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Waiting is a good thing, dear Watson

06:51 AM August 29, 2014

If you go and stay in London for a year, like I did as a freshman college student, you are destined to acclimate to three things: British accents, the pitter patter of rain and some person getting excited about “Doctor Who” or “Sherlock,” two of the hit shows on BBC.

Which is why I think it is a testament to my self control that I did not start watching Steven Moffat’s modern-day interpretation of Sherlock Holmes until I had wandered my way back to the United States (and out of any opportunity to visit the set, but let’s not mention that, shall we?).

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So you can imagine my surprise when, sitting down on my couch, bowl of popcorn in hand, fully ready to marathon-it-up as I do with most television series, I realized that each of Sherlock’s three seasons only has three episodes. And the next season? Is not due to be out for a couple of years.

How does that even work? I wondered, checking to see if some of the episodes were missing. They weren’t. In a world bent on instant-gratification, where Mother’s Day and Father’s Day presents can be ordered, wrapped and shipped in five minutes through online shopping, where you can see a friend half-way across the world through Skype, or print 3d objects–how on earth does anyone expect a TV audience to wait years without losing interest?

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And yet, in spite of the fact that I find it ludicrous, I also always double check when I see an article about Sherlock on Yahoo. I keep hoping and yes, waiting, for its return to the silver screen. More than that, there is an air of celebration in the thought; because I can’t make Sherlock part of my weekly routine, it becomes an exception, a holiday, of the same category of Halloween or the fair. Moffat’s trick is also part treat.

As a college student who has to increasingly manage her own finances, I also have to push off getting some of the things I want when I want them. But even when things aren’t tight, I’ve gotten myself in the habit of waiting a month or so, to see if I’ll need the money elsewhere, or if I don’t just flat-out reconsider whatever it is I wanted to purchase.

I’ve learned that setting these limits on myself stops me from becoming too greedy, from falling down a hole into perpetual discontentment. Maybe that’s a lesson I learned from Sherlock, or maybe it was something I deduced on my own. It does, after all, seem a bit elementary.

The reality is that, while you or I or anyone but Moffat, cannot control the release of the next “Sherlock” season (or “Doctor Who” for that matter. What is that man doing with all his time?), we can control our own actions.

In that, I urge you to be patient as well, to make yourself chase after your desires a little longer than might be absolutely necessary.

If you don’t, you risk cheapening your experiences, making them as throw away as the show you used to watch every day out of habit, before you realized that you honestly didn’t care anymore.

If what you are after is truly important to your life, waiting will make you want it more, not less, and will add to the enjoyment when you finally get it.

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TAGS: “Dr. Who, ” “Sherlock, ” Sherlock Holmes, BBC, benefits of patience, Steven Moffat
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