I was watching a presentation given by one of my friends the other day and he was talking about commitment. One of his slides including a simple line which said… 99% commitment is hard. Yep – this statement made so much sense that my mind began to reel at the thought of all the places I am 99%. No wonder I experience life as tough a lot of the time.
After some painstaking reflection and more than a little judgment about the multitude of things that I am supposedly committed to, but which actually fall into the 99% or less basket, I discovered that there are in fact a couple of things that I am 100% committed to. And surprisingly, they require no real effort. First, there are my kids. I don’t even think about it – I am just all in – no question, no doubt, no hard work required. I’m not sure if that occurs naturally as part of giving birth or if I made a choice somewhere along the way but regardless, my commitment in this area is undeniable.
The second one is my marriage. During the first 20-ish years of our relationship, this did require effort because I did have one foot out the door. Not because I don’t love my hubby with all my heart but because I didn’t ever want to be hurt so I kept the back door a little ajar just in case. Several years ago I slammed it shut and hard work of the past disappeared behind the closed door. I remember making the decision to move to 100%. I knew that it was the only way a marriage could really work. Well, certainly the type of marriage that I was up for – one filled with trust, love, fun, laughter and more joy than you could poke a stick at. Oh dear, is there something wrong with me that my dad’s little phrases are seeping into my language more and more each day??
I commit to a bucketload of other things, every day actually. I commit to my health, to practicing yoga every day, to writing, to not drinking, to exercising, to not eating junk food, to being kinder to myself, to learning a language… you name it, I have probably committed to it at some point in my life. But what I started to get curious about is why I commit to all these things. Warning – if you don’t want to see the truth, you shouldn’t start digging around. I could have done with that warning myself before I picked up the shovel, but of course now it’s too late.
What I saw is that I commit because I want to look good. I want to please people, I want to belong, I want to feel worthy, I want people to like me and I want to be perfect. Not, I repeat NOT, because it is something that is going to fulfill me and make me happy. And of course, there is never 100% commitment because I’m not doing them for me, I am doing them to change or improve a part of me so that one day I might be enough. OMG it is so fucking tiring (sorry for the language but no other adjective appropriately described the level of my exhaustion resulting from 47 years of being the 99 percent girl).
I am clear that I am not alone on that never-ending path to become the all perfect superhuman. I have plenty of company. Sometimes I even have to elbow others out of the way if I have any chance of fulfilling my dream of reaching that glorious podium of perfection first, or at least in the top 10.
So the moral of this little brain dump is to remind myself (and any of you who sees themselves in some teeny weeny way in these words), that I am OK. Yep, really OK, just the way that I am. And to give myself a break and try to have a few less 99 percenters going on at any one time. I’m not going to suggest that it’s100% or nothing for me from now on because that would mean I have hit that podium and we all know it doesn’t really exist. Don’t we!
Love and imperfection