Sunday, April 17, 2011

Life Rules

Older peeps sometimes think they're starting to figure out this thing called LIFE, and then they're tempted to make lists of the things that work. Our rules help us feel more secure, as if the world has a bit of logic to it after all.

My former boss and mentor once told me he had developed a list of rules or guidelines he found useful throughout his life. At the time I thought it was amusing. Old people did stuff like that (he was maybe 45?) However, now that I'm older, I would love to see it. Recently I asked him if I could please get a copy, but he professed he never constructed such a list (see Rule #5, below.)

My husband invented the "90/10" rule. After thirty years of selling cars for a living, he's studied every kind of human behavior. He says people tend to over-buy for emotional reasons, but if they knew what they needed their vehicle to do 90% of the time, they'd be happy and save a lot of money. Maybe you don't need 4-wheel drive if you only go on an occasional picnic in the hills.

90/10 means Mom needs to live where she can have a lot of friends, because she is a social butterfly, as opposed to immediate proximity to her doctor, who she doesn't see that often. 90/10 means it's a good day if I accomplished 90% of my to-do list. 90/10 means we should spend more money on education than prisons.

I'm not the only one who thinks about life rules. Gail Brenner, a middle-aged psychologist, blogs about it. So do Marc and Angel, a smart young couple who are eager to share their view of the world.

Here are some of my life lessons or rules. I hope you'll contribute yours:

1.Ask. Listen.
2.Don't make eye contact with maniacs. They're looking for somebody to torture, and it doesn't have to be you.
3.Before you blow your top, consider the price you'll have to pay later, because there is always a price.
4.She who cares the most, loses. Sick but true.
5.Cool politeness is a useful form of cruelty.

Do you have rules for living?

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