Monday, April 13, 2009

Promises To Keep

I gave myself a three-day weekend last Friday. That's three whole days of not working. I wasn't the most productive of souls. There was a great deal of napping and doing of things that weren't necessarily what you'd call "impressive."

However, in between napping, noshing on Easter candy and knitting up useless little swatches of very pretty patterns, I did manage to hit the "send" button on my state income taxes. I also remembered to remind myself to not forget to remember to check on the status of my federal return. That one went out a week ago and, if the All Knowing Website spoke true, I'd have a refund deposited in my account sometime this week.

Not bad, that. Apparently not all branches of the U.S. government are stumbling about distractedly these days...

I had plans for that refund. There are any number of things that need taking care of around here and many places where that cash would be well-used. I'm not doing too badly, but I won't say that I've been rolling in greenbacks. The economy may not have hit me quite as hard as it has others. I'm employed. I haven't lost my home. I have insurance. I'm able to keep myself in brownies and the cats in kibble. But there hasn't been much wiggle room... This refund would lend a nice infusion of cash to the coffers.

Then I got to thinking about the nature of promises. Specifically, I thought about the promises we make to ourselves. They always seem to start with prefaces:

Maybe once things settle down a bit...

Just as soon as I take care of...

This just isn't the right time...


We tell ourselves that we will one day follow through once that magical, mysterious perfect time rolls around. In fact, we promise ourselves we will do this. But mostly we don't. What we want seems frivolous. We don't dare to admit that we want it for fear that we will be thought of as irresponsible.

My promises fall victim to this more often than not. There is always something. Sick cat...broken car...stuff just happens. I thought about this a great deal over the weekend and made a decision.

There is nothing wrong with keeping a promise to myself.

A call to the bank today revealed a deposit from Uncle Sam. My refund was in. I was half-way to The Promised Land! I assured myself that I would keep this promise next week during school vacation. That is a great time to take care of this sort of stuff. No rushing. Just the fulfilling of obligations to self.

On the drive home, though, I got to thinking a bit more about promises. Cash in the bank doesn't know that you've made a promise. It just sits there, easy prey to all those predators that like to nibble away at promises-not-yet-realized. It's the waiting that kills it. You find yourself seeing other, "better" ways to use your money. And, in the end, you always regret not doing what you said you were going to do.

I hit the blinker and made a right so I could exit the Maine Turnpike. I drove directly to the store and there I kept my promise. They didn't have exactly what I wanted, but what they had was close enough. Once the transaction was complete, there was plenty left over from my refund to do all those very practical things that need doing. They will get done, but I chose to first honor my word to myself.




And SpongeBob Squarepants has never looked better.


It was on sale and a floor model, to boot. A 20% discount was taken on top of that. I was able to keep my promise to myself and still satisfy that niggling and highly annoying sense of guilt that comes from keeping a frivolous promise to one's self. It also didn't come with a box or anything remotely resembling an owner's manual so there has been a bit of a learning curve with set up and installation. But I'm not completely helpless with these sorts of things and I was up and running in no time.

It's good to keep a promise to yourself. Even a silly one that isn't going to do anything about securing your future or keeping the car running. It just feels good and who deserves to be treated kindly and respectfully more than you do? Just something to think about...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must be off. I will be enjoying an evening of Prime Time programming in glorious Hi-Def and with actual, honest-to-goodness, full-on stereo sound.

As promised.

SA

12 comments:

trek said...

Sweet!

Knitting Linguist said...

Yes, yes! And hear, hear! I totally recognize that feeling of, well, I could spend this money on something more practical, or on something for someone else, or... And that's why I'm going to the golden gate fiber institute this summer, come hell or high water. The deposit's in -- thanks for the validation :)

Beth said...

SpongeBob looks great, but how do the zombies look? :) Congratulations!

Yarnhog said...

Good for you! I hope you enjoy it thoroughly.

Alas, there will be no refund for us again. We are self-employed, and although we pay estimated taxes in advance, we somehow always manage to owe more.

Leigh said...

Oh my. I get distracted with life, drop out of the blogosphere rounds for awhile, and when I come visit, your blog has undergone an amazing face life. It looks great!

And what a great post too. Good for you for keeping that promise to yourself!

Mia said...

Oh now THERE is a sweet score! Enjoy that bad boy - you deserve every square inch of it! Cool!

Karen said...

WOW!! That's a beauty! Good for you treating yourself.

Knitcoach said...

Way to score!! I think you richly deserve that little giftie.

Donna Lee said...

You are the one who works and earns the money. Who better to keep a promise to? What a great gift to yourself. Now you can see every pore on sponge bob....

Jeanne said...

Good on you for treating yourself, and honoring your promises! Now you can see every hair on the zombie's heads.

kmkat said...

Jealous. I am jealous.

Our tax *refund* turned out to be over $2,000 due. No penalty, thank goodness, but sheesh. How can a Kat shower herself with little luxuries when the frickin' government wants her money? It's not fair, I tell you.

Enjoy your TV! I may stop over to catch up on Masterpiece Theatre and The office...

crzjane said...

Cool, you enjoy every minute of it.