It’s been a rather quiet week around Clemdog Manor, my daughter was at her dad’s house for spring break and I am finally feeling like myself again after being sick the week before with the crud.  My son has had all the room and toys to play with and has taken full advantage of his one on one time with my wife and me.  It was good to pick Kash up this afternoon and get back to life being a little more hectic. I am sipping on a Stradka (Strike Force Energy and Vodka), it’s quite the delicious drink. My wife won a bucket of 40 airplane bottles at a fundraiser, so I have been expanding my horizons when it comes to booze (there is a lot of fru-fru flavored vodka in the bucket and Malibu). This topic was a difficult one to write, since it was easy for me to go off on a tangent and lose sight of what I am communicating.

I had a conversation with my dad the other day (let’s talk about this term “the other day” in a bit) concerning moments that aggravate us. One topic that came up was jaywalking. The main peeve is when they affect the flow of traffic on a busy street or they are expecting you to slow down and accommodate their needs (general disrespect outside of a crossing). In my neighborhood and town, jaywalking is rampant. The majority have zero-fs to give and will take their sweet ass time while traffic must come to a halt. There are crosswalks available, lights, and yield for pedestrian signs.  Just so I don’t come off as a self-righteous d-bag, I have jaywalked. When it’s convenient or necessary, I have done it. I more get aggravated when I am the driver, and I do my best to not impede traffic when I jaywalk. I also don’t do it when I have my family with me. It’s easy to become swept up in your own frustrations and not be aware of your own faults. I’ve noticed when I have taken a self-righteous stance on something, it’s come back to bite me in the ass. This is not a self-righteous rant. It’s a reflection on the rules that we impose on ourselves and feel the need to continue to create.

From where I sit in my beliefs in Christ, all these laws and rules we follow are self-imposed. They are not necessary for our salvation and place in heaven.  We have them in place because it’s our way of creating a safe environment where we may grow and prosper. They hold us accountable to each other and ourselves.  You’re not going to go to hell for speeding or jaywalking, but that doesn’t mean you won’t jeopardize the safety and welfare of others when doing so. Safety and welfare to others is a big factor when it comes to certain laws and rules in place. Lately a lot of them have been misguided and encroach on our personal liberties for the sake of a few, but we will not go down that road.

In the military, we have rules of engagement and standard operating procedures that we operate within.  We also work within in the term “mission dependent.” It’s a grey area.  You make decisions based on the information you have in front of you and your experiences.  Sometimes that means breaking the rules for the betterment of the men and completion of the mission. You may take an ass-chewing, but is it worth it to know you made the right call at the time? That is only a question you can answer for yourself.

The rules can also be viewed as the way one is supposed to travel through life and the wickets he/she is supposed to meet before taking the next step.  There isn’t a set way to be successful, but there are characteristics you must have to increase your chances (luck comes into play here as well). How one person has done it may be different than the way you need to go about it.  There are lessons to be learned from others, but the path is your own.  For instance, how my family came to be.  I went from a starter wife (divorce) to a starter family.  I had met my wife, who had a daughter. We dated for a while and then discovered she was pregnant. After that we decided to get married and focus on raising a family together. I wouldn’t change any of it, but it wasn’t the “normal” way that is accepted (by most).

At the end of the day, you need to hold yourself to a standard and accountable. Yes, you need to hold others to the same, especially when you are in a position of responsibility. Don’t confuse that with being a part of everyone’s business (AKA busy body). You also should understand when to be reasonable about a situation and break that standard/rule and do something different (socks with sandals). It’s all about perspective and the risks associated with it. Is the juice worth the squeeze? Dealing in absolutes is a fine line to follow and can sometimes holds you back when it comes to problem solving. You can be a stickler for the rules, but know when to cut loose. You can be whimsical and loose, but know when to tighten up. It’s all about balance.  Find yours, and break the rules every once and a while. It’s good for ya.

Do work, be rad

Ben