This picture is actually from April. These were apology flowers from gal who, while walking past my house, decided to pick one of my irises (thereby harming the plant) and take it home with her. I had caught her, told her that the flower actually belongs to someone, etc. She came around a few hours later with flowers. Which was, all told, rather nice of her (and my husband and I accepted her apology). A lot of people would have just blown off the crazy woman and walked a different way for a few months, hoping that said crazy woman did not have a shotgun and/or a long memory.
I have the latter, not the former.
Anyway - I keep seeing this, over and over again, all over the place, and not just on Spark.
Sorry I can't hang out, I have to run. Sorry I'm not eating your dessert. Sorry I'm not drinking with you. Sorry I'm not just gonna watch TV. Sorry I'm not who you thought I was before. Sorry I'm not maintaining how big I am, and am striving to get better.
Egad, when did we become such an apologetic culture?
Sure, we are trying to be kind and polite and all of that. And we all have to live here in the world. And if apologizing makes it possible for us to get out and run, or pass on that piece of pie, or decline the alcohol or whatever, then perhaps we should do that.
It's whatever it takes, right?
Wellllll, .... kinda.
See, I think when you apologize that much, and you hide behind it and you make excuses and you sort of giggle without conviction and minimize it - "Oh, this old thing in a size 6?" or "Oh, I ran a 5K, but it's really not a big thing." or "Yes, I drink a lot of water but boy do I pay for it!" or "I cook most of my meals, but it's really because I'm watching my pennies or my husband likes it or I like to stay in (as opposed to: I'm doing this because it's healthier)" or "I strength train but, really, I'm no body builder" - EGAD - WHAT ARE YA DOIN' TO YOURSELF?
You are putting yourself down.
You are minimizing your efforts.
You are putting something else in front of what you need to do.
You aren't believing in it.
You aren't invested in it fully.
And it's easy to look at it and think, "This isn't normal living. Normal living is hanging around and watching TV and having beer instead of water when out and good Lord who runs 5Ks?" and "I can't wait to be done with all of this calorie counting, strength training, water drinking, cooking, exercising business so I can return to my couch and my Doritos!"
But this is a seductive lie.
It's just like the fake apology.
You have lied to others that you are sorry, or that it's not a big deal.
It *IS* a big deal.
It is the BIGGEST deal ever, for you.
Quit acting like it's nothing, like it's no biggie. Even if you've gotten used to it, don't forget how much effort was required to go beyond the initial inertia. How tough it was to roll that boulder up the hill for the first time.
I am not saying that you suddenly become rude to people. I am not suggesting that an occasional little white lie is out of the question, 24/7/365, when sometimes it just smooths the way and gets you where you need to go. I am not saying that you need to become arrogant and selfish.
What I am saying, instead is - people admire you for what you're doing. Say "Thank you." Not "Oh, it's no big deal."
Because it IS a big deal.
And when they say, "Do you want pie?" Your answer is, "No, thank you." It's not a litany of excuses. It is not apologies. It is three little words. No more!
And when they say, "Oh, you run 5Ks?" Your answer is, "Yes, do you want to join me?" or "Yes, they're fun." or "Yes, my next one is in two weeks." or "Once I've completely rehabbed my knee, I'll get back to them." It is not, "Oh, well, it's nothing compared to marathoners." It is less than what marathoners do; that much is true. But don't diminish it. Don't say it's nothing. It is NOT nothing.
And when they say, "Why aren't you drinking tonight?" Your answer is, "I'm the designated driver." or "Too many carbs. Maybe next time, when I've got space in my eating plan." or "I'm happy having water tonight." It isn't "Oh, that looks good. But I'm being a martyr and missing out." 'Cause yanno something? That beer tastes like the beer you had last week or last month or last year. They don't go around changing the formula or anything.
And there's a thousand other scenarios but the bottom line is - you are doing SOMETHING. And you are doing something BIG. Don't tamp it down and hide it in a small box and pretend it's tiny and insignificant.
And for God's sake, don't be sorry about it.