Promises to Keep

So I’ve gotten quite a few letters from people who want to start a Streak, or even have already started one, but are having trouble keeping up with their own rules. Rules provide structure, but they do tend to make things complicated. In response to these letters, and as a parable of sorts, I offer this story:

Lately, I’ve been trying to be a better Alice.

Hmmm, not quite.

Not a “perfect” person, like the book, but a better person. And I started out witha  few simple enough rules that I wanted to live by for ten days.
1. Wake up at 8 every morning and go for an hour-long jog.
2. Do something every day that benefits someone else.
3. Do something every day that is creative.
4. Do something every day that I’ve been meaning to get done but haven’t yet.

I started by making a list of everything I wanted to do for my 10 days, and guess what? By day 2, I was feeling really creative and did something that was on the day 8 list. On day 3, I was really, really exhausted. I slept till 8:30 before going for an hour long power walk instead of a jog. Today is day four, and the only parts of my new pledge that I’ve kept consistently are waking up early(ish), getting an hour of exercise, and doing something kind, creative, and productive every day. Things did not go as planned, but they did go well.

So if you’re making rules and you end up breaking them, that’s okay with me. I know how that can be. Just keep up the spirit of things. We may have been a Streaktacular family, but left to my own devices, I’m surprisingly, overwhelmingly, human.

Has anyone tried to start a Streak yet? What are your rules? Have you broken or changed them in any way?

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Published in: on July 11, 2011 at 9:00 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. we are just ‘doing our best’ to read everyday – never saying, “it’s too late” or “i’m too tired.”

    • I think that’s a great idea!

      • thanks, alice.

        i am the grown-up daughter of a retired high school english teacher (40 years!) turned literacy coach turned charter school founding member.

        we are homeschooling our (nearly) five year-old in the city of philadelphia. a heavy focus on reading, visiting the museums, taking art classes and having fun, all while learning. the policies of administrations / school boards you describe in the book are the reasons we don’t trust them to teach our daughter : where’s the fun, the excitement of hearing stories and wondering, asking questions and learning when libraries are non-existent in public schools?

        what about the teachers and librarians? when boards & administrators don’t trust them to teach or read, who will come after them?

        it’s very sad.

        (i hope your dad won the school board election!)

        all the best!
        stephanie
        philadelphia by way of oaklyn, nj

  2. Enjoyed your book over the 4th at the beach….as a reading teacher (26 years) I felt your father’s pain….I hope every family makes a reading promise and begins a streak….God Bless you and your family!

  3. Our city library just purchased a copy of your book, & I was the first to check it out. I loved it! I’m sure many more of our citizens will enjoy it, too, as we are a community of readers (lots of story times, reading clubs, etc). Thanks for all of your wonderful suggestions to keep making reading important!


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