An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.
– Mae West
Usually, I suppose, the promises that we make to ourselves come in the form of things like New Year’s Resolutions, or that exercise regime that you keep meaning to start so that you’ll feel more confident in your swimsuit come summertime.
We do it on a grander scale too, sometimes. I know that every now and then I realise something about myself, about the direction I’m heading in, and I find that I don’t like it. I end up making a promise to myself to do better, to be better. A better house keeper, mother, wife, artist, person.
But then I decide that I’m having one of those days and I put it off. I put off being better, I promise to myself that I’ll do it later and maybe I’ll even make notes to remind myself exactly how I’m going to be better later.
The thought though, once it’s there, hangs around me like a fog. If I need to be better, then that must mean I’m not good enough to begin with. My photography isn’t as good as it should be, my cooking isn’t as healthy, my housekeeping not as amazing as my neighbour’s. One of those days turns into one of those weeks, one of those months. The time just passes by and I’m still stuck in the same rut.
These promises of mine, they don’t stick. I wont ever do it later. I want to, goodness knows I do. I’d love a tidy house, to be present in my parenting, to be a more loving wife, to perfect my art, to be a kind and loving person. I try to do it all at once in a rush, when the mood strikes me, as if my future habits will be all decided in that one day. I relish my clean house, but I’m unable to keep up with it for the rest of the week as I flit around starting various projects in this fit of energy, the house slips back into the way that it was before.
I sit down with Mikey to do a pre-planned activity, I tell myself that this is the way I can be a more present parent or a good parent. I have everything set up, but he sits down for five minutes before deciding he’d rather do something else. The project ends up abandoned, barely started. I give up.
I give up.
But there’s something I always forget, I need to help myself to remember. That habits are not formed in a single day, that I can let go of what I think being the perfect parent/wife/artist/person is supposed to be and I can just be a perfect me. That I can let go and just be. And that it’s OK.
Maybe I should start that exercise routine though…
Do you make promises to yourself? Do you always keep those promises?