Integrity (Or The Art of Telling Yourself The Truth About Your Life)

by sandra on July 13, 2017

{Gentle Reader:  If you have chosen to accompany me on  my committed, 30-Day Writing Spree, consider yourself the recipient of a deep bow, in gratitude for your support.}

Yesterday, just as soon as I decided to commit to my first-ever, 30-Day Posting Spree, my hand went crazy on my legal pad, scribbling down a host of spontaneous, “brilliant” ideas that I simply had to tell you all about over the next 30 days.

Today, I’m sitting here with a shitty head cold and a rotten attitude resenting my own decision,  not wanting to write about any of that.  But I said I was going to do it and, well, that’s all there is to it. (NOTE: I just had a power surge of a craving for a chocolate dessert from Alon’s and if I hadn’t committed to this spree, I’d have closed down my computer and been on my way over there right now.)

Several months back, I took a 10-week seminar entitled INTEGRITY.  In the first class, we were introduced to the first tenet of Integrity, which is simply: KEEP YOUR PROMISES AND AGREEMENTS.

“No problem,” I thought. “I nearly always keep my promises and agreements to others.”

At the second class, we were directed to make a list of various areas of our lives and to rate them from 0-10 (in my case: creative fulfillment, finance, health, family relationships, fun). Right then, I made a startling (and deeply painful) connection between the way my life actually looked and the way I thought that it looked.

My investigation had uncovered the fact that I had lived virtually an entire, undisciplined lifetime of not keeping promises and agreements WITH MYSELF. That short list, compiled in just under two minutes, had solved the mystery of my entire life, but particularly my current one, such as why I had yet to find a literary agent for my beautiful memoir, why I was still dragging around an extra 20 pounds, why I was driving an antiquated vehicle with no air conditioning, why I could probably have an acting career if I actually put in a little effort, yet, strangely, I don’t.

How many times in my life had I made lists in an attempt to call me to action and realize improvements in my life? One of them, made almost 20 years ago, still makes my best friend, Diane, and I, laugh to this day:

♥ Grocery Shopping
♥ Get heels on boots replaced
♥ Call my sister
♥ Write online dating profile
♥ Revamp life

Yep, there it was, right there, mixed in with all the mundanities of my existence: REVAMP LIFE! But how was I going to do that if I rarely kept promises and agreements with myself? Back then, I was operating out of ignorance. I just figured that my life sucked and sucked it up.

But, with my newfound skeleton key to  my own life, I finally realized that I was the one in charge – that, for the most part, it was all up to me.

For example, if I want to lose 20 pounds, I would actually follow the Weight Watchers plan instead of reading over the materials and marveling at the wonderfully inspiring success stories of others online.

If I wanted to find a literary agent for my memoir, I would have to do the research to ferret out the right ones, prep the sample manuscript, write the query letter (almost harder than writing my memoir), then, submitting it.

Well, the truth is: I DID DO ALL THOSE THINGS!! But, then, when my first, major agent of choice “rejected” me (with a most considerate email that showed that he actually cared about me and my writing and made me want him all the more), I couldn’t take it. “HE’S the one I wanted,” I lamented. “Why should I settle for second best?’ Then, I’d retreat into resignation for months on end before trying it again. Just so you know, as of this writing, my memoir is still “on ice”.

So, the moral of the story is this:

♥ Make a list of all of the  major areas of your life.

♥ Rate them from 0-10.

♥ Ask yourself, “Hmmm, why is THAT number so low? Could it have anything to do with me not keeping promises and agreements with myself and others?”

♥ Answer those questions, even if you suddenly want to go to Alon’s. Believe me, it’ll be worth it.

♥ Et, voilà! Mystery solved as to why your life looks or doesn’t look the way you want it to look.

That’s all for now, friends. I’ve done my part here. I did  what I said I was going to do: I’ve completed my first of 30 posts. And, guess what? I didn’t even plan to write about this. All I knew was that I made a promise and that I was going to keep it – to you, and, to myself.

Now, about that chocolate cake…



This was a great read. And I’ve heard you say some of this and I believe that you’re filled with integrity. Sometimes when we feel like changing direction (full time – revamp life – or part time – Alon’s chocolate cake) we sometimes adjust the promises we make and their priority.

1/1 – I look forward to the rest!

by Marci Walker on July 14, 2017 at 3:34 pm. Reply #

Thanks for the “integrity vote of confidence”. As far as I’m concerned, there’s always a higher level to achieve, in all aspects of life. I’m always striving and I get tired. Some days are better than others, as you well know.

by sandra on July 14, 2017 at 4:29 pm. Reply #

Great post. It takes conscious work to keep commitments to yourself, you can’t negotiate after you make the commitment.

Weight watcher restricts calories, which is a horrible and torturous way to lose weight. You can likely drop the first 10 by dropping food with added sugar and adding healthy fats like butter and nuts and avacados and eggs. You can lose the next 10 by removing foods that convert easily to sugar. Good luck.

by Erik Blazynski on July 14, 2017 at 10:55 am. Reply #

I actually love Weight Watchers, Erik. It’s the only program out there that’s realistic, as far as I’m concerned. There’s no food restrictions – everything is fair game – in moderation, of course.

At Lent, I gave up sugar for 2 months and, guess what? I didn’t lose an ounce. My daily diet right now includes all those things you mentioned: avocados, nuts, grass-fed butter. I eat two eggs every, single morning. It’s different being a woman, and, being a post-menopausal woman to boot. Losing one pound is excruciating. On top of that, I exercise nearly every day.

Last year, I lost 15 on WW, gained 5 back, which is not so bad. I’m still ahead by 10.

by sandra on July 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm. Reply #

Enjoyed that my friend. Keep it coming!

by Robyn Elliott on July 13, 2017 at 11:31 pm. Reply #

Thank You, Robyn.

by sandra on July 14, 2017 at 12:03 pm. Reply #

Haha i remember that pitiful TO-DO LIST! you’ve done lots of revamping since then! look forward to more posts!and the memoir. and the one-woman show…etc.

by diane cardea on July 13, 2017 at 4:35 pm. Reply #

It really WAS pitiful, wasn’t it? And how many times did I write one like that??

Thanks for the reminder on the one-woman show.

by sandra on July 14, 2017 at 12:04 pm. Reply #

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