This is my fourth post of a five-part series on what vulnerability looks like in my everyday life. Sometimes, I’m being vulnerable; other times, I’m reacting to someone else’s vulnerability. Both have required a lot of courage.
I hope they resonate with you and inspire you to live more vulnerably, too!
My mom took great pride in being an especially reliable and honest financial adviser to her clients. She worked very hard to keep her promises and encouraged us to do the same.
A neighbor recently asked me if, on some days, I would go to his house to watch his dog. He and his partner had tried dog-walkers and day-care programs but nothing had felt right so far.
I readily said yes, yes, I could help because, even though I’d never met his wife or kids, he felt like an old friend. He’s known me for over a decade, and used to chat with my mom every morning when she walked our dog. Now that my mom is gone, he sees me every day. It felt natural to say yes to this simple request, even though my gut was saying no, no, no.
I didn’t want to add another dog to my task list in the morning. With my own dog, my writing, and work in the afternoons, I had enough on my plate. But, I hated the idea of going back on my word because it would challenge my mom’s long-held value.
I told my neighbor this morning that I’d changed my mind and I apologized for misleading him. I felt guilty for breaking a promise, but I knew that it was better than what I’d planned to if I couldn’t bring myself to talk to him, which was to say I was busy whenever he called.