Saturday, July 28, 2012


Eat everything on your plate!
My grandma had rules. Never tell your age. Don't meet a man in a bar. And, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." ("borrowed" :) from Shakespeare) My mom had rules. Clean the house on Friday after school. Eat what is on your plate. I had rules for my kids when they were growing up. Eat two bites of any food before you decide you don't like it. Sign up for at least (or at most) 2 outside of school activities. And, in teenage technology at the dinner table. We had a basket to collect cell phones before dinner.
Now kids are out of the house, and apparently the rules didn't stick as the iAmNonsocialPhone appeared at a dinner out.
I would have thought that the pocket would have sufficed for the basket. I simply texted: "New rule. Put technology down if you want mom to pay the bill." A big smile from the offending party, and the phone was put in the pocket. Worked like a charm! My Sweetie has rules. Put things where they belong. No eating in his car. Leave people, places and things a little better than how you found them. Err on the side of love and laughter. Do more of what you are good at, and less of what you aren't. My friends have rules. Eat fruit before noon. You don't need to make a decision today. Hair should move. I have rules. Walk the dog once a day. Write a weekly blog before Friday. Don't eat after 9pm (the experts say 7....I say 9). There are spelling rules: "I" before "E" except after "C" or when sounded as "A" as in neighbor or weigh. There are school rules: Turn in homework. Don't talk in line (I had the unfortunate experience of learning that one in 2nd grade). In my quilt classes, I have 2 rules: No ripping seams (because you probably don't need to do so, and if you do, I'll do it for you because you aren't here to rip. Rarely does one really need to rip....cause, quilting should be fun! Side note: one class, I caught a noble quilter ripping under the table :). obviously, she was not a "rule-follower"! 2nd rule: No Stress! If you are under any stress in my class, say so....because even if it isn't about quilting, we are here to help! Once in a class, there was a little stress because 3 sewing machines (provided by a sewing machine company) started on fire (flames, not just smoke when I said, "sew". But, after chocolate and a lot of laughter, everyone finished the project stress-free! After that, a new rule was made: check electrical capabilities before starting class (btw: fault was with the hotel, not the sewing machine company).

Not in my class!

Rules are often a bit on the "not fun" side of things....the pessimistic approach to guiding through life. Rules don't imply much of a lassaiz-faire attitude. Maybe we should have more "fun" Must laugh 4 times a day. Do something good without anyone knowing (see how it tickles you). Eat something decadent.

To follow every rule would be ill-advised. For example, I still am very careful not to talk while waiting in a line....but, my friends wonder why I don't answer them. Sometimes the rules need relaxing. The whole reason for rules is to provide guidance and to ease life from pending chaos should there be no rules. That is true, I think in quilting....with the exception perhaps of the "Crazy Quilt"...but, then...think about that as a name for that quilt...very fitting!

So, when things get overwhelming, I give myself some rules and that helps ease that over-the-top feeling. I think of it like a quilt...for example - making a scrap quilt can be overwhelming as there are too many choices and outcomes to consider. If I apply rules it is less overwhelming...

Err on the side of love and laughter <3

1) starting is the first step....start for 10 min.
2) think simple: tone on tones
3) only cottons
4) any color
5) add fun fabric
6) background can be scrappy, too
7) any fabric even if it is ugly....maybe especially if it is ugly!
8) ask the quilt shop or a quilting friend for advice if I have creativity-block - or someone who knows nothing about it - might get a fresh idea!
9) I don't have to make a decision today.
10) I can change the rules anytime I want.

Now, if I apply similar rules to a pending overwhelming day/week/meeting/project...whatever... see things often get less "whelming". Rules
1) starting is the first step (and often the hardest)...start and try for 10 min. (I almost always go longer...but, just tell myself 10)
2) think simple
3) use only what I have and what is easy to acquire

4) add color - ..whether it is dinner or my outfit, or a joke at work....brighten up my life and someone else's with virtual (or real) color
5) do one fun thing
6) ok to be a little sloppy
7) ok to not be perfect
8) I can ask advice if I want it.
9) I don't have to make a decision today.
10) I can change the rules anytime I want.

Make and enjoy the rules for your life!

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