Ally Try Again: Re-evaluating My Rules Of Life, As One Does

As you may recall The Spectacled Bean is on Summer Hours.  

This means I continue to show up here every few weeks. I write about anything that isn’t current events, instead leaning into my penchant for flapdoodle and twaddle.  

Thus I give you the following.  

• • • 

• • • 

Deconstructing What Was

SORTING through old paper files I found the above.  I published it 13 years + 6 months + 21 days ago on January 01, 2007.  I wrote it, complete with disclaimers, in the context of a New Year’s Resolution + my guidelines for how I wanted to live my life.

For many years this is how I approached my life.

However thinking on my rules of life in light of today’s world I find the above useful, but not in step with how I conduct myself now. And that’s where I want to be, not stuck in the past, like some lost soul who longs for what was.

So I sat down with myself and analyzed what I’d written before.  I decided that when it comes to rules of life I liked short action statements that get to the point.

I also decided that I didn’t want my new rules of life to include pithy sayings [like the watermelon seeds one in the example above].  I say pithy things, but those are personal mantras or succinct commentaries on a particular situation rather than actual rules of life.

• • • 

Creating What Will Be

PONDERING what my new rules of life might be, I deleted the ones from before that no longer served me.  Then I made the following list of potential rules adding ones that I believe might be helpful now.  In the bracket behind each rule I wrote what core value I was thinking about when I chose this rule.

Do your best [trustworthiness]

Less is more [simplify]

Maximize your options [creativity]

Pay attention, life is in the details [knowledge]

Ditch the mean people [self-respect]

Keep moving forward [growth]

Say thank you often [gratitude]

Follow your muse [authenticity]

Do no harm [kindness]

• • • 

Questions Of The Day

Comments, anyone?

Do you have rules of life you follow? If so do you rethink them, then update them from time to time?

This list is not definitive, it’s in process. What am I missing here?

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Charmingly cynical. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Fond of words.

156 thoughts on “Ally Try Again: Re-evaluating My Rules Of Life, As One Does”

  1. I don’t make rules for myself. I used to have so very many of them in my Early Life that it was a problem. Stressful. I gave it up.

    Now, I have one basic mantra, and it has been for a long time this: Kindness Is My Default. That’s it, and that’s all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. nance, your default is a good one. I had lots of rules growing up, too. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve let go of the old ones, and found comfort in my new ones. Go figure.

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      1. I don’t do rules either, but like Nance, I try to stick with kindness. I think if we can be kind to ourselves, to each other, to the Earth, we could solve a lot of problems.

        Having said that, you have some good rules there. I like the ones about authenticity, creativity, and knowledge. Nicely done.

        Are you missing any? Hmmm. Maybe something about movement.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. J, I totally understand the concept of kindness applied to a variety of areas in your life. I agree that if we could get more people onboard that concept alone, the world we benefit.

          You’re right in that I don’t have a rule about moving meself each day? That’s a great point. Will muse of that, perhaps while going for a walk?

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        1. Ha! You’re the second commenter to mention seedless watermelons. I wrote the original rules before I knew of such a thing. I agree, that reality renders the saying somewhat less meaningful.

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  2. I love your rules because they are what it takes to be a good and successful person. Good seems to be a very judgy word, but I can’t think of a better one. (not enough coffee yet this morning) I don’t ditch the mean people as I should; otherwise I stick pretty closely to your list. My own rules of life? Mostly just be present and show up. I don’t have any hard and fast rules. Every day is different and sometimes I’m not up to being kind or moving forward. There’s some honesty for you! I would like to copy your rules and keep them somewhere though. To remind myself what to reach for, even on days when I can’t manage much.

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    1. Margaret, I like your honesty because it resonates with me, too. I’m not saying I am able to do my rules all the time, but I like to have a starting place in mind. I agree that showing up in life is a good rule. Don’t want to be a person who lives in denial, unaware of what’s really going on. That’d be scary.

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  3. Your list is simple, straightforward and un-stressful because each rule is organic – they are who you naturally are. Regardless, it is good to remind oneself of one’s values to re-center when one feels off-center. I just have to work at it more than, being a natural cynic and curmudgeon. I thank you for being there to coach and support.

