My ex likes to joke that I live my life based on so many rules, I have no freedom. He's wrong about this (and many other things). I live by rules but very few:
- Try to treat others as you would be treated
- If you can't carry your own baggage, you've got too much
- At the party, know where you want to be when the "fun" breaks out
- Follow through with what you say you'll do (always)
- No recipe should ever have more than 5 ingredients (spices don't count)
If I had to choose other rules to live by, I might borrow a few from Helen Fielding's lesser known book, Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination:
1) Never panic. Stop, breathe, think.
2) No one is thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves, just like you.
3) Never change haircut or colour before an important event.
4) Nothing is either as bad or as goods as it seems.
5) Do as you would be done by, e.g., thou shalt not kill.
6) It is better to buy one expensive thing that you really like than several cheap ones that you only quite like.
7) Hardly anything matters: if you get upset, ask yourself, "Does it really matter?"
8) The key to success lies in how you pick yourself up from failure.
9) Be honest and kind.
10) Only buy clothes that make you feel like doing a small dance.
11) Trust your instincts, not your overactive imagination.
12) When overwhelmed by disaster, check if it's really a disaster by doing the following: (a) think, "Oh, fuck it," (b) look on the bright side and, if that doesn't work, look on the funny side.
13) Don't expect the world to be safe or life to be fair.
14) Sometimes you just have to go with the flow.
15) Don't regret anything. Remember there wasn't anything else that could have happened, given who you were and the state of the world at that moment. The only thing you can change is the present, so learn from the past.
16) If you start regretting something and thinking, "I should have done...." always add, "but then I might have been run over by the lorry or blown up by a Japanese-manned torpedo."
In general I find these more sensible to follow than Jethro's very un-structured rules. It's the order, you see - Olivia Joules' Rules for Living make sense. I began by incorporating 10 and 13 into my daily life. Others will follow. (Particularly 3.)
Take-away - Everyone should live by a code.
(Soundtrack - Suzanne Vega: Soap and Water or If I Were a Weapon)