Commitment Rules!

Commitment Rules!

by Lyn Foley on June 28, 2010

Commitment: 3. The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons: a deep commitment to liberal policies; a profound commitment to the family.

Commitment rules my life.

I made a commitment in 1974 to Jim Foley. We married in 1977, and my commitment to him and our life together still rules today, 33 years later. Little did I know when I made the pledge “in sickness and in health” that Parkinson’s disease would crop its ugly head and test my vow time, and time and time again.  Jim was diagnosed with PD in 1991, shortly after we  moved aboard a 40 foot sailboat to sail around the world.  (Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, degenerative neuorological disorder. More info here). PD challenged us then and each day PD continues to challenge us to keep and meet our commitment to live full, active, meaningful, and useful lives.

As we set sail, and Jim’s physical abilities began to deteriorate and sometimes fail, we were tempted to despair, yet rose above the easy way out, the out that could have said “I quit.”  If I handed him a cup and he couldn’t grip it because of PD, and it dropped and broke, we swept up the pieces and started over. If his balance was unreliable, and he couldn’t go out on the deck of the boat without falling, we gave him a job in the cockpit, and I learned how to reef the sails as he would have done had he been physically able. The circumnavigation took us 10 years. We did make it around the world, and were both the better for fulfilling our commitment. We are enlivened by another vow,  our declaration to “Accommodate without surrender.” We will not let PD stop us from realizing our dreams.

Back on land in 2002 after our circumnavigation we decided to re-create the lives we’d led as artists and jewelers before we set sail. In the midst of that process, I unexpectedly fell in love with glass. We shifted gears, and made a new commitment, that of making me a star in the glass jewelry world. We needed to accommodate the limitations that PD put on Jim’s jewelry making techniques anyway. When his hands shake, and he can’t solder because of it, then he picks up the pieces and starts over again. Since I’m making the glass beads, he doesn’t have to set gemstones anymore if PD won’t let him. If the beads I make don’t seem good enough to me, I keep making more until I’m satisfied with my creations. When PD imbalance and freezing knocks Jim to the floor, he picks himself up and starts over. If because of PD Jim can’t do much at all physically, I take up the slack. Together we realize our dreams. We  accommodate, we do not surrender.

Commitment rules: a commitment to each other, a commitment to continuing creativity, a commitment to self-expression, a commitment to love. Commitment

Thanks to Art Bead Scene for providing the challenge to write a post on the topic of commitment.

Follow the link, and see what other bead artists have written on this topic.

 ”Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the live you have imagined.” Henry David Thoreau

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicki June 29, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Thank you for this post. It makes me think. You guys are incredibly strong together. And your jewelry is so much more than a piece of components put together. I wish you lots of luck and strength. And I am sure you have it.

Jeannie June 30, 2010 at 2:45 am

You two have a beautiful life together.
We should all have to committ each and every day like you two do.

The beads are bursting with beauty. Jim’s setting is stunning and a great reminder to never give up.
God Bless you two.

Melissa M June 30, 2010 at 8:41 am

Amazing post, Lyn…a true testament to “commitment” :)

D Lynne Bowland June 30, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Very interesting post! My husband would love to sail around the world… Or at least to the Caribbean … however I would go nuts without my art/torch on our 29 foot boat!

Cindy July 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Such a beautiful post…you and Jim make such a wonderful team…and the jewelry you create together is just beautiful!

Lori Anderson July 13, 2010 at 9:47 am

This made me cry. You two are truly amazing, and I’m proud to know you.

Michelle Mach July 14, 2010 at 9:49 am

What a lovely story about commitment! Your jointly created pieces are beautiful.

Christine Hansen July 15, 2010 at 11:35 am

Lyn, WOW! I love your post – so thoughtful and inspirational, and encouraging too. The pieces you posted are truly lovely, and demonstrate the power of commitment, and accomodation without surrender. I hope that you and Jim enjoy many more years of loving and creating with each other.

Shannon July 27, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Thank you for sharing this. It was so close to my own thoughts and I am moved to tears by the commitment you have for each other.

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