Lately I’ve been thinking about commitment and what a powerful and complex decision it is. We often commit to something without really understanding the full consequences of what we’re doing.

We say yes to attending a meeting or sitting on a committee or going to a function–all of which we honestly don’t want to do.

The price we pay is that a tiny bit of our soul, our spirit, our joie de vivre is nibbled away.

And while we may not notice it at first, the bill eventually comes due and we pay it in terms of increased cynicism, lack of responsibility or burnout.


If I am being completely honest with you, there are many days I don’t feel like heading out to the pasture.

Sometimes I’m exhausted, or over-scheduled, or feeling just plain lazy. The simple act of dishing out grain and driving to the horses seems too much.

My inner dialogue goes something like this: “Maybe I’ll just skip today. One day can’t hurt, can it?”

Sometimes I’m very close to believing that inner trickster.

That is until I picture Miss P. and now Chickadee, waiting by the gate.

Looking for me.

We’ve conditioned them to expect us.

We’ve conditioned them to expect grain.

We’ve made a commitment to them.

When it’s cold, or rainy, or they’re hungry, how do I explain in a way they can understand that I’m too busy to feed them?

I can’t.

When you invite an animal into your life, you enter into a sacred bond. It’s  very life is in your hands, not to mention the quality of that life.

So lazy or busy or over-scheduled, I pack up the grain and make my trek to the pasture.

Every day.

And you know what?

I think it’s strengthened my “commitment muscle.”

And once I’m there I almost always feel better.

Fresh air, gorgeous scenery and the companionship of the horses refresh me. I return to my busy, sometimes over-scheduled life with a new infusion of joie de vivre.


How about you?

Are there times you made a commitment you wish you hadn’t made? How did you resolve it?