A constant in my life is that I am a stickler for rules. In fact, until recently, I revered them. Rules provide a neat road map as to what steps come next, and if followed accordingly, they produce predictable results. It’s only fitting that as a living I advise clients regarding what laws and regulations must be followed, and warn them of the perilous consequence that will ensue if they aren’t. For work, my reverence for rules has paid off.
In my personal life… not so much. In fact, following societal “rules” has had the opposite impact in real life. For example, despite following the unwritten rules: go to college, earn a graduate degree, find stable employment, find a boo*, and get married, I sometimes feel like I am performing life and not living it. In actuality, following these societal norms and self-imposed rules has lead to more uncertainty. Because I usually focus on the next step, i.e. what next thing I have to check off, I sometimes find myself operating mechanically and not thoughtfully.
Thus, my resolution for 2019 is to live life with more intention and less rules when contemplating major life decisions. I intend to be methodical in my decision-making, which hopefully entails being deliberate and thoughtful. Maybe I’m in this space because I recently began watching Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up show on Netflix (it’s addictive). Marie is a tidying guru and she subscribes to the idea that if something doesn’t spark joy, it needs to be tossed out. I want to apply Marie’s methodology to all the rules that take up space in my brain and don’t serve me in creating the life I want. What’s the point of hoarding rules and norms that hinder other parts of me from flourishing?
Unlike Marie, who thanks the object before tossing it, I plan on evicting these thoughts like the errant imposters that they are. Marie is much more patient than I am because I can’t thank/entertain things that no longer serve me. I want to freely live without being tethered to rules that have taken up so much mental space in my life and don’t produce desired results. I need to let go of the idea that I need to do life “in order” and check off boxes.
Wish me luck on this new mindset and let me know if any of you have similar resolutions!
*Disclaimer: This post should not be interpreted as me not loving my husband and wanting to marry him. I love him lots and he brings me all the joy in the world.