We were talking about rules last week.

My conversation was with a friend.  He’s a lawyer.   He likes talking about rules.  He’s tells his clients “If you don’t play by the rules, they will put you in time out.  That’s when you get to buy me a boat.”

I think that’s how he got his toys: the motor cycle, the 4×4 truck, the big house, his other boat.  Plus, of course, the office with his name out front.

We talked about our personal rules.  The ones we really like.  The ones we make up for ourselves.  They guide us, keeping us out of trouble.   Rules we hate to break.

Personal rules have other names, I guess.  Dedication, perseverance, self-discipline, delayed gratification, etc.  Big words I don’t like to use.

When I started to curse, I made a couple of rules.  I was using a lot of new words. Good bad words and some really bad,  bad words. Bad words you are not supposed to use.  Words I just don’t say.  I cringe when I hear others say them.  They are breaking my rules and I don’t like that one iota.

When I started driving, I added a couple of rules. Stop signs,  speed limits, the seatbelt thing, and looking twice then pulling out.  Some of my rules drive my three sons crazy.  They say I drive like an old man.  I say I want to get a bit older.

Or course, my wife and I have our own rules.

When the children came along,  I added more rules.  Rules I live by and rules I tried to teach them. I think they follow most of my old rules.  I hope and pray anyhow.

My rules guide me better than anyone else can rule for me.  They are firm and I live within them.  I’ve changed a few of them, after a lot of thought.  At one time, I would wear a pair of socks once, then into the wash. I would not put them back on until they were clean again.  A silly rule.

I realized it was stupid.  So, I stopped wearing socks, unless it’s absolutely necessary, like weddings and funerals.

My lawyer friend feels the same.

He’s got his rules, they’re not my rules.  They guide his life, just as my rules guide mine.  It’s a challenge to think about the  rules in a lawyer’s life!

I’ve broken a few of my own rules from time to time.  That can happen.  I hate that.  I don’t get up in the morning, thinking, “Hey, I’m can break a rule or two today.  No Problem.”  Seriously.

It’s hard to punish myself.

Maybe I talk to myself too much.  But, my rules  made me who I am today.  And, that’s good. It makes for a happy camper.

I know some people have no rules. I see a lot of people acting like the rules just don’t apply to them.

They seem sad to me.


 Please feel free to share.  I welcome your comments and thoughts.  Contact Mike Windham at  You can follow my blog at


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