Skip to main content

Make your words sweet – someday you’ll be eating them

We’ve all been there. That awkward moment when you find yourself doing exactly the thing you said you’d never do. Maybe it involved:
  •  Eating something you said you’d never eat
  • Visiting a place you said you’d never go
  • Trying something you said you’d never do

And you actually enjoyed it.

Or maybe it was sad realizing that you broke your promise to yourself – or that you’d promised something so odd in the first place.

Whether it’s big or small, we all make claims about our lives before we understand the long-term repercussions:
  • “I’ll never go there again.”
  • “I promise I’ll never do that.”
  • “When I have kids, I’ll never let them behave like that. 

We make pseudo-commitments to ourselves that preclude us from experiencing real life. What we don’t realize is that the way we live now is not the way we will always live. Life changes day to day, and the circumstances we find ourselves in will not always be exactly the same.

I’ve eaten many of my own words. Some were good, some were bad, and some were downright bitter. The worst ones were those I said when I had no insight into a particular way of life. For example, before I had kids, I told myself I wouldn’t allow my children to watch TV.


That was a tough one to swallow.

Although optimistic, it was completely unrealistic for me to make that promise in a world where society is so infiltrated with media and technology. I don’t know why I thought it was possible!

Now, I’m not saying you should compromise your convictions. If you believe in something very strongly, please stand your ground. But before you exclude other options, think about the basis for your claim. What are the benefits? What are the drawbacks?

Some of the most damaging claims we can make are those regarding our relationships:
  • “She’s not trustworthy. I can’t trust her with anything.”
  • “I refuse to talk to him. He’s so selfish.”
  • “I never want to see her again.”
  • “I can’t forgive him.”

When you think or say things like that, it becomes solidified in your mind and you behave differently around those people. It will eventually become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because you said it, you’ll believe it. Even though you’ve been hurt, you’ll back yourself into a corner and you might not be able to escape.  And you’ll also limit the offending party from being able to repair a right relationship with you.

Life is too short to ever burn a bridge. The lives you touch are the most important thing you will ever know. Handle with care.

So make your words sweet. Sprinkle them with grace and truth. That way, when you end up eating them someday, you won’t mind the taste.  

Photo credit:


Popular posts from this blog

I was a perfectionist. Then I had kids.

Life is messy. Sticky. Goopy.

Some days, I feel I could run a cleaning business. Based on the number of hours spent washing, changing, tidying, scrubbing, folding, and wiping, I often feel that parenting is just one giant exercise in cleaning up.

Before I had kids, my house was fairly clean. My car smelled fairly nice. My schedule was fairly organized. My life was – for the most part – under control.

And control was the key. Control allowed me to manage my responsibilities. Control gave me the power to change my circumstances. I liked control.

Actually, I loved control.

As an ENTJ (the Meyers-Briggs personality assessment is spot on for me), it felt fulfilling to have a sense of control in my life. That’s why parenting was such a major adjustment. I suddenly lost control of so many variables – my time, my space, and even my feelings (Okay, why do Subaru commercials have to be so emotional? I think I cried at every single one of them when I was pregnant).

In the early years of parenting…

Letters to Julia: Toasted Bagels with Cream Cheese

September 6, 2015
Dear Julia,
Today was a full day. We went to church this morning, went shopping, attended a birthday party this afternoon, then came home to a messy house with loads of laundry needing to be done. We opted to play outside with bubbles and sidewalk chalk. The laundry can wait.
After bath time, you brushed your teeth while I brushed your long brown curly hair. Although you’re five years old, you haven’t had a haircut yet – maybe because I know those ringlet curls won’t come back after your first haircut.
I kneeled down next to your bed to tuck you in. As I kissed your forehead, I noticed your face wasn’t as happy as usual, so I asked what was wrong. You said, “My tummy hurts.” I asked, “What would help it feel better?”
“Toasted bagels with cream cheese.”
You didn’t even have to think twice about that. You said you were still hungry even though you ate plenty for dinner. Here’s one of those tough choices that moms face: 1.) Should I say that it’s already past bedtime …

Perspective from 40,000 Feet

Was that coffee and breakfast pastry really worth $16.42?
Yes. Yes it was.
With a 5:29 a.m. flight, I needed it. Nevermind the captive-audience airport prices. I’m caffeinated and my blood-sugar is normalized. It was worth every penny.
The roaring hum of the jet engine outside my window creates a soothing ambiance for reflection. The in-flight Wi-Fi doesn’t seem to have enough bandwidth for the planeful of passengers using it, so I’m closing the reports and turning to my creative outlet – writing.
It’s funny how a little altitude can give you such perspective. It’s refreshing to get a birds-eye view of things as you fly over. Cities, rivers, mountains – even the Grand Canyon – seem so small from this height.
Isn’t that just like our lives? Our mountains can seem so big when we’re on the ground – in the midst of our troubles – looking up at the enormous tasks that lie ahead. But when we’re above the clouds, over the mist and the fog, a clear perspective can change everything.
We’ve al…