Rules and Principles (For Me) To Live By

Makes me wanna head for a sunset walk right now!One of the things I love about spring is it seems to induce spring cleaning. And I’m not talking about no house neither. I’m talking a spring cleaning of the mind. Every spring I find myself taking stock of where I am, whether I’m stuck in a rut or need a change, or whether I just need a second (or third or fourth) wind to reach some goal.

A few days ago, I came across this post from Memories on Clover Lane, and it totally inspired me to do something similar. It took me quite a bit of time to think through, but this practice helped me reaffirm who I am and who I want to be. It was like sweeping the cobwebs from the attic upstairs and opening a window to let in the light.

So here are my rules. I’m sure others might find fault with some of them (maybe most notably #9, under Rules for Lovin’), but I’m okay with that. Some of these rules come more easily to me (through practice and lessons well learned ::sigh::). Others, I still need to work on. But I’m getting there. Or trying to. I’m sure I’ll acquire new rules as I continue along this beautiful thing called life.

Rules For Livin’

1. Don’t put off cleaning: Cleaning up as you go is much easier and more pleasant than cleaning up later.

2. Keeping a food diary keeps you much more accountable for what you eat.

3. It is better to spend some after you’ve saved some.

4. It is better to live simply and live well than to live extravagantly or stingily. I would rather live in a small space and travel, than be counting my pennies (whether it is to pay the man now or putting off adventure until I’m too old and weary to enjoy it).

5. Carve out time to read a good book, even if it’s only 10 minutes before bed.

6. Taking a half hour for a walk is not only good for the body, it’s good for the mind.

7. Salt is not a guilt-free condiment.

8. Problems are not always problems.

9. When looking in the mirror, I should try to remember that there are more interesting things about me than the size of my thighs.

10. When nervous, just remember to “organize your butterflies.”

11. You’re never too old to have a role model; surround yourself with people who inspire you to become a better person simply through their presence.

12. Approach all endeavors with this mantra in mind: “Make with love, not haste.”

Rules for Lovin’

1. It is better to be happy than it is to be right.

2. Sometimes silence is the better response. Warning sign that this moment might be one of those times: {angry.}

3. Sometimes you have to speak up. Warning sign that this moment might be one of those times: {hurt.} {afraid.}

4. Praise your spouse in public but keep your disputes private. (By this I don’t mean that you shouldn’t talk to a good friend about your troubles, just that you should never argue with your spouse in front of others.)

5. Never let a good friend go: they are few and far between.

6. Eat dinner together as a family every night.

7. Self-martyrdom is not as selfless as we like to pretend.

8. After giving advice, endeavor to remain perfectly indifferent to whether the person takes it, and waste no energy in trying to ‘set people right’.

9. Never criticize or undermine the authority of your spouse, teachers, or other adult mentors in front of your children (except in cases of abuse, obviously). If they have a problem with that person, teach your children how to practice disagreement with respect. If you have a problem with that person, deal with it privately. Do not use your children to fill your own emotional needs.

10. Don’t hesitate to give a compliment, if it is genuinely meant. “Learn the art of encouragement. We can’t all be heroes all the time. Someone has to sit on the curb and clap.”

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4 thoughts on “Rules and Principles (For Me) To Live By

  1. Great post, I've thought about Sarah's list so many times and even tried to create one too. I think it's a great thing to do, you've inspired me to try it again. I'm not sure I want to blog it all but it's a great exersice.

    I agree with so many of yours, especially Rules for Livin' 1, 8 and 11 and Rules for Lovin' 2 and 4. In fact I really should concentrate on those last two!

  2. Oh wow, this is so true! I should print these out and put them on my wall to remember! Especially the thighs comment…

  3. I wasn't reading you when you first posted this, so I just found it. Just wanted to say that I agree wholeheartedly with #4 under Rules for Livin'. Wanting and attaining and "keeping up with the Joneses" causes so many people so much grief that I'm somewhat proud of the fact that none of that really gets to me. And, having had the opportunity to travel as much as I did, I'm all about feeding that travel bug in any way that I can! :-)