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    1. Z-D, thank you. I’m by nature straightforward as you know. I hadn’t thought of these rules as being organic, but I like that. I’ve been told that I’m charmingly cynical, so perhaps that’s part of why we are a couple. You, however, nail the curmudgeon better than I do. 😉

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    1. LA, I combined be kind and don’t hurt other people under “do no harm.” Drinking more water is a great idea. I’m naturally frugal so I love your last idea. It makes for a good rule to live by.

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      1. I figure if I stick to these things…it all works out…though I separate it because sometimes you’re going to hurt someone….if you break up with someone, it’s the right thing, yet that person will be hurt. Sometimes hurt is unavoidable

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  4. Reward good people and good actions (don’t reward bad anything). Stick up for underdogs and the defenseless. Don’t pay high prices. When something isn’t right speak up or do something. Get enough sleep. Don’t be a victim or a bully. Speak honestly even when people don’t like it. Get out in nature. Cultivate simple enjoyments & pleasures so they’re readily available on a regular basis.

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    1. Colette, I love your rules. They are insightful and bring a different dimension to what I was thinking about here. I agree with all of them, especially speaking honestly. I’m kind of known for that already, usually in the context of sticking up for the underdogs, of which I am one.

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      1. I wouldn’t think of you as an underdog so now I’m curious. Thanks for your words about my rules; I wrote them off the top of my head, thinking of them as additions to yours, which of course I liked. I included speaking honestly because it’s so important to me to do it, damn the consequences.

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        1. Yes the idea of being truthful, especially in our current political times, seems to be one that needs to be declared from the rooftops. “Be impeccable with your word” is one of the Four Agreements, now that I think on it.

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  5. I like to think, being retired, that there are no rules. But in reality there most certainly are, whether I follow them or not.

    I would only add something about continuing education, to always stretch, to more than think outside the box, to GO outside the box…something like that.

    I’ll let you figure it out, I’m retired and it’s time for my nap. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve spent some time thinking about this, and the best I can come up with is, “I don’t live by rules.” Granted, I abide by some rules (think seat belts, Covid masks), but rules are external, and I don’t feel any need to create more for myself. After so many years, my character has been shaped into what it is, and it’s that internal character that guides my decisions and behavior. Well, that’s what I think right now, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. shoreacres, I take your point. I wonder, too, if many of my rules are innate and I’m making a big deal here of codifying them. I tend to like established guidelines, often deviating from them but always knowing where I started. I’m sure this says something about me, but I know not what it might be. 🤔

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  7. Well you have stumped me. I guess I try to do the things that I ask my kids to do. The one that is tough sometimes is to ‘own it’ – so when I mess up, I need to pipe up and admit it. I have a kid who struggles with this big time. I do not struggle as much as he does, but I do tend to blame preparing dinner later than expected or forgetting to change the laundry on kids interrupting me, needing a last minute ride somewhere, etc. Either that, or I am just so dang perfect it is tough to find a thing to accept blame for (kidding). The other things also relate to how I parent: do a job right the first time, clean up after yourself, and don’t say it unless you could say it with the person standing in front of you. I don’t gravitate towards mean people, who has time for that? But I do have some siblings and other family members who interfere with my inner peace, and I try to distance as much as possible (right now is the perfect time for that, yippee). The other thing I have tried to make a point to do in order not to feel lost in the shuffle, is to make time to do the things that I enjoy. That has made me a much more balanced person, which is good because life can really throw a person off balance from time to time. I enjoyed this thought provoking post today – easy to get busy and forget what our goals or guidelines are.

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    1. Ernie, I like your addition of “own it.” I do that by nature but can see how that is a life rule. I agree about “don’t say it unless you could say it with the person standing in front of you.” [Or at least say it to a trusted friend who will let you vent without telling anyone what you said.] I know how people can be annoying and disrupt your inner peace, so I, too, am not unhappy about staying at home avoiding the fray this presidential election year summer You make an excellent point about remembering to do some things that please you, bring you joy, are intended to keep you juiced up. That’s easy to forget to do.

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    1. Janis, I remember a book with that title. I never read it, but it’s a good rule if it lets you get along with other people peacefully. It’s not so good when it comes to doing taxes however. But overall it’s a great idea.

