I Promise Me

I Promise Me
“I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.” –Robert Frost
A promise is a sacred pledge that something will certainly happen or be done.  I keep promises I make to others, but I often break the ones I make to myself.  I would like to “go to sleep” having kept of good chunk of the promises I made to me.  Perhaps writing them down will help . . .
I promise to floss everyday, no matter how late I am
I promise to have animal fat for breakfast only occasionally
I promise to always be reading a good book
I promise to give myself a daily time to reflect and pray
I promise to take mini-vacations (walk, movie, read a magazine, good cup of tea, etc.)
I promise to eat half the portion of food that my husband eats
I promise to have a glass of wine with dinner
I promise to spend part of each day in some physical activity
I promise to not compare myself to every beauty I pass
I promise to faithfully take vitamins and medications
I promise to explore more of nature around the region where I live
I promise to think long and hard before I speak about others
I promise to not overbook my time
I promise to attend more musical and theatrical performances with family and friends
I promise to redecorate one room of my house at a time until it’s complete
I promise to put all my photos in boxes neatly and call it good
I promise to listen more intently when others are speaking
I promise to be kindly honest when I don’t agree with what I’m hearing
I promise to speak less at meetings
I promise to indulge in my passion of cleaning out and organizing
I promise to play more with my dog
I promise to diffuse my jealousy by giving compliments
I promise to watch more sunrises and sunsets
I promise to listen to music more at home
I promise to hang photos and wall art in my upstairs hall
I promise to travel to new states and lands
I promise to take cooking classes frequently
I promise to bake for my husband once in a while
I promise to laugh at myself and with others habitually
I promise to not be so hard on my parents
I promise to keep writing
Susan Dixon
Life Story Writing Class
October 2011
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
BY ROBERT FROST
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Overview
Frost wrote this poem about winter in June, 1922, at his house in Shaftsbury, Vermont, which is now home to the “Robert Frost Stone House Museum.” Frost had been up the entire night writing the long poem “New Hampshire” and had finally finished when he realized morning had come. He went out to view the sunrise and suddenly got the idea for “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” He wrote the new poem “about the snowy evening and the little horse as if I’d had a hallucination in just a few minutes without strain.”

"I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep."  Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874~1963)


This is the last story from my writing class.  The prompt this week was, “But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” A line from Robert Frost’s poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

A promise is a sacred pledge that something will certainly happen or be done. I keep promises I make to others, but I often break the ones I make to myself. I would like to “go to sleep” having kept of good chunk of the promises I made to me. Perhaps writing them down will help . . .

I promise to floss everyday, no matter how late I am

I promise to have animal fat for breakfast only occasionally

I promise to always be reading a good book

I promise to give myself a daily time to reflect and pray

I promise to take mini-vacations (walk, movie, read a magazine, tea, etc.)

I promise to eat a smaller portion of food than my husband eats

I promise to have a glass of wine with dinner

I promise to spend part of each day in some physical activity

I promise to not compare myself to every beauty I pass

I promise to faithfully take vitamins and medications

I promise to explore more of nature around the region where I live

I promise to think long and hard before I speak about others

I promise to not overbook my time

I promise to attend more musical and theatrical performances

I promise to redecorate one room of my house at a time until it’s complete

I promise to put all my photos in boxes neatly and call it good

I promise to listen more intently when others are speaking

I promise to be kindly honest when I don’t agree with what I’m hearing

I promise to speak less at meetings

I promise to indulge in my passion of cleaning out and organizing

I promise to play more with my dog

I promise to diffuse my jealousy by giving compliments

I promise to watch more sunrises and sunsets

I promise to listen to music more at home

I promise to hang photos and wall art in my upstairs hall

I promise to travel to new states and lands

I promise to take cooking classes frequently

I promise to bake for my husband once in a while

I promise to laugh at myself and with others habitually

I promise to keep writing

(Our writing class is talking about becoming a writer’s group.  We hope to start meeting in January.  Thank you to all who have spent some time with me these last seven weeks.)


Category: Life-Story Writing Class 7 comments »

7 Responses to “I Promise Me”

  1. emilee

    I love this quote. I had it posted everywhere when I was training for my marathon. Soo many people had donated money based on what I had promised to do–run 26.2 miles in honor of my Aunt Diann, with the goal to raise money for cancer awareness and research. So even when I didn’t feel like training I kept remembering “but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” I realized especially during that time what it meant to promise something to others…so run I did… but as I get older, I’m realizing the consequences of breaking promises to myself… promises like “I promise to apply for jobs” and “I promise to accept myself as I am–RIGHT NOW” …yeah, those have been broken far too many times. Maybe I should promise that I won’t say I promise those things until I plan on actually doing them–once and for all :) I hope you keep writing–reading your posts is a highlight of my day :)

  2. Cathy Conerly

    Ditto to Emily’s: “I hope you keep writing–reading your posts is a highlight of my day!” — I promise!
    ;-)

  3. sue

    Thank you Emilee. Your comments are my highlight. Em-Keep making promises to yourself. I almost skipped flossing this morning because I was in a hurry, and then I remembered my promise, so I flossed. Of course, Bill reminds me when I’m not eating sooo much less than him. It’s a journey! You are worth it!

  4. sue

    Cathy- Always good to hear from you. Love the “I promise.” Very clever. Have a good week. We’re enjoying a gorgeous fall day here. Hope that you are too.

  5. Emily

    Inspires me to create my own lists of promises…

  6. sarah

    I love this list. Especially the one about being kindly honest. :)

  7. sue

    Thank you, Sarah. Coming from someone who I feel is always kindly honest, I take this as a compliment :)


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