Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘boundaries’

Promiseometer

When Papa Bear and I were semi-newlyweds, I gave him a Promise Keepers’ Bible. It was not well received. While my intentions were good and honourable (I swear it!), the implication was (apparently) abundantly clear: he didn’t keep his promises. In fact, that was not true then, nor is it now. Papa Bear has always been very good about not committing to anything he wasn’t sure he could carry through, and carrying it through if did commit. (Except giving up carbs, but seriously, who can stick to that?)

I, on the other hand, am less successful in this area. Despite years of training, I tend to over promise and under deliver. I blame my inclination to give people the answers they want. If the answer a person wants is, “I’ll do it today”, then that’s what I say. The fact that I’ve said it to ten other people today, and still have catch up from the ten people I said it to yesterday, tends not to register on my radar.

What I need is a promiseometer. The idea behind this nifty device is that it records every promise you make, as you make it. It sounds an alarm when the deadline is looming, and a louder alarm when the deadline passes. It records how many promises you’ve made and alerts you when you reach a certain quota. And best of all: it cannot turned off without the promise being fulfilled.

Just think of the possibilities: no more disappointed kids because you were “too tired” to read tonight’s bed time story, even though you’d promised. No more disgruntled clients because the deadline you’d agreed to has passed. No more neglected spouses, let down friends, angry creditors – none of that. That’s all done. Because now, a promise you make would have to be a promise you kept! Perhaps the alarm could just be the beginning, and the longer you go without keeping your word, the more painful and violent the punishments become!

I think most people have a promiseometer already. It’s called common sense, with a good dose of boundaries and a heaping side order of reasonable expectations thrown in for good measure.  The simple truth is that when we break promises, we instantly convert ourselves into liars. And who can ever trust a liar? I certainly don’t want to be that, yet I become one every day as I rack up a slew of unkept promises.

The Bible has a very simple solution in James 5:12:

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”

Am I the only one who over commits and fails to deliver? Has anyone found an effective, consistent way to deal with it?

Lightbulb …

Don’t you love that moment in Despicable Me when Gru realises something important and says “Light-Bulb” in that delightful Romanianish accent, with a lippop at the end? It’s one of my favourite moments in cinematic history – right up there with horse heads in palacial sleeping quarters, and … I’m out. . It’s 2:30 am and I’m fresh out of film fanaticism. Please forgive me.

Anyway.

The reason I mention Gru is because I myself have just had a light-bulb-uh moment, and I’m sharing it with you. Here it is: domestic goddessery and old-fashioned craftiness are time consuming! Oh my goodness. All these years I’ve been beating up on myself for not taking the time to sew this and craft that and cook the other, only to realise (finally) that it’s because I actually don’t have the time to take.

Today is a good day to realise this. The reason I am up at 2:30 am is because of a sequence of events:

  • I thought it would be cheaper to make rather than buy a gift for the Church Ladies’ Tea tomorrow. (Four hours later at my hourly rate, plus raw materials at more than the upper limit for a gift purchase succesfully proves me wrong).
  • We had a friend round for dinner and I made a wonderful chicken curry (my personal best) and disastrous brownies (a real low point since the left overs were supposed to be my edible contribution to tomorrow’s tea, so my Saturday just became seriously compressed). (On the other hand, it was so lovely to catch up!)
  • I promised my daughter I would mend her pretty party frock before tomorrow. (My sewing is getting SO fast and SO neat since I started home schooling!).
  • And finally, I just remembered that I’m supposed to be orchestrating a Bible Trivia Quiz at the Tea tomorrow, and I haven’t done ANY prep. Yikes.
My problem is not so much that I can’t say no. It’s more a case of saying yes before being asked, with absolutely no ability to contain my runaway tongue.
I’m helping with the set up tomorrow at Church, and clean up after. I also have to sort out my house and make something edible to take along.
Oh, and did I mention I need to send out a massive emailer, create two websites, write and upload a third, and magick an entire news portal by Monday?
Now I’ve overwhelmed myself. I’m going to stop blogging, finish this dress, Google “quick and easy Bible Trivia Quizzes (KJV)“, and go to bed.
Night all.
(oh, just a quick aside: I can’t say more about what I made for the Ladies’ Tea because my sister reads this blog and she might get it, but I will say I’m pretty proud of how it turned out (provided the glue holds), and I hope whoever gets it is delighted. Although I will settle for just pleased.)

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