Featured Posts

Travel-Sized Beauty Favourites for Your Next Holiday
Times are tough right now. As well as the ongoing societal problem of systematic and systemic racism against black people across the world, the Coronavirus pandemic continues. With many of us still abiding by lockdown restrictions, travelling has been severely disrupted.  You may have had a holiday planned that’s been cancelled or postponed. You might have planned to take a quick trip away to escape the hustle and bustle of life. You probably planned a staycation to get away from your hometown for a short while. Regardless of your travel plans, it’s annoying to have to put things on hold. 
View Post
Face SPF Products You Need to Try Right Now
It’s hot. There I said it. It really crept up on us. We were given rain and storms before a heatwave no one saw coming. I’m the first to burn too. I’ll step outside and within 10 minutes, I’m a rosy hue. This list is as much for me as it is you and I’m excited about it, let me tell you. 
View Post
Summer Lovin’
You've binge-watched Normal People, developed a mild case of repetitive strain injury from swiping left on boys who are 'just looking for a quarantine buddy ;)' and Love Island 2020 (much like my own love life) is cancelled.   If you're a hopeless romantic like myself and need your fix of summer lovin' in the absence of skin-tight white jeans peacocking around a firepit (I mock, but I've never missed an episode), then pick up a love story.   
View Post
The Benefits of Meditation On Your Mental Health
Life is still a little on the crazy side right now… I mean, if you’d have asked me back in January what I thought I’d achieve this year, you can bet your bottom dollar I wouldn’t have said building a loungewear collection and not leaving my house for months, other than to go food shopping and walk the dog. No socialising… no holidays… not going into work…  Life has literally been flipped upside down for a lot of people and now more than ever, it’s important to look after our mental health and wellbeing. Spending most of your time alone, or with the same few people in your household can also be hard, especially if you’re a natural social butterfly.  
View Post
To top
23 Apr

In Praise of Instant Gratification

‘(N.B. The following article was produced for publication before the current coronavirus pandemic began).’

I‘,m fed up of having to work at things. Does that sound bad?

The constant chipping away at those big projects – the house, the manuscript, the getting your life in order before deciding whether you might make decent parents at some point. Saving for a new pair of jeans. Waiting and waiting for things to slowly build before you can enjoy the rewards.

I want now.

I want instant gratification.

Is this why people have sex in public places I wonder? The instant pay off from an impromptu quickie, fulfilling that need to have something in your life that you haven’t had to meticulously plan and work at tirelessly for months or years on end?

I’m not really one for rolling around in communal germs and my husband has Raynaud’s syndrome, so doesn’t fair well in cold weather. Alas, no public, al fresco tumbling around for us. At least not until we’re further into spring. Just another thing I’ll have to wait for. Sigh.

I could have a bowl of ice cream or dunk another biscuit in my tea I suppose. Small, but sensible instant pleasures that might help me get through the drawn-out torture of plodding on with my grown-up goals. Although, my diet is somewhat restricted by various health conditions, so no cookie dough, caramel, chocolate frozen goopiness for me—no—a scoop of vanilla or a dipping soggy rich tea, that’s my lot right now. Sigh. Sigh.

What I really want, is for something that I really want to just come together beautifully and miraculously right now! Right this second! For a dream or plan or project to have just completed itself rather than being laborious, painful, and agonisingly ‘bit-by-bit’.

I want to close my eyes, make a wish, and open them to find all my dreams have instantly come true!

I know, I know, it’s about the journey isn’t it? Not the destination.

But what happens when we’re patiently plodding through not just one, but many journeys simultaneously? Winding through various giant mazes of uncertainty, carrying both cross-bows and picnic hampers to make sure we have all bases covered?

You start out ambling through merrily, stopping for the odd sip of tea as you lean against a nearby tree stump and tell yourself philosophically, ‘it’ll all happen when it happens’.

But then over time you find your pace quickening, your reserve flagging.

You become aware that the mindfulness mantras you’ve been chanting from the start seem to be doing less of a job than they once did at drowning out the petulant cries of your own impatience, growing more frantic underfoot.

Then one day weary, and oh-so-near to the exit of the maze (you think, you hope!), you suddenly stumble down another bloody, unforeseen rabbit hole. As you’re falling and falling through the dark you feel the Queen of impatience’s scrawny little hands reach out and grab you around the neck. CHOP! Off with your head.

Wondering if you’ve gone mad, you stand peering over at what appears to be your own candle-lit vigil; a white rabbit complete with pocket watch is stood shaking his head and tuttering, “all that waiting patiently like a grown-up, that’s what got her in the end.” As her Majesty Impatience skips gleefully around your framed photograph, with pages of your unfinished manuscript and the unsigned solicitors contracts from your protracted house sale sewn like a patchwork quilt onto her gaudy skirts.

I know.

As it stands, I have little choice other than to continue to practice patience. To keep being thankful for all the other pay offs I’ve already reached by chipping away at things over the years. Remind myself that I once would have given anything to be able to enjoy the things I now have, things that I lived in agony waiting for, tripping down rabbit holes frequently in years gone by to reach the centre platform in the maze I am now well past.

Yes, I’ll try to remember that these glorious things I am blessed with –my marriage, my much-improved health, my calmness of mind– are themselves the results of patience and chipping.

And if that tactic doesn’t work? Well then, perhaps it is off to a Maccy’s bathroom for hubby and I after all. We can balance on the sink nearest to the hand dryer and intermittently press the big, silver button with a bouncing knee to take the chill off our naked bodies, as we relent to the need for some instant gratification.

Either that or Impatience will be mounting my head on a stick.

Only time will tell.

Portia Holdsworth

Portia Holdsworth is a life-writer, journalist, book editor and photographer. Having previously held the position of deputy editor of performing arts at Artinfo magazine, she now enjoys working freelance. Her life-writing works, photography and articles have been published worldwide. Portia is a strong advocate of slow living, cups of tea, and daily laughter, as well as of equality.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Cohorted Cult are strong on empowerment and sustainability and want to push more conversations surrounding career and wellbeing. Subscribe with us and stay in the know on everything lifestyle!


We’ll keep you up to date on hot topics and industry news. You’ll be kept up to date on a need to know basis on all things culture, you won’t want to leave… Subscribe now!