If You Made the Rules, You Can Change the Rules

dreamstime_xs_37880536I recently realized that there are many things that I do that I don’t care to do anymore.  These are mostly little things like getting Christmas gifts for my brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews and getting birthday gifts and cards and holiday cards for my nieces and nephews throughout the year.

When the family was smaller, this was fun.  I enjoyed it.  Over the years, though, as my extended family has continued to grow, and as my husband’s sons have married and had children, it has become less fun and a little overwhelming.

At first I felt guilty about not wanting to do these things anymore.  Then I realized that I was the one that told myself that this is what I needed to do to be a good sister or aunt.  There are no laws stating that I must do this.  These are things that most people do not do anyway.  No one has ever even told me that they expect me to do these things.

I made the rules on what I “needed” to do.  Which means that I can change the rules.  And I have.  And everyone has been very supportive.

I am using this concept for other aspects of the holidays as well.  Who made the rule that I must send out holiday letters?  I did.  I’m not doing it this year, and I may not send out cards next year.  With social media, I’m not sure it’s necessary to send cards to stay in touch.

Who made the rule that the house must be decorated so completely?  I did.  We had already decided to limit the decorating because we have a 6-month old kitten that believes everything, breakable or not, is his toy.  If I want to decorate more next year, fine.  If not, that’s fine, too.  No one else really cares.  (My husband cares about having a tree, but the rest is fluff.)

Who made the rule that I must cook big holiday dinners for both sides of the family?  I did.  This year we are doing appetizers for my husband’s side and everyone is bringing something.  They really seem to be looking forward to it.  I’m not sure what we’ll do for my side, but I already know it will be more convenience and less scratch.

I write and speak on encouraging women to think about what they do, why they do it, and do they want to change.  This is another way to think about the same concept.  Who made the rules that you must do something?  If you did, you can change them if you want.

This is something that you can use for little things, as discussed here, or for big things.  Who made your rules on what success means?  If you did (and you did) then you can change them if they are not right for you.

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About Susan L. Farrell

Susan has always loved to learn. One BS in college was not enough; she obtained a double major with a minor. Years later, she returned to college for an MBA. Susan also believes deeply in learning everything possible from personal and professional experiences.Her first career out of college was with a national health care company. She quickly moved from the facility level to division, field, and corporate levels. When she left she had been an executive director with national responsibilities for several years.As owner of SLF Consulting & Training, LLC, Susan assisted clients with the challenges of combining customer satisfaction, cost control, and regulatory compliance. Her business acumen made her a sought-after speaker which led to a successful speaking career. This, in turn, led to her current writing career on self-empowerment for women.A normal extension of a love of learning is a love of teaching. Susan has accomplished this in various positions through teaching and training her employees, co-workers, associates, and customers. She has taught as an adjunct instructor at business colleges. She has informally coached employees, associates, and friends in advancing professionally and personally. She now assists others through her books, blogs, and newsletter.She is the author of "Don’t Act Like Prey! A Woman’s Guide to Self-Empowerment," a book on respectful assertiveness as an option to passive or aggressive behavior. "52 Weeks of Wisdom, A Woman’s Guide to Self-Empowerment," is designed to provide ideas to encourage women to think about what they do, why they do it, and do they want to change. "3 Good Choices: Change It, Accept It, or Leave It; A Woman’s Guide to Self-Empowerment" discusses how to make positive choices in all aspects of life.Susan lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband and three cats.

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