Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Five: Rules I Break

I tend to like rules. But sometimes, aren't they more like guidelines, anyway?

1) Remember What Not to Wear, how they always chided the over-25 set for shopping in the juniors section? Well...I shop in the juniors section. Judiciously. Nothing sparkly or clingy. But sometimes the jeans intended for "grown-ups" fit me really badly--why do they cut such ridiculous curves into those things? I have hips, not thigh-balloon-animals. No one has a hip poodles protruding from their sides. Plus I found a pair of jeans and the perfect plaid shirt that reminded me of a more grown-up version of what I would have bought for back-to-school when I was seventeen. I liked how I dressed at seventeen. There's some joy to be found in remembering who we were--and appreciating who we were. And ditching anything clingy or sparkly because we've learned better.

2) Measure twice, cut once. To clarify, I've never done much with carpentry or woodworking, so I may well follow this rule in those arenas, given the chance. But as a seamstress--I measure once, cut, and adjust as I go. I'd rather tweak in progress than have it all planned out from the get-go with no wiggle room--because, ever notice? You nearly always need wiggle room. And writing--I have a rough plan. But by the time I type "the end" on a first draft, I've rewritten the pages between it and "once upon a time" fifteen times over. It works for me. A rigid plan would result in a much messier first draft--and a lot more revision work on the back end.

3) Eary to bed and early to rise...Makes Jack boring. I'm not a night owl, but if I was early to bed, I'd never get anything done. Writing, sewing, baking--all good things are started for me, it seems, after 8 p.m. Like last night's sweet potato pie. And occasionally, with good friends, midnight is far too early to call it a night.

4) Finish what you start. I used to be this way about pretty much everything. If I started a book, I had to finish it. If I made dinner, by gum we would eat it in leftover form until it killed us. But sometimes being a finisher isn't all that important. If the book is terrible, put it down and read something else. If that recipe tastes like dog kibble, toss it and order pizza. Finishing what you start is still important--sometimes. I've revised my position--Decide what's important, then finish it. But never be afraid to start something because it might not be something you want to finish.

5) Don't live in the past. Why not? It's such fun! :P All joking aside, while it's not wise to dwell on regrets, it's not wise to ignore who we were and what we hoped for, either--find solace and inspiration in memories and dusty dreams!

What rules do you break?


Anachronist said...

Plenty. I read YA books and even, heavens forbit, MG books and then I review them in the most serious way. I love rollerblading although some people for reasons unknown think that an adult should stick to nordic walking or just...walking. I know no dignity on rollerblades but so more fun!

Carrie C said...

Ha, I'm surprised - for someone who just outed herself as a Myers Briggs "J" I would have figured you would measure twice! But rule breaking is healthy for us, right?

My broken rule: Show don't tell. That rule has the right idea a great majority of the time, but literature is full of amazing bits of tell (see Edith Wharton for example). So I sprinkle in a few here and there. Wharton I am not but I enjoy the dabbling.

Rowenna said...

Anachronist--I know plenty of "grown ups" who love YA and MG--I think it's great to be voracious and wide-seeking in your reading!

Carrie--I admit, I am an over-measurer in other things--especially my "real" life. But when I sew, I let myself just be creative (as much as I can). You're so right--sometimes telling can be creatively and beautifully done!