It is incredibly easy to make a promise. It can be made flippantly in order to deflect someone else’s concern or to avoid an argument. It can also be made in earnest because we feel so deeply moved to change and we know that it is the right thing to do. My promise to Youngest Cabbage had me floundering somewhere in the middle. While I did make the promise flippantly at first, I did know that it was the right thing to do. The challenge was going to be how to put the promise into action as well as how to keep it once I started it.
I began by telling myself that I could indeed do this; I could indeed try something new each and every day. I used a mantra of self-affirmation “I can do this! I will do this! I am woman, hear me roar!” In my mind I was jumping up and down with all the fanfare of a cheerleader minus the short skirt and pompoms. I quickly grabbed a pen and paper and began to jot down new things I could try.
- Learn to meditate
- Reconnect with friends
- Travel Europe
- Learn to say hello in ten different languages
- Smarten up
- Be the person my dog thinks I am
- Eat better
- Stop swearing
- Sign up for a class, what it would be I do not know
- Consult a psychic
- Belly dance
(By now Julie Andrew was singing in my head, “Climb every mountain, Search high and low, Follow every highway, Every path you know” from The Sound of Music and I felt like my head was going to explode.)
While my ideas were clearly all over the place, I felt fairly good because I had, at least, begun a “Try Something New List”. It also meant that I had moved one step closer to putting my promise into action. Things were looking good on paper but I quickly realized I was facing some challenges:
(1) I live in a small rural community where the possibilities of trying something new are limited and not readily available
(2) I have limited energy due to chronic health conditions, particularly challenges associated with living with multiple sclerosis
(3) I have limited financial resources
But I was certainly not going to let these factors deter me. It only meant that I was going to have to think outside the box, be creative and resourceful, motivated and determined. I also did not want to be one of those promise makers who embraces the promise with gusto at first but loses momentum after a while. Knowing myself and my history (isn’t it Dr. Phil who says ‘the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour’?), I knew it was going to be a challenge for me to stay on task. Since I did not want Dr. Phil’s voice going off inside my head saying “I told you so”, I decided I had better call in the recruits.
It only made sense that, in order to remain true to my promise and to elicit some ideas, I would enlist the help of the other cabbages in my patch. Every one of my fellow cabbages thought it was an awesome idea and were grateful that Youngest Cabbage had roped me into such a promise. They were quick to chime in with their thoughts and suggestions. I told them what my limitations were and what parameters they needed to work within – the something new had to be within reason, legal and not cost much financially. The most I would be able to swing is $100 every now and then.
This was a strategic move on my part. My cabbages would not only hold me to task on this promise (you know who you are) but I also knew they would provide me with much needed support, fodder, and ammunition for this blog.
Here are some of their suggestions:
- Make a bucket list (this appeals to me because it is similar to a ‘to do’ list and would keep me focused and organized — plus I like checking things off.)
- Wine making (hiccup)
- New haircut/hair colour (scary)
- Write something every day (doable and manageable)
- Tie a cherry stem with my tongue (not sure if I possess such a talent but I guess I will find out)
- Join a book club (this appeals to me very much – are any available online?)
- Shooters (hiccup x 2)
- Karaoke (hence the shooters)
- Take a photo a day (it would encourage me to get out of the house more)
- Write a random address and see if they write back (with my luck the address would belong to an axe murderer)
Even Sauerkraut had some suggestions:
- Learn to drive a standard (not sure the jeep would survive this)
- Learn to pump my own gas (why I have not learned this, I do not know)
- Learn to check my oil (clearly car maintenance is on his mind)
- Go an entire day with his being right (he included ‘no back talk’ as a requisite and, while he may have had me there for a minute, he blew it with the ‘back talk’ part, so, no)
Middle Cabbage thought I should try these:
- Drink a cup of coffee (ooooh, yuck)
- Pee standing up for a week (really?)
- Marijuana (for medicinal purposes, I am sure)
So there you have it. A promise is a promise is a promise and I intend to keep it because I am no longer floundering in the middle. I have put my fear to the wayside …. Plus I have the best and most supportive cabbages in my patch. What could go wrong?
Promise into action: 1