I scribbled down a list of life rules early Saturday morning. They came out of nowhere, before I even had coffee, which means they can’t possibly have come from me, so they have to be good.
1. Do not get drunk.
This isn’t exclusive to alcohol, though that’s pretty sound advice based on my goals of mood stability, weight management, and, you know, a decent career in motherhood. I think it’s safe to say that, far more frequently than Costco’s cheapest pinot noir, I allow myself to get drunk on Amazon Prime or a meal consisting solely of almond butter and a spoon. Sometimes I get drunk on my own self righteousness with a nap time nosedive into a celebrity news site. And if that’s not enough, I sip from the Facebook flask throughout the day just to take the edge off. And there’s nothing quite like the high I get from knowing, without a doubt, that I am right and my husband is absolutely wrong, and I have just let him know it in the very clearest, most razor sharp terms, from which he cannot possibly escape. Yeah, I should not do that.
2. Read smart things.
I need to read beautiful, well researched, thoughtful, well intentioned work. Except in cases of mood emergencies, I should avoid gif-riddled lists and click bait. I will read books with dust jackets. I will read uncomfortable bible translations and commentaries I think are too hard. I will read the books on my shelf that have sat unread for years, failing to be absorbed by osmosis.
3. Write everyday.
I do this. GOLD STAR FOR ME. I have no idea what kind of creature I would be if I did not follow this rule and I have no desire to find out.
4. Expose yourself to art.
“We become what we behold.” — Marshall McLuhan. I would like to become beautiful and complicated, provocative and wise, playful, insightful, dangerous, generous. The more I expose myself to these things, the more I will have to give to my children, my husband, my friends, and the world. The more I expose myself to these things, the more my brain changes from the dark, twisty place it tends to be when left to it’s own devices, to the bright, open place I want to live. I should revise rule number one. Get drunk on art!
5. Do the plans.
YES. Again, Mr. Picasso, “What one does is what counts and not what one has the intention of doing.” I am so good at making the plans. I have exquisite plans. The battles between my internal Prophet and Administrator are truly epic. My vision is constantly outstripping my clipboard’s capacity. BUT, when I do the work, one exquisitely planned clip board at a time, there is fulfillment. And isn’t that a beautiful word!?
As I number 5 it into #powerrehab this week, these are the things I’m thinking about. With Easter and long, bright days ahead, it feels oh so timely to have such a short, sweet list to guide me. Way to go, Giver of Good Rules! Way to go brain! Way to go taker of medicine!