In my morning meditation yesterday I read a quote that stuck with me throughout the day:
The only course open to me, if I was to attain a joyous life for myself (and subsequently for those I love), was one in which I imposed on myself an effort of commitment, discipline, and responsibility.
Daily Reflections, p. 55
The first thing that popped into my head was the food program I am on. I’ve not committed to it. I committed 100% the first week, got great results, and have been doing it my way for the past two, and haven’t had positive results (go figure, right?).
I’ve been yo-yoing around with 4 lbs. the past two weeks and I am tired of it. What did I need to do to commit to this program that obviously worked when I wasn’t working it? I paused and became conscious of everything thing I ate and drank during the day. I prepared, and when tempted to do it my way, I made a conscious choice not to. I stopped participating and committed to doing this once and for all, one day at a time. This morning, I will commit to my food plan for today.
Then I rounded the corner and I thought about my job. It will be a year next week that I joined my firm. I haven’t always been joyous, so I paused and asked myself: Am I committed or am I just involved?
It was a harder transition than I thought it would be. I had been at my last firm for eight years. It was time to move on, but still, I didn’t think it would be that hard. I’ve had to do some internal work to get to the point where I feel I can commit to my firm wholeheartedly; to move out of that “involved” category. Turns out it’s just been an inside job and with some adjustments to my attitude I was able to make the changes I needed to make to commit.
It’s the same with my family, and my relationship with the Sports Dude. I am committed to our relationship. While our Facebook photos show the side of our relationship that is sweet, fun and loving, we absolutely 100% have our moments. We have to work on our relationship, and that means working on ourselves. It’s not easy to uncover, discover, and discard old ideas; they are so ingrained in who we are that we don’t even notice them. Luckily, I have a husband who can see right through me and has no problem pointing them out. Lucky for him, his wife is capable of doing the same thing.
I have a similar experience with my relationship with the Legal Marketing Association. I am committed to my professional association, there is no doubt there, but sometimes I find that I am just involved. I just finished up five years of commitments to the national organization (annual conference committee, national board, chaired a task-force, co-chaired the technology committee). As I was finishing up, I realized I lost steam around July of last year. I tried to kick start my attitude a couple times, but wasn’t having luck. I have one project left to complete and I’ve been dragging my heels. Two weeks ago, I didn’t notice it, but I really committed myself 100% to seeing it through, and I found joy again. Funny how that works. I’ll then take a couple years off from LMA leadership, then recommit myself via a committee or some other way of being of service.
And last night at the Girl Scout meeting, while counting cookie money, I realized I needed to decide: “Am I committed or just involved with our troop?” I helped start the troop ten years ago. Sadly, I believe I am at a time in my volunteering with the organization that I have lost my commitment, and I am just involved. So what does that look like? I have turned over many of my leadership roles in the troop to the next generation of moms. I am stepping back, training, and letting go. The hardest thing when letting go is not taking it back. I can’t have it both ways.
It was an interesting day as I chose to view the different areas of my life from this vantage point. I was able to see that it was my choosing to be involved versus committed that was standing in my way of not just being joyous, but successful in the different moments of my day.
I also had a sweet realization that just because I am committed today, it does not mean forever. It means for today, and that is okay. When my commitment changes, I need to explore why? Has something just come to a natural end, such as my volunteering with Girl Scouts or LMA? Or is there a block I need to clear? Blocks always have something to do with me and stand in the way of me truly be present, active, and committed. If I am the block, I can change that. A simple change in my attitude goes a long way.