Jack said he wanted his ashes spread in Antarctica and I promised that take them there. I haven’t kept that promise yet and I’m not sure if I will. At this moment I’m not ready to give them up. Part of me also says that he has a better view of Antarctica now and it no longer matters to him. It’s my justification for not keeping my promise to him.
I can live with not keeping that promise. Other promises I won’t break. Jack & I promised my parents we’d always be there to take care of them. Dad has since passed and while it’s just me I’m going to take care of my mom. She currently is in a memory care residence and while she still knows me there will come a time when she doesn’t. I will still take care of her. I consider it a privilege to be part of her life regardless of what she knows or not.
Life changes and the promises we have made might no longer be necessary or even possible. When you lose a job your promise to take your grandchildren on a trip to Europe isn’t going to happen. You may feel bad but you have to pay your bills first. If your grandchildren have been a big part of your life they will understand what you are going through. They may be disappointed but then so are you.
There are promises though that we make to ourselves that go out the window at the first sign of stress. I’m going back on Weight Watchers. I’m going to save another $100 every month. I’m going to spend a day a month going somewhere new.
When the stress of life becomes how we live are we really living anymore or are we just existing? I’ve thought about this a lot in the last few years. Sure putting my life on hold while Jack was going through cancer hell was the only thing for me to do and I wouldn’t have given up a moment of being with him for any reason. The first year after he died I gave myself a break and just tried to figure out how to do alone what we’d done as a couple. This last year though, year 2, I’ve let anything and everything get in the way instead of allowing it to be what it is. Life.
There are always going to be stressful times. When we allow them to be the reason we break important promises to ourselves they are nothing more than excuses. I’ve never liked excuses especially from myself.
I have always been an advocate for keeping it simple and its no different for promises. So my challenge as I enter year 3 is to make a promise to myself that I will put myself first as often as possible. That enables me to be flexible and kind to myself. There are still going to be times where important people and events come first. Those are however exceptions and not daily or even weekly times.
As we approach this new year what promise are you willing to make to yourself that you want to keep? Share with us here and give others ideas they can use too.