3 Steps to conquer Commitment Phobia

1. Admit You Have a Problem

Bushlings has a commitment problem.  I get bored with a single idea.  I get distracted.  There are so many other things I could be doing.  Telling myself “its good for you” or “you really should do this” is never enough to get me to really commit.

There are so many examples of this in my history, to my shame.  I quit playing the clarinet when I was 12.  I was good at it but I got bored with my teacher.  I quit playing the harp when I was 14.  It was a beautiful instrument but I liked piano better.  I broke up with all of my ex boyfriends before we had been together for a year.  I got bored with their flaws, I got bored with their strengths, I got bored with their interests, I got BORED.  I have never been in the same job for more than two years.  Ok… that last one is probably not the best example because the change has always been a promotion or for the better.  But it all amounts to the same thing.  I have no experience with commitment.

Always the first step to solving a problem to is to acknowledge you have a problem.  So here it goes… I have a problem.  I don’t know how to commit.

Step 2 – Take Steps Around Yourself – the GOAL

One thing I have learned in recent months is that people like me need to have a goal.  There needs to be an objective benchmark that we challenge ourselves to reach.

A perfect example of this need for an objective goal is my blog.  This blog has been an experiment.  I (a) set an idea I wanted to commit to – being satisfied and single for a healthy period of time, and (b)  I set the objective benchmark – until my hair reaches my shoulders.  Together they make up my goal.

The Idea: It hasn’t been easy to focus and to say no to dates and to ward off advances (not to sound arrogant) and it has been even harder to not pursue interesting avenues into potential relationships.  I am a romantic at heart and do not naturally have the self-discipline to maintain a state of satisfied singleness.  However I saw and still see the value in taking time out to enjoy singleness and enjoy being right where I am and being satisfied that this is where I was intended to be at this very moment.  But I had to set myself an objective benchmark for me to focus on.  A period of time.  A destination.  On its own the idea leaves me pretty much where I started.

The Benchmark: So it was decided that I need to wait until my hair reaches my shoulders.  It appears to be completely unrelated to the real matter at hand.  It is something that can be measured and followed.  It is unavoidable.  Every morning I wake up and look in the mirror and there it is, my hair.  It is half-way down my neck when I pull the longest curl straight.  I have some way to go before I can allow myself to let go of The Idea.  And that closes the case for the day.

In essence I am taking steps around myself.  Attaching something that I can measure and cannot avoid to what would otherwise be a very vague goal.  If I stuck to the idea alone I could rationalize myself into saying that today I am ready to step into the love world again. However, I cannot deny or rationalize myself around the fact that my hair is short.  The goal is set.

Step 3 – Accountability

Then comes pride.  Sure the goal is there but in your own head what does it do?  You still allow yourself the freedom to abandon it, to give it up, to change your mind.  But what if you’ve told the whole world that you have set the goal?  And what if you ask the world to help you keep to it?  Then pride becomes a good driver.

Accountability is one helluva thing.  I have had so much support in this blog from my friends and from readers I have never met.  And so when I go out for happy hour on a Friday night and am tempted to stray one of them will say “so Bushlings, about your hair…”  And when I write something out of the depths of emotional angst and in response to pre-haircut issues I get a comment from a reader, a new kind of friend, to say “Bushlings this isn’t within your focus.”  Accountability really is making this experiment work.

These are the three steps I have been inspired to share with you today.  Now I need to head for the gym.  Before I do…

… the practical application for today. 

Step 1: I have a problem – I am not at my best weight, my most fit body state.

Step 2: The goal is made up of (a) the idea that I need to eat right and exercise to get to my goal weight and (b) the objective benchmark is to have my wet dream body for Trinidad Carnival 2012.   …I still cannot believe I am doing this.

Step 3:  In creating my accountability I am telling all of you about it.  Kick my backside if you see me slacking off and eating junk.  Yell at me if I miss my workout for the day.  Make me ashamed of myself if I fail in my commitment.


Bushlings has finally lost her damn mind.  It is official.  No question about it.  Her sense has left the building.

She can’t fit into her skinny jeans.  Has to do the wiggle.  But does that stop her from booking a two-piece show-all spare-no-secrets carnival costume for Trinidad Carnival 2012?  Of COURSE not!

I should be terrified.  I really should.  I know.  But no.  I am EXCITED NUH-RASS (lol Caribbean to the core!).

In my inbox this morning I found an email from Trinidad.  I was directed to the payment page.  I went through the process. And BAM.  It’s done.  The craziest $250 I have ever spent in my life.

Sweet Jesus I earnestly pray please help me fit into this thing!

The Chair

For a few weeks now I have been simmering in discomfort.  Not a full boil, just a little simmer.  There have been many other things on my mind that kept this discomfort from boiling point, other distractions, until yesterday.  Yesterday I put on my fat jeans and had to do the wiggle to get into them.

Now ladies will know exactly what I mean.  The Fat Jeans are the pair of jeans that are kept in the closet for these moments – the moments when you’re feeling lazy, when you’re bloated, when you don’t want to leave the house, and when you’re… well when you’re FAT.  To have to wiggle, pull and tug and suck in to do the zip on the Fat Jeans is not a good thing.  It needs to change.  Like yesterday.

Since my injury in half-marathon training last year I have struggled to get it together.  The knees creak and complain like they are three times my age.  They have kept me from getting back into the game.  Squats have been a total terror for me.  I fear the pain of bending my knees.

But the Fat Jeans got me into a Bikram Yoga class yesterday.  A studio heated by electic heaters packed wall to mirror with beautiful bodies and hot sweat – just what a girl needs to get her a** in gear… or into her fat jeans.  We started with breathing, stretching with hands locked in Charlies Angels guns to the ceiling until the blood left the fingertips.  And then we entered the chair series.

“Do one thing a day that scares you.”

~the lululemon manifesto 

Every fiber in my body rebelled against it.  The chair.  The squat that changes lives.  Utkatasana.  I closed my eyes and breathed deeply trying to look through my Drishti, the third eye inside your mind.  And looking in there I saw the Fat Jeans, dancing side to side, taunting me.  Slooooow exhale and dammit down I go.  SIT.

“From a standing position, step your feet hip-width apart so you feel grounded and connected to the width of your pelvis. Breathe in deep.  Your feet should be rooted into the ground connecting with the energy of the earth beneath you.  On the exhale, sit down from here into an imaginary chair, keeping your heels on the floor.  You are here for thirty seconds.  Breeeeathe.”

There I sat.  And I sank deeper.  With each exhale I got another inch lower.  Into the deepest squat I think I have ever done.  Space opened up in my mind and in my knees or maybe just in my mind and another half-inch lower.  Pain free.

Isn’t it amazing that doing the one thing that scares you can take you into places you’ve never been before?  Today I am a new woman!  Yes, the Fat Jeans are still tight, but today I am going to the gym.  And tomorrow I will go deeper in that chair.  And on Saturday I am going to run two miles.  And in December I am going to try out the six-mile relay.  And maybe next year the half marathon will look possible again for me.  And maybe before I die I will make it to that medal – the big one – the marathon.