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    1. Arlene, “acceptance” is a brilliant addition to this list of rules. I strive for peace of mind/serenity. You’re right, if you want that you have to learn to accept what is, pick your battles carefully. Thanks for the idea.

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  8. Oh my, now you have us all thinking. Like many of your commenters, my first thought is that I don’t have rules. So many times I will try to create a rule and, darn it, discover that the opposite will happen. Like not being judgmental. I try not to be judgmental, but the next thing you know–it happens. Or to be kind. And the next thing you know–consciously or unconsciously–some unkindness slips out (or happens in the head). Last week I was trying to be self-compassionate. It worked sometimes. Maybe “aspirations to live by” might be a good term. We’re aiming our arrow toward our good hearts even though our actions may fall short of the mark at times. Good post, Ally Bean!

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    1. Kathy, you said it: “We’re aiming our arrow toward our good hearts even though our actions may fall short of the mark at times.”

      I know what you mean about how the minute you set your intention to be better, something gets in your way to challenge you. Happens to me all the time, still I like to believe that overall I can stick to being a good person with good rules applied to my life most of the time.

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  9. I strive to live many of the same values as you (authenticity, kindness, simplicity, gratitude), but I tend to use reminders, not hard & fast rules:

    The what is, is. {Acceptance}
    Do what you can with what you have where you are. {Acceptance & Creativity}

    I’ll have to ponder this some more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nancy, your additions are good ones. I realize that we often refer to the same core values, just using different words to get there. If nothing else, writing this post has been a good way for me to realize how far I’ve come.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Do you have rules of life you follow? If so do you rethink them, then update them from time to time? No, Also no to the second part. I wing things. Explains a lot perhaps.

    This list is not definitive, it’s in process. What am I missing here? If it suits YOU, then you’re missing nothing at all in my opinion.

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    1. Melanie, no rules, eh? You’re not alone, I’m sure. Crowdsourcing ideas for my rules of life seems prudent to me. People know things I don’t know + it’s fun to learn what other people think and how they live their lives. Pretty much why I keep a blog at this point.

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  11. I think those are two good sets of rules. I’d probably add something like, “Let go of your old mistakes,” but I’m never able to do that so there’s really no point in making it a rule, right? Because I would blow it every day and then it would just be one more mistake to obsess over.

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    1. AutumnAshbough, I get your thinking. I agree that “letting go of old mistakes” is a brilliant rule, but I also agree that I’d fail doing that so then I’d be bummed about my rules. Life can be a vicious circle of tricky thinking.

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  12. In our family, we’ve always had one saying/mantra: work hard and be kind. Everything else seems to fall in place.
    I kind of enjoyed your pithy watermelon thought.
    I love it when you pop out of ‘vacation mode’ and sprinkle the internet with some insights/humor.
    Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Suz, I like your simple saying/mantra &/or rules, perhaps guidelines! I suspect that we all find ways to encourage ourselves if we want to be productive and mentally balanced. The difference being in whether we write codified rules of conduct or chant a mantra to ourselves. I do both, usually saying the watermelon idea as a mantra to keep me calm around people who annoy me. 🙄

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  13. That’s a pretty fine list Ally Bean. And your default is the best, one we could all adhere to. There’s nothing much I would add but I did think of gratitude, for all that Nature offers us which makes me beholden to take as much care of it as possible. Another that has been my mantra is, ‘First, do no harm”. There are some rules that need breaking though, such as those imposed upon us which are not in our best interests – I’m not talking about masks. More, protest even if deemed illegal by the powers that be .. thank you, you got my brain cells moving ..

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    1. Susan, I agree with you. I have “Say thank you often” & “Do no harm” in my new list of rules. I’ve come a long way in my life experiences and understanding since I wrote the 2007 rules of life; I’m more nuanced, and dare I say edgy, than I used to be. I like your idea of protesting the wrongness in society, even if it breaks a few rules along the way.

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  14. Ally,
    I look your rules now and from before. I suppose I’ve had rules to live by…why is nothing coming to mind? Ah well. Mostly, I guess it’s to try and make good choices — it’s easy to remember and it covers a lot of ground. Not always easy to do. 🙂 Mona

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    1. Mona, I knew a family who used “make good choices” as their family motto. I rather like that idea now that I think on it. But you’re right it’s not always easy to do.

