“Success requires the emotional balance of a committed heart. When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape.” ~Andy Andrews
Being an available wife, mother, daughter, friend
Saving the monarchs and the bees
Walking, feeding, loving our dog
Writing at least one hand-written letter each week
Putting away the laundry
Cooking a healthy dinner every night
Writing that book
These are a few of the things I want to be committed to in my life. I’m betting you have a list of your own. I do try to answer when someone calls, I have milkweed for the monarchs, clover for the bees, and I am a great dog owner. I have a wonderful fountain pen and stationery so that I am ready for that letter each week, sometimes each month. The laundry is clean when we need it, but sometimes it is in the chair or on the ironing board instead of in drawers or the closet. I do eat very healthy food, but I’m the first to say that I’m glad my husband didn’t think he was marrying Julia Child when he said “I do.” And the book…I’m working on it, always working on it, and it’s moving up in order of importance. It seems that I search for an escape more than I do a solution unless it really matters to me.
It isn’t difficult to see people looking for escape. Quitting jobs when it’s uncomfortable, quitting relationships when they are uninteresting, and quitting on dreams when they seem too difficult to achieve all are signs of people looking for an escape. Sometimes, it’s healthier for everyone if we get out rather than forge ahead, but too many times people just don’t want to put in the effort to seek solutions, to be committed. Couples argue, and often choose to escape their problems rather than seek a solution. Employees believe they have been overlooked or underpaid and choose to escape the frustration rather than seek the solution that will propel them forward. Solutions are worth the effort in most cases.
My husband has headed out the door almost every single day of our marriage around 7:00 in the morning and come home around 6:00 in the evening. In thirty-five years of employment, he has been frustrated now and then. So when he was getting ready to walk out the door on the last morning of his employed life I asked him, “How have you done it? How have you stayed committed to the job for all these years?” He didn’t hesitate: good employees, good environment, good bosses, and a field of work he enjoyed. It hit me. If we want to be committed to anything, there has to be a lot of good in it for us. His commitment to a career was much easier to maintain because the good of each day outweighed the headaches, and that is because the solutions he sought helped create that environment. Actually, there were days that with all of the good about his job it was still difficult to go in. Who wouldn’t want to stay home with our faithful dog and a cup of coffee?
Whatever you are waiting to commit to–organizing the pantry, cleaning the windows, getting the degree, getting married, saving for a trip, ditching the sugar in your diet, learning to use your camera–you must CHOOSE to be committed to searching for solutions instead of always seeking escape.
Surround yourself with good people to make the commitment easier to keep, and decide that unless there is personal danger, you will avoid looking for an escape. After all, that laundry isn’t going to fold itself, the painting isn’t going to paint itself, and the relationship definitely isn’t going to fix itself. The job? Ask those who love their work: There are other places to commit.