In the year 2010, and at the age of 65...if I were to die on this day, I would be pretty happy with my life, because I have pretty much kept the promises that I have made to myself over the months and years. To do this...I think there are three words that come into play here...discipline; determination; patience.
commitment; (definition); a pledge or promise; obligation;
"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do only when circumstances permit it. When you're commited to doing something...you accept no excuses...only results." Tom Robbins
Below is a short list of the promises I made to myself, and fulfilled that promise...and some of them took months...and some took many years.
Quit smoking: This could be one of my greatest accomplishments in my life so far, as I quit smoking in 1970, and it will be over 40 years in 2010, that I have not touched a tobbacco product. This is one of the best things I have done for myself, the people around me and my pets.
Aftermath of smoking: I think it was harder to keep from smoking...than it was to quit smoking in the first place. Many people think because they have quit smoking, that they are out of the woods. Not true ...it will take years to get rid of all the sludge and crap the person has poisoned themselves with. The craving to smoke will remain...and that's where fighting off temptation will come in.
When I quit in 1970, there were billboards all over the place; smoking was on television; newspapers and magazines. It all made quitting much tougher! In 2010, there is none of that...and I think the smoker today can quit easier...but many smokers just don't want to quit...at least until a doctor puts plastic tubes up their nose...THEN and maybe THEN they will quit! This takes commitment, because the entire picture takes such a long time, etc.
"When a man (or woman) repeat and promise and promise over and over again...he or she means to fail you." Unknown
Personal History; More than 50 years ago, I made a personal commitment to myself, that I would try to keep my personal history clean...free from late payments; DWI's; traffic tickets; rent and mortgage problems, etc. With today's technologies...a person can find out the history of a person with the click of a mouse. In 2009, I applied to the Senior centers and Section 8 programs, etc., and I got accepted everywhere I applied.
I've never worried about a background check, because I have always been committed to having a good and clean personal record. In 48 years of driving, I've only had one traffic ticket and no accidents, etc. Young people should realize, that it's going to take a long time to establish a good clean record, so they should start NOW!
Writing: I knew at a young age, that I would like to do a little writing in my older years. But, most of us forget what we learned in school, so I knew I would have to go back to the books, if I was going to be a good writer. So, at the age of 43, I completed three writing courses; the Writer's Digest course; the National Writers Club course; and a creative writing class at the University of New Mexico. It all took me about 18 months and about $200 in costs at the time. It's one of the best things I've ever done for myself. I was commited to being a good writer, and in the last four years, over 100 of my articles have been published on more than 550 websites on the Internet. The reader will decide whether I'm a good writer or not...there's no free lunch...
"Individual commitment to a group effort...that is what makes a team work; a company work; a society work; a civilzation work." Vince Lombardi
Jogging; 15 miles a week: Talk about commitment...I have been jogging 15 miles a week since 1986, and that translates to over 17,000 miles in 2010...and it has been worth every step of the way. To all those whiners, crybabies and excuse-makers out there...who think clicking and double-clicking of the mouse is exercise...they should get off their lazy ass and do something for themselves. I never thought I would be commited for over 24 years to do this...it just seemed to happen, and something I'm proud of.
Chiropractic: I'm not a pill-popper, and in 2010, I try to stay away from chemicals (drugs) whenever I can. Sure, everyone has to take drugs...but I limit my intake. In 1976, I was suffering from terrible migraine headaches, as a result from a fall when I was a kid. Regular doctors couldn't help me with all the drugs...so I had no choice to keep my sanity, but to try chiropractic. I've a firm believer in the alternate healing, and for the next 40 years, I have been to a chiropractor over 100 visits on my wellness plan. I will be checking of acupuncture as soon as possible, in my commitment to get off of as many drugs as I can...
Everytime I see my primary doctor, I ask him to give me a report card of A...B...C...D...or F...In October, 2010, was my last visit, and he gave me a B+ pending the results of the colonoscopy I had taken.
Losing weight: In 2001, I lost 40 pounds and it took me about a year to do it. Since I don't pop pills, I did it the hard way, etc.
After-math of losing weight: Like the quitting of smoking, I think the after-math of losing all that weight, was harder than losing the weight in the first place. For over three years...I was on the roller-coster ride of my life...up and down...between 170 pounds...and up to 180 pounds...a never-ending roller-coster, and I had to find the answer!
After about three years of this, I finally got the answer...two meals a day! Humans don't need to eat three meals a day...there are people around the world who survive on a hand-full of leaves a day. So, that's what I did to solve the problem...just two meals a day. A good breakfast...and a medium dinner about 3 in the afternoon! It worked...as over five years after I started, my weight remains at about 170 pounds! Hooray!
"He who is the most slow in making a promise...is the most faithful in performance of it." Jean Rosseau
Building a sea-scape: I was a woodcarver for over 30 years, and carved over 200 different cartoon-like characters in wood. I photographed my work indoors...and outdoors to make the scenes more realistic. One of my first wood carvings, was a wooden octopus, and it was on display at Octopus Car Wash for awhile. But, how would I photograph a wooden octopus to make it a realistic scent. I was commited to get this photograph, but I didn't know how to build a sea-scape.
More than a year later, I finally got the answer. Because I worked for an engineering company at the time, I was pouring liquid foam into a part, when I lit up like a Christmas tree! 'That's it!' Two-part foam...and this would be how I would make my sea-scape for my wooden octopus. When it was finished, it was so realistic! I was amazed at how realistic the photo looked...after I added all the tiny plants; sea shells; deadwood, etc...but it took a long time to come up with the idea...
Diagnosed with diabetes: In 2008, I was disgnosed with diabetes, and everyone knows that diabetes in a killer! Since I have been commited to get a physical and blood test every year, I followed the elevation of my glucose (blood sugar) for over five years, so I was not surprised when I went over the line of diabetes. But, I was commited to bring down the numbers. After hundreds of pricks on my finger, to gather data for myself and my doctor...I had an A1C when I started out at 6.8. Two years later, and at my last doctor's visit in October, 2010, my A1C had dropped ot 5.9! Hooray! I couldn't be happier, as I see the numbers dropping...but it has taken a long time.
"Never promise more than you can perform." Publiius Syrus
For all the whiners, crybabies, excuse-makers out there, who live their lives in denial...and think there is a magic pill and a tooth-fairy...think again...it takes a lot of two other words...work and sacrifice!
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