Bran Cereal People

Everyone has ‘that friend’ or knows ‘that person’ that is more flaky than bran cereal. Which is why I call these friends ‘Bran Cereal People’. Each time you make plans or they say they’ll help out with something you automatically assume they’re going to bail out. And 98% of the time you’re correct. On the other hand, there are the faithful ones that are completely reliable. Then there’s the rest of us that fall in between these two ends of the spectrum. I have had my fair share of ‘ohhh crap I’m going to have to cancel’ moments but I do my best to follow through. In the flight or fight natural reactions I identify totally with the flighters. Although I can handle conflict well, my insides scream otherwise. I find myself replaying the quote, “No matter how you feel get up, get dressed, and show up” all the time. Mainly when having to do with 5am work shifts or an afternoon brunch with people who are just going to ask me why I’m not married yet.

I get irritated with people who don’t have ‘good enough’ excuses for things. You not making it to a dinner that’s been scheduled for a month because you have to watch your TV show just doesn’t cut it. I have sacrificed way too much sleep for my favorite TV show, Grey’s Anatomy, but it only affects myself so I let it slide. I’ve pondered my frustration and have come up with one simple thing. Honor your commitments. Whether it’s big or small. Honor it. I wish we would all adopt these three simple words and hold each other to them. I’m much more likely to not duck out on someone who doesn’t duck out on me. It’s just human nature. Valuing people and their time is important. When you say you’re going to pick up your niece from school, be there. When you commit to being in a month long book study, be there. If you are a youth leader at church, show up. A lot is said by someone’s character by how they honor their commitments. If you can’t commit, don’t sign up for it. All that follows is disappointment and frustration. So just be noble!

The twin sister of honoring commitments is to be present. Have you even been with someone but their mind is somewhere else? I’m betting we all have. It causes a million questions like am I not funny enough, do I not have as much value, do you even care that I exist, or are you just that self involved that you don’t notice your attention is elsewhere? Most of the time the person doing it isn’t aware of it. We all multitask too much and give different priority to things. If I’ve had a long week I sometimes just lack the energy to give to one more person. That’s normal and okay, it just needs to be communicated. People matter and when we are with them, we should give ourselves to whatever it is we are doing. Being mindful of our surroundings and adapting our attitude to fit the situation is key in creating a life of meaning that affects others in a positive way.

I could not stress these two things enough. I think about them constantly and want to make a paddle with each of these phrases on them so I can hit people upside the head when needed. Oh, good idea! Just kidding, there’s no Netflix in prison. Anyway, we would all benefit from a little more of these in our lives.

Honor commitments.

Be present.

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