Jessica challenged me on Saturday to come up with three rules for life and my thoughts have been provoked ever since. What follows are the results of that provocation, valid or not.
Rule #1: Always share your life with at least one animal.
Coming from me, this is no surprise but I feel strongly about it. A pet forces you up in the morning and gives you purpose when you have misplaced it, furnishes you a non-judgmental someone with whom to share your innermost thoughts and feelings, and presents you with a warm cuddly being to love you unconditionally. He provides a happy welcome home greeting when you have been away and misses you when you leave. I cannot convey enough what animals have added to my life and although I do not necessarily recommend acquiring the number we have, adopting at least one furry creature is a must-do.
Rule #2: Do a good deed every day.
I know this sounds incredibly trite and, no, I have not joined the Boy Scouts, but finding a little time in each day to lift someone else up makes you feel as good as or better than the person you helped. In today’s world, we have become more and more self-absorbed, struggling to care for your own and jockeying for pole position. Getting out of yourself, if only for a moment, adds clarity and perspective to the fog of life. Knit for charity, work in a soup kitchen, pick up groceries for an elderly or sick neighbor, let someone ahead of you in traffic, the possibilities are endless. Just do something.
Rule #3: Make time to treat yourself.
This might sound like a complete contradiction to rule #2, but it is not. Just as getting away from yourself to help someone in need nourishes the soul, allowing a little self-indulgence here and then does as well. We’re busy. I’m busy. I care for my family which now includes an active two-year-old, pets, and livestock; I shuttle kids, run errands, clean (really), cook (sometimes), work part-time, supervise home and school work, and wash umpteen million loads of laundry a week. These days I only sit down during the daylight hours to write in this blog during Anthony’s nap time. That said, if I don’t make a few moments in each day mine, and this happens a few days in a row, I end up an irritable, and, depending on the time of month, sometimes blubbering mess. Whether it is quietly knitting, reading, or sitting in solitary silence, I need this break and so do you. For David, it is riding his motorcycle, bicycle, or hiking mountains. I’m sure by now you know what your indulgence is; use this knowledge to rejuvenate yourself. Your friends and family, and the gal at the checkout stand for that matter, will thank you.