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        1. Yes it is, but I think it’s inevitable if you’re paying attention to what’s going on around you. I wouldn’t want to live in happy sappy denial, so I’ll take cynicism in stride.

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  15. Aw, man, I really love the watermelon seeds line. Never hear it before and it made me think about how much fun it was as a kid to spit out the seeds. Used as a metaphor I still think it’s fun to spit out the things in life that get in the way of having a good time enjoying the sweetness of our days and nights.

    As for rules to live by, I’ve been known to quote Yogi Berra a time or two. “It ain’t over till it’s over.” I suppose by that I mean we have to keep trying and have hope and faith until the end of whatever it is we’re trying to do even if the cards (or bases) are stacked against us.

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    1. Jean, oh I love that Yogi Berra quote for the very reason you mention. I agree with you that we have to have hope and faith– and keep on trying, seeing things through. Thanks for sharing that here.

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  16. I like your rules. The one that stands out most for me is “Follow your muse.” The older I get (57 now) the stronger I feel about being true to myself and who I am. In my younger days I spent a lot of time and energy worrying about what others thought of me and trying to live up to their idea of what I should be instead of my own. When you toss all that nonsense, there is a remarkable feeling of freedom and peace. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Nancy, I’ve had the same experience as you. When I was younger I cared too much about what other people thought of me, who they wanted me to be. I tossed the nonsense [great phrase btw] and am much freer now. Happier with a few more edges to me! Thanks for stopping by to comment.

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  17. I like your rules, both the former and the latter. I’m sure I live by some sort of rules. I function well with structure. However, I’ve never given much thought to what they are outside of trying to live a life of integrity.

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    1. Amy, I’d forgotten that I’d written about my rules until I found that old post. I need some structure in my life, too. Not that I always adhere to it, but it’s a starting place. I like your idea of living a life of integrity. I try to do that.

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  18. I like your new list. I particularly like that you linked it to a virtue / core value. Those kinds of lists appeal to me.

    For the past 30+ years, my guiding principle has been my blog tagline … “if you aren’t living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space”, but over the past several months I find I’m no longer inspired by the adrenaline rush of new challenges. I think I’m mellowing (dare I say it), ‘softer and gentler’. Maybe it’s my age finally creeping up with me.

    More and more I find myself embracing a new tagline to guide me … “take only what you need”. If applied correctly, it appears to cover the 7 deadly sins, so I think I’m good 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joanne, thank you. When I sat down to think about what I was thinking about with these rules, I decided I needed to know why I thought what I thought hence the core values. [Makes sense?]

      Your tagline, while I understand it, is kind of funny to me because I’ve said for years that I’m the middle that holds things together while everyone else goes to the edges… then comes back to the middle. Your idea for your new possible tagline makes sense to me. It seems solid, you can’t go wrong covering the 7 deadly sins.

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      1. And there it is – the definitive evidence that I’m finally maturing. I’m starting to make sense 😏

        I like the imagery of you being in the middle while everyone else is pulling at the edges …. with the inevitable result that we all end up in the middle anyway. Reminds me of a giant elastic band.

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        1. I think of myself as the center of a sunflower. Everyone else is petals going out to the edge, then coming back to the middle where I patiently wait. With seeds, of course. Because I am, after all, a sunflower! 🌻

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  19. I like your rules. My biggie has always been not to sweat the small stuff. Other than that, never judge other people … if they make you uncomfortable, just stay away from them and don’t gossip. Be as generous as you can in all ways.

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    1. Jan, your rules ring true with me. I try not to judge others, or at least if I do I try to keep my opinion to myself. Generosity is a good rule. We all can do that if we intentionally decide to do so.

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                  1. The honor is all mine. Like I was saying to a friend the other day, “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender!” Words to live by, Ally. Feel free to quote me on that.

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  20. I’m glad you brought up the Four Agreements. Two of those I try to take to heart are Don’t take anything personally (a struggle, but getting better) and Always do your best (kind of a challenge for my lazy self). But really I don’t have personal rules to live by. Just an overall kindness ethic that I fail to live up to too frequently.

