clipboard of rules to live byRules make me me crazy. It just seems like nothing should ALWAYS be true. That said, there are some things I almost always believe and act on, and others I wish that were so.

  • There is a better option than Comic Sans. Even if you are a first grade teacher.
  • A good host is a relaxed host.  Do what you can ahead of time then relax and enjoy the party.
  • It’s not a stain, it’s the patina of life.
  • Even if orange isn’t on trend it is still awesome.
  • Salt is good. (This is my favorite salt.)
  • When in doubt trust my eye.
  • Talk it out. If it scares them off that is just efficient friend sorting.
  • Admit my mistakes. Explain my mistakes. Laugh at my mistakes.
  • There is always a more thoughtfully designed version of whatever you are using. Its OK to upgrade for form or function, particularly for items that you touch every day.
  • Multiples make design. If one is good, 3 is better and 5 is probably best.
  • Except lamps. Those should be in pairs.
  • If I like it, it will “match”
  • Rules are made for testing.
  • Ask people for help, offer to help. People like helping.
  • Say “no.” Smile. Offer zero or one reason.
  • Cleaning products should smell good.
  • Eight hours of sleep a day. (more during crisp fall weather)
  • When in doubt…coconut oil is the answer. Or ball jars. Or yes.
  • If the baby/kid needs you, you will know. No need to check.
  • 3 days/week minimum.
  • Stop fighting it. Good TV is good. Its like a grown up play date with friends you can never offend.
  • Early is on time, on time is late, late is early for the next thing.
  • Say thank you.
  • An unexamined life it not worth living.
  • Walmart isn’t the best store for anything.
  • Notice the bright spots. Except in Walmart.
  • Eat local.
  • If I want to know what matters consult my calendar and my check book. Actions > words.
  • Storage containers need to be clear or mesh. Or they end up being pre-garbage cans.

Rules I wish I lived by:

  • If it takes less than 2 minutes do it now.
  • One toy in two toys out.
  • Routines make things easier.
  • 10,000 steps a day.
  • If I don’t know what to say, say nothing.
  • Everything is exactly how it should be.
  • There are ways to celebrate without food.
  • Guilt is a useless response.
  • Everyone should play an instrument, speak two languages and know a martial art. Pretty much a triple fail. But if Everything is how it should be then none of that matters anyways.
  • Use a matter of fact tone.
  • Spend as many awake hours away from a screen as on a screen.
  • Old dog= new tricks. (drawing, tennis, spanish, coding, I could maybe actually learn something.)
  • WWBBD?
  • Rushing keeps you from living right here right now, and feels bad too.
  • Everyone is fighting a fight I know nothing about. (Because that would mean I admit that I do not know it all.)
  • No one cares how badly I dance.
  • No matter how much I want it, I will want something else more later. So appreciate what I have.
  • Potato chips are not the answer.
  • Should is a shitty word.
  • Replace But with And. It is more honest and more optimistic (if less grammatically correct.)
  • Breathe.

What about you? Which rules do you follow and which do you break?

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble,, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at

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