It’s the Summer holidays and so I have taken the time to catch up with friends old and new. We inevitably draw comparisons between the selves we were last time we met and how our lives compare to one another now.
There was probably a point when our lives seemed to be of equal measure and somehow along with way I can’t help feeling like I have succeeded in some areas while my friends seem to have surpassed me in so many others. I have begun to realise it all revolves around the one word- commitment.
1. the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
synonyms: dedication, devotion, allegiance, loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, bond, adherence, attentiveness.
2. an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.
“with so many business commitments time for recreation was limited”
synonyms: responsibility, obligation, duty, tie, charge, liability, burden, pressure
Many of my friends ooze with the excitement of settling down and starting a family. Committing to the life they once fought off. A life-long career. They see commitment as a joy and more often than not a safety net in an ever changing world. They are to my mind definition 1.
Other of my friends (myself included) hang on to the days where a lack of responsibility was not worshipped enough. I look at my pet and envy its day. I look at young children and think to myself ‘I would be quite happy toddling around with an ice-cream now.’ Commitment comes with a sense of obligation, the sense of impending doom and, to my mind, the term FOREVER is not a welcome one. It implies a lack of change, stagnation. I most definitely perceive commitment as definition number 2.
So how do we go about seeking satisfaction in a life where we constantly want change?
I suggest a new line of thought – a positive way to combat our negative association with commitment. Lets utilise these synonyms: dedication, loyalty, allegiance (yes, I am aware they sound a little like the sign-up sheet for the three musketeers). A commitment does not have to be a burden it can be seen as a driving force. Here’s 7 things you can commit to that do not involve publicly updating your Facebook status. So make a commitment to:
For example, by December 2017 I will have visited Cuba.
2. Reward yourself.
It may seem vain, it may seem strange, but only you know how hard you worked or what achievements were challenging. If you are shy and you go to a big social gathering then that achievements needs acknowledging by you, for you.
3. A text a week.
If days seem to pass you by or you’ve moved away from friends for a job or relationship you need to put in that extra bit of time. A text or a quick call can make all the difference. It says, I haven’t forgotten.
4. Something thoughtful.
Sometimes the ones we need the most are the relationships we do not work to maintain. If a friend is having a bad week at work. A post-it note and a chocolate bar may make all the difference. A little gesture for the sake of a smile from your partner may just work as a little reminder to say you’ve noticed their support.
5. Your body.
Get up and go outside. For some leaving the house can be the biggest battle of the day. You don’t have to smash the gym or run a marathon to look after yourself. Take that first step.
6. Your mental health.
Your goals and desires will not be the same as everyone else’s. Your methods for managing yourself have to come from within. If you do not feel you are ready for your challenge find the smaller steps to get you there. You cannot climb Everest without some good planning, packing and preparation.
7. Taking back some time.
30 minutes every two days. A pocket of time. Write, read, have a bubble bath, talk to your partner without the TV on. Make that time yours and enjoy it.