So my first post of 2012 isn’t your typical first, but then again none of my firsts ever really have been. This isn’t a post full of resolutions, probably because I don’t make those. Really… who wants to spend a month trying to convince yourself to do shit, nine months in forgetful bliss (save the occasional asshat that reminds you of those extra 15 whatever’s), a month justifying to yourself and the world why you didn’t quite see your plans to fruition, and another month deciding how to tweak that shit so its easier to do next year. All in hopes of avoiding the inevitable failure hangover that happens just before new year. You know, that moment when you wake in a drunken haze resolving never to do that shit again… after you read all your sent texts and piece together what it is you are resolving not to do. Why put myself through all that shit? I decided years ago… ‘not gun doo-it’ (says with pursed lipped smile). Instead I opt for the ‘rules to live by’ approach. And… I keep it simple, I only have two rules. Now, there are many things that I have learned over the years that I try to remember when shit hits the fan, but really there are only two rules and no resolutions necessary.
1. Have respect for yourself.
Makes sense to me. Its a building block to becoming a good person and everyone I associate myself with wants that. I am consistently shocked by the number of people who don’t have any concept of self-respect. And please, don’t confuse self-respect with self-esteem. I know people who treat their bodies and minds with the utmost respect but lack the self-esteem to to open a jar for fear they’ll offend it. Self-respect is treating yourself correctly, like the amazing human being you are. We all fuck up. But when we do, having respect for ones self means knowing that it was a mistake, it is ultimately fixable. Even if its really bad, and I’ve done really bad. Respecting yourself doesn’t guarantee you get the outcome you thought you wanted, but it does mean you understand you are human and you fucking rule. You will continue moving forward, owning your shit… smellin like roses or not.
2. Have respect for others.
Once again, makes sense to me! I grew up with respect your elders rule in place and there was no questioning that rule. Now as an adult I’ve learned to recognize for myself whether or not an elder keeps my respect, or anyone for that matter, but everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt until you find out otherwise. The woman living in subsidized housing that has a nice car, while you drive a pile o’ shite, may not be milking the system like you think. She could be a single mother who is raising a son with a very rare disease. So that nice car was her whole family’s way of saying ‘we want to make sure you have a reliable way to get you kid where he needs to go’. The opposite is true as well, to be sure, but who are we to judge? Who are we to treat someone with disrespect when we know nothing of them? This seems like a pretty simple concept, respect others, but there are so many that have no clue. Respecting others is part of being a grown up and something to teach those whose small minds we have been charged with shaping.
As luck would have it, respect for others goes hand-in-hand with respect for yourself. In learning to treat yourself with respect, you will be more apt to treat others in kind. (funny -slaps forehead- makes perfect fucking sense to me) Sadly these are learned by observation then practice. You can’t find them in a book and you can’t purchase them with any amount of money and you can’t give them or have them given to you as a gift. So rather than resolving to spend my 2012 on a quest to better my body, or drink more water, or be a better friend, or say something nice every day, or write more, or whatever… I will continue moving forward learning each day to treat myself with respect and have respect for others. In reality don’t all the things we resolve fall into one of those categories anyway?
On a side note, if you asked my nephew what my rules are, he would tell you with out hesitation: respect myself and respect others. (he would probably roll his eyes) But he would also say “and don’t bleed on her watch, she’ll have a bad day”. I have no bloody watches.