My Six Rules.........That I Try To Live By Most Of The TIme.
When I was growing up, I had fairly simple expectations for my life. I knew I was not going to ever make a ton of money because I have never wanted to do much else other than teach. I think I had a fairly old fashioned view of how my life would go, I would graduate college, get married, get a History teaching job, have some kids, maybe travel a bit, live in a little house, and just kind of be average in my own right.
It is funny how things work out.
Now, I am an uncle....probably on track to fulfill the role of "odd uncle" but nonetheless, uncle. Since Broxton was born I have thought a lot about advice I would give him as well as my own kids when I stumble upon them. I don't know what got me thinking about all of this except that it occurred to me that my job is essentially telling other people how to effectively live their lives when I am not so sure the way I live mine is the best. If people ask me if I am happy, I can't give them a clear cut answer either way. Been better, been worse. People ask me if I really want to teach Special Ed, the answer there is "probably not" but it at least gets me teaching and I do know I want to do that. It isn't a matter so much of wanting to teach Special Ed, more than it is that I can teach Special Ed. People also ask me and joke about me moving away again. I think once you go far away people close to you are sometimes either afraid or eager for you to leave again. For the moment, I like Boise. In the future, I can't say I won't try to take some wicked vacations but I suspect with some regret and relief that my days of living in places not near here are over. I think I am growing up despite myself.
Things I will tell my kids and Broxton someday:
1. Don't expect your life to go as you have planned. I say this with no bitterness; it is the simple truth. I think for a person's life to go exactly how they expected it to go requires an exceptional person and circumstances. I don't know many people who are where they are today because that is exactly where they planned to be.
2. Be flexible, positive, and deal the best you can with whatever comes your way. This kind of ties into the first thing but being positive is the important part, though it is sometimes the most difficult. If you can find good in all circumstances and you find enough good, did anything bad actually happen? I read this in a book once and will probably get it tattoo'd on to me at some point, "Everything is the way it is because everything was the way it was." Look at where you are today, what happened to get you here? I like that quote because it sums up the importance of history and the past in one sentence. Good history, bad history, you are the person you are because of it. The same can be said for the world.
3. Be the person you want to be, do what you want to do. The only times I look back and think, "Wow, I was an idiot" were the times I was trying to be something I wasn't. The entire four months I thought teaching maybe wasn't for me is a fine example of this. Be true to yourself.
4. Be afraid as little as possible without getting yourself or others killed. This world and everything in it is an amusement park, enjoy the rides and learn from them. The more you do, the more you learn. Never stop learning.
5. Be happy as much as possible. Sometimes this is a hard one and it is one rule that, like I said above, I am not sure I follow as often as I should. The way I figure it, is that at the end of life, if you can look back and come to the conclusion you had more good times than bad, you had a pretty decent life. Don't waste more time than necessary being sad.
6. The last rule and most important, be a good person. Pick someone in your life that you know to be good and try to pick up as much as possible from them. Sometimes, there may not be a lot of good people that instantly come to mind and when that is the case, the one rule I follow that has never ever let me down is to do what I think would have made my grandpa proud. Happiness comes from good and rule five says to be as happy as you can as often as you can. This means you should try to do a lot of good.