Saturday, September 27, 2008


What is commitment? By definition, it’s the act of binding yourself, intellectually or emotionally to a course of action. We’re committed to a lot of things: marriage, family, jobs, churches, organizations, our words, making payments, hobbies, opinions, exercise programs or diets, political parties, anger, etc. I could go on forever. We have a million commitments.

Or do we?

The divorce rates are higher than ever. Marriage is treated like a disposible commodity. While many in the the gay community are fighting for the right to marry, so many in the hetero community are going to court to get out of their vows. Our families are falling apart. Jobs…well, in many cases jobs are either like throw-away conveniences that fund our existence or they own our lives. Is that commitment or forced necessity…

I woke up the other morning and this topic smacked me across the back of the head. If you read my blog it’s hard to miss that I’ve joined a water aerobics class. But Thursday morning, I woke up and I was exhausted. Don’t you hate that when you get up and you’re already tired? It was a rough morning. Thank goodness, I committed—there’s that word again—to a routine this year that makes the morning easier. This would have been a morning for tears and recriminations otherwise. I thought, maybe I’ll just come home and climb in bed after I take the kids to school.

I didn’t. I got there just in time after grumbling that I wished people were more committed to using their turn signals. Boy, and I’m glad I did go to class. I dashed in to the pool area, just as it was time to start. It’s not a good sign when you hear “Oh good there’s Brynn” as you walk in. There were two people there. Two! Thankfully two other people came in right after I did, but it was practically a private class. Usually we have at least ten to twenty people there.

Again the topic of commitment filter through my thoughts. I joined the class because of the commitment factor. Knowing I’m expected gets my hiney there.

I’m not setting out to preach on this subject. I’m hardly a paragon of commitment, so to speak. But I’d like to throw out the question: what are we committed to? How are we doing? Do we need to re-evaluate? I think it truly is the size of our will that determines success. What is important enough to us that we will be successful and use the effort of our will to fulfill our commitment?


Anny Cook said...

What are we committed to... practically nothing. I believe that our commitment levels change drastically at different points in our lives. Sometimes one or two things are all we have energy to commit to. At other times we may commit to multiple things--maybe because our children or a spouse welfare is involved.

Just as life itself has peaks and valleys, our level of commitment to various challenges has ups and downs. Our level of commitment is often easier to maintain if we have someone who we are accountable to... our doctor, our spouse, a friend... or even a glucometer. Funny how I am far more careful what I eat when I know that the blood sample is gonna tell the truth.

Dakota Rebel said...

Anny I totally agree. My level of commitment DEFINATELY coresponds to how many people are going to hold me to it.

I think our society has been conditioned to commit to things for as long as they are easy, or enjoyable. So that rather than working at something, getting through the hard times, it becomes normal to quit rather than push through the pain.

I think part of what makes me post details on my blog about the WIPS I have is so that I am constantly asked for updates. I NEED people forcing me to stick to the commitment I've made to a story. Or I'll just let it sit until the idea fades away.

Great post Brynn. And congrats on pushing yourself to go to class. I know that you are enjoying it, even if some mornings it's hard to get there.

Dakota Rebel

KellyMarstad said...

Sadly committment is seen as a flexible thing. I'm guilty of it too. Yet we still depend on it to be there, to support us, when the rest of the world is changeable enough.

Ashley Ladd said...

Well, I'm committed to my day job. I'm self-motivating and committed to my writing. I'm committed to my kids, my husband, my daughter's ball team. I'm afraid I have no extra energy and very little time to be committed to anything else beyond that.

Molly Daniels said...

I've gritted my teeth and hung onto my marriage when others (and the voice of reason, ha ha?) have told me to chuck it. Well, I've got 3 reasons to stick with it: K, S, and W. Just showing that mature people try to work it out, rather than take the 'easy way' out.

I try to honor my committments, but sometimes LIFE gets in the way. And in the meantime, the baby and I are getting in shape, walking to and from his school:)

Bronwyn's Blog said...

My committment to things wax and wane - like everyone. The only thing that's nevr really changed is my committment to family and friends.

But honestly, the rest of the committment thing, I kinda suck at.

alan said...

okay ladies, listen up. This is the voice of 53 years of experience speaking (though I only admit to 39, and hey, the grandkids all believe me!) You may call it commitment, I call it stubborn-ness. I have been married for 36 yrs (yes, to the same guy) and some days it simply comes down to who's the most stubborn (i.e. the one who refuses to walk away from the relationship) I wouldn't say we're experts at commitment, but I would say we're pretty good at not giving up. And therein lies the lesson. If either of us had given up and walked away, we would've walked away on our soul mate (not to mention 3 kids, various dogs, and now 5 grandkids). So, whatever the subject of commitment, I guess I'm saying don't give up, don't walk away, until you know it just ain't worth sticking with.
Denise (Newcastle, Australia)

Smut Girl said...

I tend to stay commited to the things that truly matter to me. family, friends, writing, walking. not so much the things i feel pressured into commiting to and then capitulate. those eventually make me feel resentful and I bow out. i think my biggest issue is not commitment but guilt over saying no when i don't want to commit. so they i say yes and end up not keeping my commitment.
did that make any sense? eep!

Jennifer Armintrout said...

Commit to your blog, because I miss you!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Great post, Brynn! And a good reminder.

Thanks so much for the recommended read!