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    1. Eilene, when I first read the Four Agreements I was like you in that the idea of not taking anything personally seemed farfetched. But I’m doing better with that idea. There is an annoying truth to it.

      Z-D always modifies the “be kind” idea with a proviso. He says: “be kind to people who won’t use it against you.” There’s a truth to that, sadly.

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        1. I’ve no answer about his rationale other than to mention he’s a cynical lawyer, so his perspective on people and situations might be a bit, shall we say, different than yours or mine. 🤷‍♀️

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    1. philmouse, thank you! Once I got thinking on this list I was drawn into determining *why* I chose each of the rules that I did. Hence the core values in parenthesis. Now do I manage to follow my own rules? THAT is the real question. 😉

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      1. People really need to stop being perfect – all that’s needed is honest trying tone perfect. But that does require a little thought and effort.
        You’re just fine at that.
        (Love your word choices and phrases on this one – a post worth breaking your summer posting rules. Thanks! )

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        1. You make a great point about the obsession with perfection. When I was young I had to be perfect, but I got over that as adult realities knocked me upside the head. Now I just do my best… most of the time. 🙄

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    1. Natalie, I like your guidelines. All of them. I never intended for my rules of life to be so many, but then I realized my life is complex and nuanced at the moment so maybe my rules need to show that.

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  21. You did good all by yourself! I don’t have a lot of rules. I guess I try to help when I can, and I constantly work on ‘learning to say no and not feeling guilty.’ Don’t ask me what I’ll be doing tomorrow morning because it’s a direct result of not being able to say ‘no.’

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    1. Judy, thank you. I like your idea of learning to say no. That’s important, but oddly enough it’s something I do rather easily. Hadn’t thought about that before. Hope your morning event won’t be too awful for you.

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  22. I like your list of rules/values and share them, although I never in my whole life ever sat down and made a list of rules to live by. After reading your post yesterday I spent some time pondering this and wondering what it might say about me. But then I remembered the prose poem “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann which was written in 1927 but was very popular when I was a teen in the 1970s. I’ve had copies of it hanging on my walls off and on throughout my life. I suppose the wise guidance given there has served as my rules for life.

    It starts out “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.”

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    1. Barbara, now that you mention it I remember that poem and the posters that I’d see with it on them. I especially like that second line in the context of today’s world. “As far as possible” are words that allow me to feel comfortable about the various ways in which I interact with many different types of personalities. Yep, I’m all about as far as possible…

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  23. Excellent advice, Ally. I like how you tied each one to values in your simple but thorough list. I’m curious to know if you kept the 07 paper along with your new list, or did you simplify and shred it so you only have the current one going forward? This past weekend I made the comment to my Mr., “I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong with me and why I don’t feel productive on the weekends … I should be cleaning, or should be doing _____, etc., but when I think about doing those things it is an admission that I’ve accepted this crazy time in life as ‘okay with me’, I’m not ready to do that, I still want to rebel and scream for all the crap going on to just go away.” He handed me a glass of wine. That rant and wine helped. 😉

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    1. Shelley, I shredded the old list once I’d taken a photo of it. While it was useful then, my life is more complicated and nuanced now so I need new rules.

      I know what you mean about not wanting to surrender to these crazy times. Every act of normalcy, as in that which we did in the before times, seems like a triumph now. I’m attempting to look on the bright side of being at. home. all. the. time. but that, my dear, takes a whole lot of positivity, something that comes & goes with me.

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      1. A picture does come in handy to remember the old rules when we make our new rules. I have a lot of those that I kept from when my kids were little and I’d have spurts of supermom that came up with a new plan that would work ‘this time’. LOL.
        Yeah, like you, this staying home all the time is taxing. I’m crawling my way to find positivity. I do find it quite often, mostly when I’ve had a good night’s sleep and I don’t watch the news.
        PS – reading your blog always brightens my day, thank you!

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        1. What a sweet thing to say! Thanks for the compliment about this blog. I’m not a Pollyanna by a long shot, but I try not to dwell in negativity. Perhaps just mention it in passing? Hang in there, Shelley.

