Are you a rule follower or a rule breaker?
My recent stint of bedrest gave me a lot of time to catch up on my reading, and to finish a lot of the books I had started and never gotten around to finishing. Untamed by Glennon Doyle being one of them.
As I lay in my bed, doped out and nauseous from painkillers and full of anguish over what the future might hold for me and my business, I read this line from the book.
“I guess women have to almost die before we give ourselves permission to live how we want.”
And Oh… My… God… It changed EVERYTHING!
Ok, so my condition is far from a death warrant. More like a massive inconvenience to the future I had decided upon for myself. But it has forced me to rethink everything I believed about myself, my life and how I run my business.
Will I ever get over the constant fatigue, brain fog and nausea caused by the drugs I’m taking (which I have to say do an amazing job with the pain)?
Am I ever going to be able to feel clear headed enough to drive a car again?
Will I ever again have the energy to walk further than the end of my block and back?
The honest answer is – who knows?
But the important moment for me were the thoughts that followed…
Me: In my current state all rules have been thrown out the window and I need to forge my own path and work out what works for me.
Also me: Hang on, there are rules?
Me again: What exactly are these rules I speak of?
Still me: Who said I should follow these rules?
Confused me: Why did I choose to believe that I must follow these rules?
Angry me: Who the hell wrote these damn rules in the first place?
Rebellious me: To hell with rules – I can choose to live my life and do whatever the hell I want!
Mind blown, life changed.
A Rule Follower
When I was a kid at school, I was one of the rule followers. Ok, so I was a little lax in the homework department (Ok, a lot lax) but to be fair I spent every spare moment outside school at dancing or drama lessons, rehearsals or performances so I was busy rather than lazy…
But I was one of the kids who sat quietly in class, got her work done, wore the correct uniform and didn’t rock the boat. I can count on one hand (actually half a hand) the number of classes I wagged in highschool and as far as memory serves me, aside from a half glass of wine and orange juice with my family at Christmas I didn’t touch alcohol until I turned 18.
I’m honest with my taxes, don’t drive drunk and am that annoying voice of reason when my kids want a day off school just because it’s their birthday or they’re tired.
I have never really thought to question the rules. Until now.
A Rule Breaker
The funny thing is that until reading Untamed I hadn’t realised that I had this crazy set of rules in my own head that I had written for myself and that for better or worse I lived my life by.
Here’s a teaser from my own personal rule book:
- I must work 8 hour days.
- I must not get my nose pierced or cut my hair too short now that I’m over 40.
- I must wake early and do all my self care (exercise, meditation etc) before the rest of my family gets up.
- I must always be patient and kind and willing to listen to my kids even when I’m sick or tired or just plain don’t feel like it.
- I must always serve up my meal last.
And here’s the cracker…
- I must always put everyone else’s wants and needs before my own.
So now that I’ve been brought up short by a life altering medical condition, I’ve made a promise to myself. To make a list of all of my ridiculous personal rules and then break every single damn one. Just cause I can.
No laws will be broken (although my head may start spinning) and I might just find out what new and amazing things I’m actually capable of!
Do you have your own set of personal life-limiting rules that you have been following without even realising it?
If so, I’d love you to join me in being a personal rule breaking rebel and then sending me a message to let me know how it feels!