Who made that rule?

Our last post was about balance.  Sometimes life gets out of balance when we have a specific task or developmental challenge.  Sometimes life gets out of balance when we have too much on our plates.  While some tasks can’t be outsourced easily (raising your own children! writing a term paper, ethically), sometimes we CAN pare down our list of tasks, and maybe move some things off our plates.

Here is a quick/dumb story from my life. A few years ago we gutted our house to the studs and embarked on a major remodeling project.  My parents flew out to help with the project. By the time they arrived, the house was a dusty mess, our kitchen was more of a “kitchen” as random household items had been moved into the kitchen, the last “safe space” in the house. I was walking in circles in the kitchen with no walls, trying to sort out how I was going to possibly make bread.  (Yes, you read that right.)  Finally, my sane mother asked, “Ah, why are you making bread? We could, you know, buy it at the store, as people do.” No joke, the possibility of buying bread had not crossed my mind. At my house we make bread, not buy it! And then entered the fantastic questions: Who made that rule? And can it be changed?

When you are facing an alarming task list, you might ask yourself: who made that rule? Parents are “supposed” to volunteer in the classroom, college students are “supposed” to take a certain number of credits, and adults are “supposed” to live independently.  Well, maybe.  But who made the rule? Can it be changed? Does the rule serve a purpose for you at this time? Does the rule help or hinder you right now? And can you get a free pass for now?