Follow the Rules

I remembered my secular father’s only strong spiritual directive:  Don’t be an asshole, and make sure everybody eats.
— from Grace (Eventually): Further Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lamott

Five more posts, including this one, and my NaBloPoMo experiment will be a success.  Good thing, too, because I’m running out of ideas!

Here’s one thing I’ve been thinking about, though:  Are there any rules you had growing up that you hated or thought were stupid, but which were so ingrained in you that you still follow them now?

This came to mind this weekend, when I set my alarm for 9AM even though I really wanted to go to bed without setting it at all and just sleep as long as I pleased on Saturday morning.  Growing up, mostly when my brother and I were teenagers or home from college for the summer, my mom’s rule was that we couldn’t sleep past 10 in the morning.  In her words, any later and “you’re wasting the day.”

And as much as I hated it then, I’ve come to really believe that my mother was right.  You can accomplish so much before 10AM – gym, errands, laundry – and then you have the whole day free to do whatever else you want to do.  Since moving in with David, I don’t get up as early as I used to on the weekends (8 or 8:30), but I do usually still get up by 10.  It’s just pathological; I feel bad about wasting the day if I stay in bed any later.

So what about you?

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5 thoughts on “Follow the Rules

  1. If my sister or I were too sick to go to school, then we were too sick to do any other activities, too. I still stick to this as an adult, even if I am just playing hooky, I don’t let myself do super-fun-out-in-public things that same day! Weird.

    -lydia

  2. When I was in high school and got my drivers license my Mom always told us we needed to call when we reached our destination if going out of town. To this day I still do that. Last year when I landed in Boston, my first call was to my mother, the second was Lydia. I guess it’s just common courtesy, but it’s also nice to know someone is worrying about you.

  3. We always called when we got to a destination too. I religiously called my folks when I was at my home airport after each visit. When we flew back from my father’s funeral…my mother being gone already…I started crying as we walked through the airport. Because there wasn’t anyone to call. I still think of both of them every single time I arrive back home from a trip.

  4. Dawn, that made me tear up. It’s funny how the things we used to do as obligations become things we do as habit long after the obligation has lifted, and how those habits come to feel like parts of us.

  5. I make my bed everyday. I hated doing it growing up, and even got grounded for not doing it, and now I even make sure my kids beds are made too. There is something about crawling into a made bed that makes the sleep to come that much better;)

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