During my novel-writing course one student explained her absence the previous week with the excuse that she had ‘the plague’. Quite acceptable in the middle of winter.
Another student justified her lack of writing progress with a blush and the comment that a past lover had come back into her life – they’d been burning the candle at both ends. The whole class thoroughly enjoyed this excuse – there was lots of laughter and envy.
But then this student capped her explanation with the very impressive declaration that she has booked tickets to and accommodation in the Maldives for this October to finish writing her novel.
We were all stopped in our tracks, and her comment brought to mind a lesson I learnt many years ago in a personal development program that if you personally can’t follow through on a promise, at least take responsibility for making sure that a Plan B is in place. (Or in this case, if you can’t do it now, make sure you have a solid plan for later.)
It’s not always easy. Sometimes the thing we’ve promised falls away because we were depending on someone else who didn’t come through. Sometimes our plans are derailed by events so overwhelming or so beyond our power to change that we simply have to go with the flow until the tsunami lets up and we can gather the pieces of our lives together again. Sometimes our excuses are actually glimpses of truer values – we intend to do A, but B wins out because it’s actually more important to us.
Only you will know where your ‘reason’ lies on the continuum between ‘dignified’ and ‘pathetic’. :-)
PS Having said that, the interview I promised has been indefinitely delayed due to my not being able to reach the interviewee… :o