R is for Rules

100_0342People who don’t know me well are often surprised to find that I’m a rule follower.  I guess I seem like a rebel, but the truth is that I like rules.  They make the world go a little smoother if we all follow rules.  Wait in line.  Let people merge on the freeway.  Get to work on time.  Say please and thank you.  To me, these things don’t seem too difficult, but everything runs smoother if we all get on board.

I have a theory that people would be a little nicer if we were all required to go to one day of preschool every year as adults.  You know, kind of a refresher course on basic things like taking turns and being quiet when others are speaking.

I follow rules most of the time, except for when they’re stupid.  But when they are stupid, I say so.  Loudly.  And I continue to say so.  Normally, if I don’t like a rule, I manage to do as I’m told, but I make it known that I dislike the rule, why I dislike the rule, and what I think should be done.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.  Sometimes rules need to be changed, but I’ll still follow it even if I don’t like it, because that’s how I believe it should be.

Being an individual and being independent doesn’t mean that we can’t treat one another with respect.  Part of that respect is understanding that rules apply to everyone.

H is for Help

They always say that doctors make the worst patients, and I very much believe that.

imageAs a professional helper, I’ve noticed that it’s harder to accept help from others than it is to give it.  I spend my day problem solving for others, and I’m very good at it.  That means I should be able to solve my own problems, right?

It sounds good to say that.  I sometimes tell people that being able to accept the help of others is a strength, and I believe that.  So why is it so difficult to as for help when I’m the one who needs it?

as I’ve said many times before, I don’t pretend to have answers, just good questions.

One of the most important things I know about helping others is that I np can’t properly help others unless I’m healthy… Mentally, physically, spiritually. Many people seem to believe that “selfish” and “self-care” are synonymous… They’re not!

Selfish is acting without care or concern for how it affects others. Self-care is taking care of oneself. Self-care is important because I can’t allow others to depend on me if I’m not healthy enough to care for them. If I don’t practice self-care every day, I can become irritable, overwhelmed, physically sick, tired, forgetful, and lose empathy for others.

Practicing self-care doesn’t have to take long. I just try to make sure I eat right, sleep somewhere in the neighborhood of enough, read, write, play with my dogs, and regularly review what’s going well in my life.

And every once in awhile, I try to ask for help if I need it.