I have this friend. She commits to just about everyone – her kids, her boss, her husband, the neighbor, the POA, PTA, her BFF, even strangers. If they ask her for help, she says yes, almost involuntarily. She’s wired that way. She’s faithful. She’s busy. She sleeps little. She worries much. She’s a promise keeper — a promise keeper on steroids.
At the end of every day, she sees her mental list of people she promised to do things for and checks them off one by one. A feeling of relief and accomplishment washes over her bone tired body. And then she gets to the final name, a name she never seems to be able to check off. This person always seems to be at the bottom of her list. Some days she puts her at the top, usually on Sunday night before her head hits the pillow. “Tomorrow, I’ll do it. I’ll keep that promise.” But she doesn’t. The name falls throughout the week to it’s normal position, dead last.
To be honest, I know lots of women like her, women who give and give and give, but just can’t seem to get to that last name on their list. The name that she has heard since the day she burst into this world, her name. The last name on the list is her’s.
Heck, I’m that woman. We say yes to everyone and keep our commitments no matter what. As Heather Land says, “we would rather walk through a den of lions wearing a ham suit” than break a promise we’ve made to someone. But when it comes to breaking a promise we’ve made to ourselves, we don’t think twice.
You know that girl at the bottom of your list? Well, she’s pretty special and she’s worth keeping a promise to. The funny thing is, when you keep the commitments you made to her, your life feels so much fuller and richer.
Keep being a promise keeper but maybe you might want to start at the bottom of your list next time.