between spontaneous and scheduled living and not struggle w/ commitments as I do.
    As for your book, my instant gratification self agrees that great things come to those who wait. (Ha! I have to laugh at myself for writing such words b/c I’m such an imposter!!) Honestly though, I know it will be amazing as has been everything else you’ve so kindly shared with us all…

  • Reply
    October 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Great questions, Claire!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Don’t forget you waited 9 months for each of your babies!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Ahh. The wait. I know. But each time I finished a book, nine times, and a box of them was FINALLY delivered, the long wait only made that delivery all that much more wonderful. The sense of accomplishment after a marathon is miles more than a walk across your kitchen. You will feel it. Congratulations.

  • Reply
    October 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Would you be willing to share the recipe you used for your leaf cookies (and for the icing)?
    Still trying to figure out activities for my daughter’s birthday party this Sunday. . .
    : )

  • Reply
    Vegan Foodie
    October 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I love those cookies! Soo cute!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2011 at 5:40 am

    Love your blog and would love to have you as my guest!
    My blog is devoted to those who are on a mission to create, design and inspire an artful life. My new studio will be open soon and I am planning on a monthly open studio. I would love it if you came to a “family night” sharing your love to parenting so artfully.
    Best to you with your book and to parenting.
    (pve design)

  • Reply
    October 12, 2011 at 3:00 am

    I also could totally relate to this post, and I seriously wish you were my next-door neighbor. I would go to the Arboretum on a whim, no problem… I’ll bring the cookies! Let me know if you move to LA.
    As for the creative spontaneity/instant gratification issue, the problem for me is that most of the time my “to-do” list is growing at a faster rate than my “done” list. When I’m in a creative phase, I’ve got way too many projects going at the same time.

  • Reply
    Toronto T-Shirt Printing
    November 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Congratulations on your book! The cookies look delicious.

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