Sunday, July 20, 2014

Flake

Last night I canceled on a party that I agreed to go to thirty minutes earlier. A party that I had practically begged to be invited to, and invited others to. Not cool. In fact, as I sat down and started listing all the people and activities I had flaked out on that week, the list was chringingly long. Something's got to change.


I feel icky when I flake out, but most importantly, being a flake suggests that I don't actually care about the people I make plans with, that something else coming up, being tired or cold or hungry is enough for me to bail on the being who planned on me being there. "Flake" is just another word for "selfish." I remember Sarah Westerberg's speech about this years ago:

"Whether your commitments are in the form of promises, pledges, covenants, callings, contracts, or your word of honor, they must be kept. Whether they are commitments that are spiritual in nature, legal contracts, or seemingly trivial temporal things, they must be kept."

 She mentions 6 steps, which apply well to spiritual as well as temporal committment:

1-Know your obligations
2-Decide to commit to them
3-Follow the Master
4-Set realistic goals
5-Anticipate opposition
6-Reap rewards
Okay, so depending on your willingness to think WWJD in your temporal commitments, #3 might not feel as applicable, but I think this is a very wise list. Mostly, I think I have problems with #1, 4 and 5. I often forget who I promised what to, and then I over-saddle myself with too many obligations and double-book myself and then I don't have ANY time when something unexpected comes up, like being hungry or cold or whatever. This last week I left my phone up in the canyon and had to disappoint 3 friends. I came home hungry and chilly and canceled another event. I double-booked myself Saturday afternoon because I thought I could "swing by" a game night and never did. Many, and varied, are my sins of flakiness.

But they say that the first step is recognition. If I can identify what is temping me to flake out--being underprepared or overbooked or forgetful--then I can make adjustments like not planning so much, like being better prepared, like planning for potential difficulties.

But even though those are the things that cause me to flake out, I think today starts with #2: I want to commit to being a more committed person. Beth Allen told me that change doesn't have to start when the results are in, but when the decision is made. I'm going to make this decision: I'm going to keep my commitments. Maybe I won't be perfect, maybe I'll have some regression or setbacks, but I want to be a committed person, someone my friends can count on, because I do care about them, and I'm old enough to show them my commitment to them.


I hope I don't flake out.