Well, it’s that time of year, again. The moment that the holiday season ends, the season of self-improvement begins. I’m talking about New Year’s Resolutions, of course. You know, all of those promises that you make on New Year’s Day, break by Groundhog Day, and feel general lingering lousiness about for the rest of the year. My own track record of dashed hopes and broken dreams tells me that it’s time for something a little different. So, this year, I’d like to invite you to jump off the resolution bandwagon and instead embrace my 10 Rules to Live By. Just follow these simple rules and have yourself a great, guilt-free 2008.
Rule to Live by Number One:
Life is too short for cheap coffee. Or, bad booze. Or, whatever it is that puts that little extra swing in your stride. When you identify your lovey, your comfort item, your little lifeline “gotta have it” pleasure, don’t skimp. Treat yourself to the very best. You deserve it. You can always apply your frugality elsewhere.
Rule to Live By Number Two:
Failure to choose is a choice; it’s just a coward’s choice. Every one of us has faced at least one decision that has turned us into a hand wringing mess. Nobody wants to fuck up! But, if you stay in hand-wringing mode too long, life can happen to you, rather than you making your life happen. Plus, torturing yourself with indecision is often worse than cleaning up the consequences of a less than “perfect” choice.
Rule to Live By Number Three:
The truth is more entertaining than fiction. Don’t believe me? Watch the news. Make a game of trying to figure out what’s really going on. Check out reality tv. You couldn’t make this stuff up! My point? We’re living in a very strange world; you’re probably not a screwed up as you think!
Rule to Live By Number Four:
There’s nothing new under the sun. You are unique . . . your problems, not so much. If you followed Rule Number Three, you’ve already seen that there is a wide spectrum of human frailty. Whatever issue you’re having, you’re not the first one, and you’re not the only one. You can always find a like-minded basket case to commiserate with.
Rule to Live By Number Five:
If we all had professional hair, make-up, and lighting, we’d all be supermodels. Don’t mourn if you don’t look like Giselle. Giselle doesn’t really look like Giselle! Mama, flaunt what you got!
Rule to Live By Number Six:
Be nice. Tip your waitress. Thank the clerk. Don’t be a bitch. Now, we all know that a certain amount of bitchiness can be appropriate in its proper time and place. You’ll get no argument from me! Just wield your bitchiness like a surgeon’s scalpel, not a baseball bat. Otherwise, it’s just bad Karma.
Rule to Live By Number Seven:
Find your natural state and live in it. Your place. Your space. Your way of being. Trust me, you’ll know it when you get there.
Rule to Live By Number Eight:
Funny is sexy, and it has a much longer shelf life than washboard abs or a nice rack. Forget all of the “she has a nice personality” jokes that you’ve heard. Boring is never beautiful, at least not for long. Let your fun-loving self come out. And, laugh!
Rule to Live By Number Nine:
Never censor your inner monologue, but don’t believe everything you tell yourself, either. If you let yourself, you can be absolutely brilliant. But, be aware, you can also be your own harshest critic. Find the balance.
Rule to Live By Number Ten:
Ignorance is not bliss. It is, however, a swell way to get the shit kicked out of you! There are some things that you just need to know, if only for your independence and peace of mind. Managing your money, changing a tire . . . you get the idea. If you’ve got a dangerously blank spot in your skill-set, fix it. You’ll love yourself for it!
And, there you have it. All of my secrets to the good life. Practical, painless, and free. Beats the hell out of the same old resolutions, huh?
Happy New Year!
Many thanks to Shawn at Letters to my Daughters for inspiring this article.
Kelli Simpson (aka Mama Zen) is a stay-at-home mom with a husband, a four-year-old, a dog, two fish, a gecko, and a habit of making the rules up as she goes. She entertains visitors daily at The Zen of Motherhood; drop by and say “hi!”