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Even for a believer in delayed gratification, there is a limit


I felt some sympathy last month when I read about a petition which was calling for us to remain on British summertime this year as it could be of huge benefit to millions of people.  It really struck a chord.  In recent years, I’ve found that the rosy glow imparted by that extra hour gained on the last Sunday in October, is quickly replaced with a sense of dread the following afternoon when the lights go on before the working day’s even finished.

To me, sticking to British Summer Time makes practical sense.  Especially this year when I find myself increasingly relying on that old trick of delayed gratification. Personally, I’d rather stumble through that extra hour of darkness in the morning if it means I get an extra daylight hour in the afternoon.

But since that idea never got off the ground, I found the results of a recent study reassuring. The findings suggest that the level of daylight we experience affects our sensitivity to temperature.  So, this might explain why I often think it feels colder outside on a dank winter afternoon than the thermometer would suggest and that perhaps my internal body thermostat is actually sensitive rather than wonky as I had previously thought.

I read about this study on a miserable, wet evening when, ironically, I should have been making some blinds to shut out the great outdoors in my newly refurbished kitchen. But delayed gratification must have been creeping into my productivity there too as I’ll obviously appreciate them more the further into winter they actually materialise!

As the living room is next on the great renovation plan, my reading led to thoughts of how a clever use of artificial lighting might help us feel cosy and warm in our high ceilinged relaxation space without damaging the environment further by having to crank up all available heat sources.

At which point I was interrupted by the offer of a warming cup of tea, one I rarely refuse especially when someone else is making.  But, as Mr F lifted his posterior off the sofa to put the kettle on, there was a crack loud enough to startle us both.  Further investigation found that he was intact but one of the springs on our very old and beloved Chesterfield sofa most certainly wasn’t.

A bit of a disaster in its own right but a bigger one when you consider that, since our recent move, it is currently our only source of comfy seating.  You won’t therefore be surprised to hear that delayed gratification went straight out the window and the earliest date the upholsterer could offer was gratefully accepted!


This column appeared in our Autumn newsletter, if you would like future editions of our quarterly workplace wellbeing newsletter to be sent directly to your inbox, you can sign up here.

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