The Bright Side of Obligations

It’s an odd thing to think about something that we’re obliged to do (aka forced to do out of duty and promise to another person) as something positive. It’s a hassle to do most times, and more often than not, if we ignore that duty/sense of obligation, guilt doesn’t just step in – guilt waltzes in with a megaphone, blasting your conscience with the many ways in which you’re a flake/disappointment/ everything bad under the sun. Commit a murder? Still not as bad as flaking on your friend for her son’s birthday party without so much as a “So sorry!” for whatever reason.

Still, I think it’s a good thing. Especially if you make that promise to someone else. Because you can forgive yourself for being a flake. You really didn’t expect you to get up Tuesday morning  and go to the gym and suffer through another day for an hour and a half of torture (if you’re brave enough to make the extra half hour, that is.) It’s harder to forgive if someone else is involved, however indirectly.

And it’s true. Because the examples I’m giving are all from my personal experiences as a social and fitness flake.

I promised I’d go to the gym, if we take one of my brother’s friends along with us. That means that everyone, (the three of us in the house) have to get up and hit the gym because we are obliged to take this boy with us. And he has to get up early because he promised to go with us early, if it means he gets the option to swim after. And we four do these things because of obligations made to the parties on either end of the deal.

It gets us out of the house. It gets us all to be more social. It ensures a healthier lifestyle.

I guess these are the perks of having a gym partner.

I talked with my friend to crochet some things for her for when she starts back school come September. Telling her what I was making for her ensured that things will be done by the time she comes back for the next few weeks. My specific promises to her not only ensures that they will be done, but it also gives me practice in crocheting toys and accessories, something  I would have attempted but would have given up ages ago.

Much different to the promise I made to myself and not my goddaughter’s father to make something for her, and it’s just sitting there at the bottom of the bag. Godmother of the year, everyone. Maybe if I had promised them that I was making this thing specifically, I would have finished it. But as it is, I didn’t, and I’ve already forgiven myself for being such a flake.



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