I feel compelled to watch A Christmas Story every year on Christmas. It is a tradition I created with myself years ago. Christmas is all about tradition. Christmas is about doing the same things year after year, things like going to church; exchanging gifts; and getting in fights with family. I like tradition. Life is crazy and chaotic, and traditions remind me that not everything can be harmed by the hustle and bustle of school and work. So, in keeping with tradition, I am watching The Christmas Story. I have seen this movie countless times, and it never changes. I enjoy it's consistency. This year, as always, Flick will be "triple-dog-dared" to stick his tongue to a pole, and Ralphie will get a BB gun. This year, as always, I will for a while forget about my worries and think only of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful life filled with such wonderful family and friends.
. . . and how lucky I am to have such wonderful (and not-so-wonderful) traditions to remind of that.
Self-control is hard. Trust me, I work at a candy shop. I know how difficult it can be to deny yourself something that, in the moment, soundsso good
. . . and there's the clincher. Self-control is an "in the moment" thing. If self-control were a race, then slow and steady would lose (sorry, tortoise). Self-control is "here and now." Like "here," don't tell that woman her hair is weird and "now," leave the mall while you still have your dignity. Self-control is weighing momentary satisfaction against long-term happiness and making the best choices based on your future goals.
As for me, I have a big mouth, a big sweet tooth, and a big obsession with online shopping. I am compelled to say the awkward (and possibly offensive) comment, to eat the third (or fourth) cookie, and to browse (and buy from) the Web boutique for hours -- but, I don't.
You see, I want to do all of those things in the moment. However, in ten years, I want to 1) have friends 2) have a waistline 3) have a bank statement that doesn't induce tears. My future plans are bolder than the instantaneous temptations that lay in my path.
I constantly remind myself to control myself. You should too. If you don't, then control freaks like me will try to control you. You don't want that.