The Voice of Reason

As I have now done the last two years, I will attempt to write a blogpost a day for the 12 days of Christmas; the first year the topic was “Hope”, the second I wrote about what ever comes to mind; not sure what this year will bring yet. This is the blog post for the second day of Christmas 21/22.

Yesterday when I talked about starting on these 12 posts, my girl reminded me that the last two years I have sometimes been very frustrated as I was not inspired and really felt like I need to write something. I couldn’t recall feeling that way; sure I was a bit late with some posts, but I didn’t recall the frustrations…

And yet here I am in the evening of the second day frustrated that I do not know what to write, and that I decided to write these posts. I could of course just write two posts tomorrow – but then that would be cheating. And once again Cathrine comes with the voice of reason:

“How is that cheating? There is no rule that says you have to write a blog post a day.
You set up the constraints and only you can decide if you break the constraints that you have set up for yourself.

paraphrased Cathrine, as she said it in Danish 🙂

She is right. I set up the rules and the constraints, and I am the one, who can choose to break them. It is not a law, it is not a rule, it has no consequence if I don’t do it.

Well except that it would be wrong!

For as long as I can remember, I have had a very strong sense of what is right and what is wrong. Which can be good in many cases; being fair is a very good virtue in my eyes. This means that I don’t cheat as that would be wrong.

When we organize the German Agile Coach Camp, we have a lottery as we have more people interested in participating than we have places. And I spend a lot of time making sure that this is done in a fair way. I use randomized numbers, I don’t skip anyone, I fit people into the rooms, check if they want to share or not, I do my best to make people share with the ones they want (if the other person got in), which means that is a lot of shifting people around in a spreadsheet until it fits and it is fair. I hope we can get back to organizing it in 2022 after these two covid years…

Back to focus: I have a very strong feeling of right and wrong – such as “a blog post a day” means writing it on that day; maybe stretching it to “before going to bed that day” like last year, where I wrote the blog post for 31rst of December as people were outside watching the fireworks after midnight.

But not only that; I also make rules all the time. And I find it very hard to break these rules even though they are rules that I make up myself for myself. I think I have always done this and I am not sure why. One of my friends told me that kids, who grow up with one or more substance abusing parent make all sort of rules to survive, and that resonated so much with me – so maybe I do know why.

Well isn’t it good to have rules?”, you may ask.

Yes sometimes it is; it helps us to interact with others, it helps us to make structure. I have a rule that if I mess up, I try to fix it, whether that is apologizing or cleaning up – because that is the right thing to do. I think that is a good rule as I take responsibility for my actions – even when I don’t feel like doing what it takes.

And sometimes the rules don’t help us at all. Sometimes they are old legacy from family that may have made sense once, but make no sense anymore to us; yet we still follow them. Sometimes they are obligations – “shoulds” that pushes us to do things that we may not want – but maybe if we do it, we will be loved. If you want to know more about shoulds and family rules, and how to change them into guides, I recommend looking into Virginia Satir’s work, this post by Esther Derby – or ask me .

And sometimes we continue to make rules for ourselves as we grow up. I even have rules about peeling potatoes; as I like raw potatoes, I can only eat a bite of the raw potate for every three potatoes that I peel – that way I don’t eat too much. And I still follow it.

Can I decide to break my own rules and constraints?
Yes I can as my girl made me aware.

Will I?

That is a much bigger question and one that won’t be answered tonight as I have made the question into a blog post, so I still follow the rule of one blog post a day for the 12 days of Christmas.

Blog post for the first day of Christmas 21/22: Love is all around
Blog post for the third day of Christmas 21/22: Resting to get headspace
Blog post for the fourth day of Christmas 21/22: Building bridges
Blogpost for the fifth day of Christmas 21/22: Wrapping up things

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