Life Lessons

by Linda Rodriguez
I’ve been around for a lot more than
a few years. And, stubborn as I can be, I’ve learned some things
along the way. Oddly enough, it’s not the big lessons that have
made a difference in my life, but a series of small rules for happy
living that I’ve learned to make a part of my daily life. 

  1. Do at least one thing a day that
    gives you pleasure. 
  2. Live your life in chapters. Focus
    on the chapter you’re in now. You don’t have to do/have/be it
    all now!
  3. Don’t get overwhelmed. Break
    everything into baby steps. One page a day is a book in a year.
    Fifteen minutes a day on any overwhelming or distasteful task adds
    up and eventually will lengthen on its own. The ordinary kitchen
    timer is your friend.
  4. Always clean up your messes.
  5. Be kind to yourself and others.
  6. Give something back.
  7. Use it, appreciate it, or lose it.
    Your body, mind, belongings. Remember, unapplied knowledge is
    wasteful (f not tragic).
  8. Make time to do often what you do
    well and enjoy. Spend time with people who think you’re great.
    When the world isn’t noticing you, notice and reward yourself.
    Give others recognition, in turn.
  9. Make quiet time for yourself alone
    every day. And a corollary is have a place, even merely a spot,
    that’s just for you. Use it for devotions, meditation, journaling,
    or just reading. Give yourself 10 minutes of silence every day.
  10. Pay attention
    to your breath. Conscious breath control can help you control
    stress, worry, and fear and replace them with calm and peace.
  11. You create the path you’ll walk
    on in life with your words. Think before you speak. Remind yourself
    that, to a great extent, you are creating your reality when you
  12. Pay attention
    to your own emotional needs and desires.
  13. Decide what you
    want your life to look like. Write it down. In detail.
  14. Act “as if.”
    Imagine if your desired life were here now, if you could not fail.
    What would you do? Do it.
  15. Conserve your energy. Rid your
    life of energy thieves—negative people and habits.

What about you? What rules would you
add to my list?

10 replies
  1. Margaret S. Hamilton
    Margaret S. Hamilton says:

    simplify your wardrobe and repetitive tasks (stocking pantry, paying bills). Life is for living, without regrets.

  2. Judy Penz Sheluk, author
    Judy Penz Sheluk, author says:

    Great list. Add to this, "Declutter your life." Start with cleaning out your closets, especially of the "closet mistakes." Not sure if you can part with that blouse you paid too much for but really don't like? Turn all your hangers the other way and only reverse if you've worn the item. At the end of a set period of time (six months, a season etc.) anything that still has the hangers the other way goes. Purging kitchen pantries is also very cathartic. Expired spices — out of there!

  3. Linda Rodriguez
    Linda Rodriguez says:

    Ha, Judy! I'm involved with a major decluttering for downsizing effort, and I'll testify to the truth of this. Once we're done and moved, my new rule will be that something has to be discarded for everything that comes into the house. I never want to go through this again!

    • Judy Penz Sheluk, author
      Judy Penz Sheluk, author says:

      Yes, we downsized in 2015. An eye opener. Boxes we hadn't opened since our last move (20 years earlier). Never again!

  4. Linda Rodriguez
    Linda Rodriguez says:

    Yeah. 42 years in this big old house and the heirlooms from three generations before us (not to mention all the junk the kids insisted we keep for them "because you've got the room and you're not moving all the time". Never, never again.

  5. kk
    kk says:

    Linda, this is simply wonderful. I am going to print out two copies–one for me and one for husband.
    #4 should be printed on my hand in indelible ink. I keep getting messier and messier with every month–and then of course it takes too long to clean up such big messes so they become monumental tasks.
    We decluttered last 27 years ago. OH. Curses. I declutter a little every week but stuff moves in. All by itself. Honestly I MYSELF DO NOT do it….heeheeehee. Yes, I am lying.

  6. Deb Romano
    Deb Romano says:

    When you're having a really, really bad day (when you got home from work you found evidence that you were a victim of credit card fraud so you went for a walk to calm down–and got bitten by a dog just as the owner told you "he's harmless"; and yes, this happened to me!), tell yourself that you WILL find the humor in the situation before you go to bed tonight.

    Deb Romano

  7. Linda Rodriguez
    Linda Rodriguez says:

    Kay, I know what you mean. Aside from heirlooms and kids' junk, my husband's the chaos demon, as readers of this blog know. He spreads mess as he moves from place to place in the house and keeps everything–his third-grade homework, junk mail from his undergrad days in the 70s! But, alas, I must confess I've found to my chagrin that a lot of this is mine–and I don't know how that could be. Clothes? I'm the least clothes-horsey woman around, only buy them when absolutely needed every few years, never have much to wear. So where in the hell did all these clothes come from? It's mortifying.

  8. Linda Rodriguez
    Linda Rodriguez says:

    Oh, DebRo, I do hope that happened to you a long time ago. What a ghastly day! Yes, I agree that it's vital to find the humor in even the worst of times. It's how we survive them.

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