I can’t claim to be an expert on anything at this point in my life, but there’s one fact that I do know for certain. And I can thank my nephew, Hunter, for reminding me of this today. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, so I’ve decided to start a blog of “Shanon’s Rules to Live By.” They’re my rules and for sure may not work for you, but maybe some will. Who knows. If nothing else, maybe you will kill a minute or two at work reading this. So here goes.
- Always find something to look forward to. Even if your only motivation to get out of bed in the morning is knowing that you can crawl back in it that same night, FIND SOMETHING to get you going. Mondays suck, but they’re a necessary part of getting to Fridays. There’s a bright spot in everything, you just gotta find it.
- Kidd used to say to have one song you know how to play on the piano or guitar or whatever. I know nothing more than Mary Had a Little Lamb, so I’m changing that up a bit. Always have a go to SONG for every mood. When I’m mad at the world, you’ll find 30 Seconds to Mars “The Kill” blasting in my car. When I need a wake me up song, it’s Tegan and Sara "Goodbye, Goodbye.” I also have songs I avoid at all costs. Randy Newman’s “You‘ve Got a Friend in Me” is one of them. Travie McCoy “I Need You” is another. I can’t play much, but I can listen to whatever I want to.
- Never, ever be too proud to apologize when you owe that to someone. It may really, really suck admitting you were wrong. But you know what? If the person on the receiving end of that apology is worth your while, they will at least respect the fact that you worked up the nerve to offer it. They may not accept it right away or ever, but there’s a lot to be said for someone who can look you in the eye and admit when they’re wrong. And actually mean it.
- Be cautious with second chances. I know they say that everyone deserves one, but they don’t. That’s a bunch of crap. There are lines a person can cross that aren’t forgivable. This is an extreme example, but would you forgive someone who got mad at you one day and stabbed your eye out? I wouldn’t. I might be able to understand somewhat if they had a mental issue that led to that action, but I wouldn’t forgive it. And I certainly wouldn’t be in a room alone with that person again. Which leads me to my next point.
- Not everyone deserves to have YOU in their life. I mean that both in a good and bad way. I know I don’t deserve to have to live a life full of abusive people. On the flip side, they don’t deserve me in their lives because I’m better than that. Self-preservation is a big deal. Sometimes the process of realizing this and making moves to act on it sucks, but it’s life. Life blows sometimes. God gave you the power to choose because he wants you to use it to better your life. You can make choices and invite those who enrich your life into it and give the middle finger and file a protective order against those who don’t. Don’t abuse that power, but don’t forget you have it, either.
- Stuff happens. Plain and simple. If you don’t believe me on this one, you obviously don’t know me. It’s not what happens that defines you. It’s your reaction to it. I would be lying if I tried to tell you that I’ve never been mad enough to put my fist through a wall. I have. But I’ve never done it. Why? Because with maturity comes the competency to take a step back when you get to your boiling point. Only a coward believes in the use of physical harm to solve a problem. Unless you have to defend yourself. Then you do what you gotta do. But seriously. A million apologies can come your way after the punch has been thrown, but at that moment, with the draw back of the arm and the clenching of the fist and then throwing it at your gut or face or whatever, it’s a conscious decision. And irrationally conscious decision. That act in itself shows immaturity and the lack of ability to handle life. Arguments happen to all of us. Words can hurt, but at least they require courage to say.
- Don’t buy into the guilt. It’s easy for someone else to try and pin their faults on you. They might say that you made them feel a certain way or you made them act a certain way. But as cliché as it may sound, unless you held a gun to their head and threatened that act or their life, you didn’t make them do anything. One of the worst people I’ve ever met did teach me one very valuable lesson. No one but you has the power to MAKE you do anything. You hear about people blaming Mick Jagger for his girlfriend’s suicide Really? Did he tie the rope around her neck and then take all the weight of her body and force it on her neck? It’s easier to blame it on him because you don’t want to accept the fact that your loved one made a poor choice. A selfish one. I’m speaking from experience. The thought has crossed my mind, but I tell myself I’m not selfish nor am I a coward. I might be stupid or dumb or think irrationally at times, but I own it. I face the consequences of my actions and then some at times. If you need to think of it this way, do it. Why would you give anyone else that power over you? To give them the credit in making you do anything? Own your actions. Suffer the consequences. Quit blaming the world because you suck. We all suck sometimes. Learn the points that you suck the most and try to fix them.
- Find the joy in the little things. Seriously. Like a kiss on the nose from your cat. Or the uncontrollable wagging of your dogs tail when you get home from work at night. The sound of the wind chimes hanging outside your window. The sunrise (behind you when you’re driving) or the sunset. Bluebonnets. A fountain drink from 7-11. A picture taken in the park. A hug you’ve been wanting from a person you miss. The million pictures you take of the people you love. Take it in. Take in every second of it. Understand that this was never promised to you. Don’t take it for granted. Savor that spoonful of icing. Remember the scent of your significant others neck when you hug and kiss them every day. The look on their face when you shared something wonderful together. Even if you didn’t have a camera to capture it, your mind is more powerful than you think. It’s the best camera in the world. Take it all in.
- Never be afraid to cry. I’ve learned this over the past however many months. I’m not even joking when I say that last night I lay on my floor, head buried in my elbows, sobbing because I messed up gluing some letters onto a piece of canvas. It may not seem like a big deal to most, but to me, at that moment, it was. Why? Because it was meant to be a gift. Because it was a sign to myself that my hands could work with my head long enough to accomplish this. Because I believe very much in the power of being thought of. This stupid 8 x 10 canvas was my way of showing thought. And excitement. And I put many hours into making it what it was. But just like that…I ruined it. It broke my heart. It showed me again that my hands and my head don’t agree yet. My chance to show my thought and excitement was ruined because I put too much glue on the bottom of some wooden letters. I was a hysterical mess to the point that I knew my neighbors could hear me and expected a knock on the door. To you it may have just been a crafty waste of time, but to me, it was a small way of showing that out of sight isn’t out of mind.
I guess I am at a stopping point for tonight. I need to shower since my meltdown kept me from getting to that part of my usual routine. So that is a must tonight. But I’m going to add to this as stuff comes to mind. So I hope that you keep clicking back to see when additions are made. Thanks everyone.