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  24. Well Ally, my mom drilled into my core to “do onto others as they do to you” … hmm, I try to do this but must admit that it does not go both ways and never has. I wish I could say it is reciprocal, but is not. I still try to do my part though. I want to subscribe to the idea of “less is more” … but my cluttered house does not suggest I follow that path any more than Shakespeare’s words of wisdom that “brevity is the soul of wit.”

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    1. Linda, I understand what you mean about the Golden Rule. I find it confusing to interpret because IF I’m being good to you THEN you turn around and am awful to me… where does that leave me/us? You’ve now shown me with your actions how you want to be treated [awful?] but I’m still attempting to treat you in a positive way. Eventually something has to give… hence my rule to “ditch the mean people.”

      I strive for the “less is more” rule, but like you vis-à-vis your house we are cluttered folks, too. Still I hope.

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      1. Yes, it is not fair and I tire of it. It takes more effort to be rude or mean than cordial and nice. Ally, I often wonder how two parents and a bird lived here! It was not as cluttered then as it is now.

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  25. “Ditch the Mean People” really spoke to me. There’s so much of that right now (of haven’t there always been? I don’t recall), and it’s nice to let them loose from the collective conscience.

    My only rule lately is to keep stretching. I sort of fell off the wagon, and my back and neck started hurting again. So stretching …. and ditching mean people. That should do me for now. – Marty

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    1. Marty, I found that once I put the “ditch the mean people” rule on my list I immediately began to feel better about all people, knowing I had a plan for how to deal with the mean ones. Because like you said, there are so many of them now.

      I like your keep stretching rule. I need to incorporate that idea into my life, too. I used to be all about yoga, but have slipped away from it. No reason really, just lazy…

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  26. I kinda live by three rules: keep an open mind, an open heart, and practice compassion. My mantra is “all things are possible “. Thanks for this post. Made me revisit these believes and realize their still true for me 😎

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    1. Sue, your three rules ring true with me. You’ve managed to be succinct which I admire. Somehow my list got more lengthy than I imagined it would be. And I like your mantra, too. I need to adopt one as a default.

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  27. I like your rules, Ally.
    When I was a Middle School Principal, we only had three rules.
    Respect Yourself
    Respect Others
    Respect the Environment
    I never found an action that didn’t fit into (or directly break) one of the above ‘rules’. 😀

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  28. I know you’re trying to get a way from sayings, but I like the watermelon one. It’s a good reminder!!

    As rules for living, I don’t have many. But I’m constantly tweaking best practices and I probably have way too many of those!

    The one rule I’m trying to follow more than any right now is to trust my gut. I’ve come to realize my biggest regrets from ignoring that nagging voice in my head.

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    1. Katie, I say the watermelon saying to myself, often under my breath– yet I thought I’d try to have rules that weren’t so cute as the saying. For some reason. I can’t explain.

      I like your best practices concept. That’s a good way to think about what you’re doing. I wonder if I do that and don’t realize I am doing it? Food for thought.

      I agree that you have to learn to trust your gut. I’ve gotten better at doing that over the years, but I hear ‘ya about regrets from when I ignored it. Big mistakes that could easily have been avoided…

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    1. Markus + Micah, I like the watermelon saying too. I say it often enough that it could be a rule now, but I’m trying to be more grown-up with my new rules of life. In truth I’m not sure why– other than I’m an older, more grown-up woman now. I guess.

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  29. I’ve always tried to follow the Harm None rule, and that always includes myself. My Mom’s favorite was “Think before you speak,” with my impulsive nature, that has certainly helped me in life, Also, I try to Practice Gratitude, and the Serenity Prayer has always resonated with me “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

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    1. Dorothy, I like your take on the “Do No Harm” rule. You’re right that it needs to apply to yourself as well as others. My mother used to say to me: “think it through” trying to slow down my impulsivity to blurt out whatever. I’d forgotten about the Serenity Prayer and it’s a good one to remember, especially now with all the chaos is our lives. Thanks for reminding me of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. I have never written down my rules for life, but now I want to. It’s a great exercise, Ally. I think there would have to be something about compassion/empathy in my rules, but other than a few fuzzy ideas, I would have to think some more about it.

    And I really liked the pithy watermelon statement.

    And now I want some watermelon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie, I don’t know who got me to make my original rules of life list, but at the time I was stymied. This time I had more ideas, but maybe too many? I dunno. If nothing else doing this exercise is fun.

