The Importance of Compromise
I was supposed to be in Toronto this morning running the 10 KM Sporting Life run. Based on the usage of “was” I assume you have put two-and-two together – I didn’t run it.
This is the first time in my life, where I have not fulfilled a formal commitment. And as you would imagine, it has been quite off-putting.
The reason? Poor planning.
Firstly, getting from Guelph to Toronto is a challenge at any time of the day. It becomes even more difficult when there are 22,000 runners competing in the race. But, let’s be honest, a logistical excuse is a bad one.
The real issue arose last night after a conversation with my mother regarding Mother’s Day with the extended family. Due to a lack of communication on both our parts, I was unaware of the Mother’s Day schedule – a large family dinner. We realized that attending a family dinner (on Sunday night up near Barrie) was likely not going to be possible as I had to prepare for the upcoming work week. Thus, the only time I could see my mom before she departed for the fam jam session up North was at breakfast. So, with encouragement from my partner, I decided to forgo the run in Toronto and instead plan and prepare a surprise breakfast for my mom. While cancelling the run may not seem like a big deal, for me it was very difficult. I don’t break my commitments and I didn’t go down without a fight.
As a compromise, Evan and I decided to do a run in Guelph at 7 AM (make it 7:45…). We successfully completed 8 KM. We were both happy and feeling fairly decent upon arrival home. However, 5 minutes later our endorphin-induced elation was sadly interrupted.
Upon phoning my Dad to discuss the surprise breakfast for my mom, I was informed about the coyote attack. Our poor kitty, Felix, had been attacked by a coyote. He was at the Vet College in critical condition.
Shortly thereafter I joined my mom at the College. I was glad to be with her. I was glad to have had the opportunity to see Felix. I was glad to be able to go home and help my parents reorganize the kitchen, clean, and purge (home renovations had occurred the week prior). I was glad to be there when the vet called to say that our little guy may just pull through. I was glad to have made the decision to scratch the run.
Cancelling the run had nothing to do with Felix – it is completely coincidence that both events occurred simultaneously, but I am so very glad that I decided to make the compromise. Making the compromise allowed me to be with my mom on Mother’s Day supporting her during a difficult time.
Breaking my commitment was difficult, but sometimes we just need to realize that we cannot do everything. Sometimes it is OK to not “make the cut”. Sometimes making a compromise in one aspect of your life, allows for something positive to occur in another.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed, unprepared and over-committed, take a step back. Breath. Evaluate. Ask whether or not breaking a commitment is going to matter today, tomorrow, 2 weeks from now, or 2 years from now. Likely not. That’s not to say, break every commitment. All I am suggesting is that every once and while, making a compromise is completely acceptable.