When you just want to hit the snooze button

Dear Daughter,

As I write this, it’s 5:06 a.m. and I can barely keep my eyes open. I’ve been waking up at 4:30 every morning to write this blog, simply because that’s the only time that works for me to write it. While some mornings I’m full of energy and ready to write, there are many others, like today, when I just want to crawl back into bed and say “forget it.” After all, what does it matter if I miss just one day?

But it does matter. Because every time I write a letter to you, you learn a little bit more about life and how to walk through it. Every time I write period I practice my craft and therefore refine my writing more and more each day.

But the main reason I shouldn’t go back to bed is because of integrity.

I had promised myself and you and others that I would write this blog every day, Monday-Friday. If I go back on that promise, it means I’m lacking integrity. It means I will not have kept my word. And while it may not seem like a big deal in the short term, in the long run it means something. It’s telling you and others that you can’t depend on me.

Practicing integrity is something I’m pretty lousy at, so I’m trying to get better. That’s why I didn’t go back to bed today. Daughter, I encourage you, while you’re young, to be intentional about integrity. Make it a point to do what you say you’re going to do, no matter what. That applies to school, work, diet, exercise, and simply helping friends when you say you’re going to.

There will be countless times when you won’t want to follow through with what you’ve promised. But if you fight through those times and you do accomplish what you’ve promised, the reward is that much greater. You will walk proudly knowing you’ve done something meaningful despite your desire not to; whereas if you didn’t follow through, you’d walk with shame and regret, and that’s no way to live.

Integrity doesn’t come naturally to anyone. You have to really work at it. But trust me, the hard work will pay off tenfold.

Love,
Mom

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa Cihla Meyer
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 13:21:40

    I have to pipe up on this one. Integrity is a hugely important thing I want to teach my children. Follow through on what you promise is a vital component to the composition of our individual character. However, it doesn’t work if you do not also learn what your capacity is and tactfully decline to accept everything people ask from you. This is a lesson typically learned the hard way with crashing and burning involved – at least it was for me. I hope I can teach my son that part of integrity when it comes to following through is learning not to bite off more than he can chew…literally and figuratively.

    Reply

  2. letterstodaughter
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 13:36:35

    VERY good point, Melissa! Thank you for mentioning that!

    Reply

  3. keeks
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 20:59:37

    Well said. This is what I need to hone in my own life: integrity. And for my future husband and future children, I want to be know as being a person of integrity. I love that this can be done in a seemingly simple act of not hitting the snooze button. I even printed this post to keep with me as a reminder. Thank you!

    Reply

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