      I like watermelon, so I get what you mean. I’d like some watermelon at this point in the summer, too. Guess I need to make that happen.

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  31. Nice to see you here, Ally, however and whenever you would like to show up. Your post reminds me of the ‘rules’ when driving in Italy. They are ‘guidelines’ ‘suggestions’. I have adopted their driving rules into my life. I get it on the concept of core values. And, yes, I reevaluate and update often. Especially when I read an inspirational post like yours, Ally. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica/Erika, thank you. I’m committed to blogging, just not so much this summer. I never would have thought of these rules of life if I hadn’t found the 2007 version while organizing a file. Then I got into figuring out new ones. I like the idea of guidelines rather than rules, but still based on core values. I think that’s really the point of this exercise, to determine what you value.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Rules need to be revisited from time to time. It’s fun to see the 2007 rules, and how they were carefully written using several colors on punched paper for insertion in a notebook.

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  33. Great list! I strive to minimize my options ~ that is, continually de-prioritizing anything that doesn’t work for me. Forex, online zoom games. At first, I thought it was a great option during lockdown to stat connected with friends and avoid watching endless TV. But I’m finding it doesn’t make me happy to zoom; I find the experience frustrating. You don’t really get to chat in a satisfying way. So, I’m doing less and less of it. I like being able to focus on fewer things…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Paula, I’m not into zoom either. I’d rather look at one other person than a crazy quilt of moving faces– which is what zoom looks like to me. I’m right there with you about de-prioritizing, letting go of what doesn’t work for me.

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  34. Hi Ally, I love how you shared the list from 2007 and then we got a feel for the “you” now from the way your worded this post and led us to your list.
    I have also enjoyed other times you have invited us into your past (like with you early blog experiences and snippets you shared from some of those exchanges when blogging was in early years) –
    — I feel like I have changed in a similar way – and could likely find 2007 journal pages that were reflective of my then compared to my now.
    By the way – maybe pithy with the seed comment and it might not be you anymore – but when I read that 2007 page I was inspired. I could feel the care that was put into that for a starting year “presence of mind” and awareness anchoring (something like that).
    lastly, for me – I think it is time I rethink my mantra and life list
    I think the main rule or guide that is consistent for me is to “do no harm” – to my body (with heal and healing that is a rule – use supplements and al that but go slow and do no harm) but also with people and relationships – and so maybe at times we speak up because being passive would be harmful or complicit – not always – but you know what I mean….

    Liked by 1 person

  35. P.S.

    Ally Bean – when I first read your list – my mind started adding words as I read the lsst
    likely because this kind of stuff is right up my alley, Ally – hahaha
    thought I would share the words that came to my mind when I read the list again
    – and thank you for giving me this little cognitive splash tonight – just got back from a busy week-long trip that had lots of social distancing drama and busy-busy stuff – so this post content was refreshment 🙂

    Do your best [trustworthiness] non-comparing, grounded, balanced
    Less is more [simplify] – effectiveness – priorities – deeper understanding
    Maximize your options [creativity] – efficient, learned, strategizing
    Pay attention, life is in the details [knowledge] – presence, contentment, not rushed
    Ditch the mean people [self-respect] – strength, able to apply wisdom, able to bound
    Keep moving forward [growth] – optimism, hope, confident, determined
    Say thank you often [gratitude] empathetic and respectful to self and others, happier
    Follow your muse [authenticity] fresh, original, living
    Do no harm [kindness] – mindful, respectful, smart

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvette, I just found your comments that did NOT show up as being here according to my notification bell, but are here nonetheless. WP plays tricks with me, occasionally NOT telling me I have comments when I do. Coyote Trickster, that’s WP.

      I like your additions to the core values embodied in each of my current rules. You’re right in that there is more than one reason why I picked each of the rules. I also appreciate your comments about my 2007 rules that are still in play within me I suppose. They’re just not quite how I think about things now, in a more complicated phase of my life.

      I also like the do no harm rule, both in how I treat other people as well as myself. In some ways it is my focus of late while trying to survive this pandemic in body, mind, and spirit. Thanks for commenting here. I always enjoy reading your insights.

      Like

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