Have you ever thought about what your personal policies or 'life rules' are?  You have them, we all do.  They shape your life, in a good way, and generally come from life experiences, because they're the way you protect your time and health.  I think it's important to be aware of what these boundaries are for you, because otherwise your time and energy will just get hijacked by other people and what's important to them.  If you've never sat down and considered what yours are, it's an interesting exercise.  Here are some of mine:


I always vote.  Even if it's frustrating or inconvenient, even if I don't have a candidate I'm particularly passionate for.  I always vote.  I don't like people who don't vote.  I very much don't like people who say 'oh you wouldn't want me to vote anyway, I really don't know what's going on.'  No, you're just super embarrassing because being ignorant isn't cool, but I still want you to vote.

I don't eat cookies.  I just don't.  I make them for John sometimes, like the oatmeal raisin ones, and I'll taste test to make sure I did okay, but otherwise, I just... don't.  Cookies are fine.  They aren't a great dessert to me.  I already know what they taste like and I'm never going to think one is worth the calories and sugar crash so I just don't eat cookies.

I only wear dresses.  Pants suck, I don't like them.  My entire wardrobe is dresses.

I don't fly.  I used to, due to lack of options and control over my own schedule but now I'm an adult and in charge and now I do not get on airplanes.

If it's not an enthusiastic yes, it's a no.  If I need to ponder over an invitation, that makes it a no.  I need to feel right away like it's something I want to do, otherwise I know that I'm just forcing myself to go out of some sense of obligation, and that's not worth my time.

I don't take my phone out while drinking.  I've been following this successfully for years and then just ditched my own policy when we bar crawled back in December and it cost me another phone.  I absolutely cannot take my phone out while drinking.  Not to text, not to take photos, nothing.  I will break it or lose it.

I always get places early.  Time is precious and finite.  I will not waste someone else's time by being late, it's so rude.  Rather than even chance being late by aiming to be on time, I aim to be early and generally end up being really early.  I likewise limit the time I spend with people that I know are always late.  They might not mean to be so inconsiderate, but the fact is, they're wasting my time and I'd rather hang out with people who don't.

I don't eat meat.  John eats meat and I help him prepare it so I really don't care what other people choose to do, but I've never eaten meat.  I simply cannot see anything appealing about eating the rotting flesh of something that used to be alive and had a face.  Hard pass.

I don't leave my dog alone longer than a typical work day.  Essentially this means that if John is working his 24 hours at the firehouse, I do not make plans for after work that day because I'd rather go straight home to Hawkeye.  Even though she has potty pads and I leave her food out all the time like a cat, I just think she's lonely and I want to get home as soon as possible.  So if someone wants to meet for happy hour, I only agree if I know John is home.

I always send thank you cards.  Thank you cards for everything.

I don't chew gum.  It's just such a strange habit, chewing flavored synthetic rubber.  Hard pass again.

I only go to one pre-wedding festivity.  I do not attend the engagement party, the bridal shower, and the bachelorette party.  I pick just one.  It's usually the bachelorette party, since themed parties are where I really shine, let's get real.  This rule doesn't apply if I'm a bridesmaid, but thankfully my bridesmaid years are behind me.

I don't do shots.  I once had 13 shots of Jameson, that I know of, after I took the bar exam, and woke up in my bathtub.  Proceeded to be hungover for like a week.  Never again.  Since that time, I've refused to do shots.  It's a horrible idea.  Every time Tara or John get too hammered and have to go home or wake up feeling awful, it's because they didn't listen to my sage wisdom and did shots.

I only donate to charities I've researched.  I'm not going to be guilted into donations by people with petition clipboards on the street, or even by friends raising money.  I won't hand over donations until I personally research a charity and find out their exact policies on things like administrative overhead and animal testing.

I don't respond to impersonal e-mails.  I get a lot of these related to the blog, wanting to talk about promotions or whatever, but if you can't take the time to at least figure out my name, I'm not taking the time to respond.

I don't like photos of babies or small kids on Instagram.  I think it encourages overshare of these tiny humans who can't object and may later be resentful that their parents plastered them all over the internet.  I'm just not here for that, so my feed is full of dogs.  (I also don't actually like babies, this is a fact.)

I keep phones out of the bedroom.  I charge my phone in the kitchen, outside of our bedroom.  If there were an emergency, I would hear it ring.  But if it's right next to the bed then I end up looking at the screen too close to bed time and it interferes with my sleep.  And I'd also end up checking nonsense first thing when I wake up, which is also not how I want to spend my first waking minutes.

I don't get in a car with someone who has had more than 1 drink.  I think it goes without saying that I don't drink and drive, but I also don't get in the car with someone who has had more than 1 drink in the last hour.  I'd rather pay $20 for an Uber than pay for a free ride home with my life.

I don't smoke, anything.  Cigarettes are gross of course, but I don't smoke pot either and I never have.  Not the way I want to spend my time.

I always write everything down.  I can pretend like I'll remember it if I don't, but we all know the truth.  I always write stuff down, immediately.

What are some of your personal policies?  If you've never thought about them before, it could be a good wait to shape the rest of 2019 into your ideal year.


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