My Five Rules For Life

Today was the first BEAUTIFUL day of Spring and you can tell how alive it's making everyone feel!! I mean, in a few days most of us will be sniffling and sneezing away due to the pollen that's about to drop it like it's hot, but at least it will be WARM (ish).

So with this beautiful weather, I took myself for a 3.5 mile walk around the lake at a local park. I'm not a walker. I prefer to run, but I pulled a hammy the other day and decided not to push it.  It was honestly the most humbling experience. I was able to go at a nice quick pace but didn't worry about time like I do with running. What got me was the beauty I saw! Normally when I run, I'm in the ZONE. I get tunnel vision and tune into my music. Tonight, I was smiling and waving to everyone I passed, stopping to pet dogs, and taking in all of the connections I was making with nature.

I thought about a project I want to begin and received signs from my angels that I was not only surrounded by them, but on the right path. Literally. And it got me thinking about the way I live my life and how PROUD I am of myself. Because it wasn't always this way. And then I realized there are five main rules (I guess that's the word?) that I live by...

1. Focus On the Love Around You

Even if there are people in your life that bring you nothing but grief and stress, there are definitely people that bring you joy and happiness. I come from what most people would say a "broken" family. My parents divorced when I was 18 months old, my dad remarried when I was nine, and my mom passed away when I was ten. I have three families: My dad's, my mom's, and my stepmom's. I have two sisters, who are technically my "half" sisters but honestly, screw that term. They're my sisters. End of story. And even though it wasn't the ideal or "normal" family life growing up, I realized just how much LOVE I am surrounded by. I have come to see that a family that looks "cookie-cutter" on the outside may not experience as much love as I do. Don't get me wrong, we have our moments and our drama. But I genuinely LIKE and love my family.

I'm lucky to have a fiancé who is the definition of love! He never tells me to aim lower nor does he think I'm crazy when I go for things that you only hear about in the movies or for the "successful" people. I come home to a HOME every single day, and I love that. I'm grateful for that.

I also have amazing friends from all walks of life; Elementary school, middle school, high school, college, teaching, etc. I have these random moments when I tear up because of how grateful I am for the people in my life who love me back! So even though there are DEFINITELY people who I want to tell to F*CK OFF, I'm surrounded by many more people who I'd share my chips and salsa with.

2. Always Embrace Your Inner Seven year Old.

I like to think that I'm a mature human being. I grew up a little more quickly than most people my age due to life's circumstances. But if you think for a second that I don't let my inner child run wild, think again my friend! A prime example of this? I put a Ninja Turtle band-aid on my leg after I cut myself shaving this evening. Go ninja, go ninja, GO.  Although it wasn't so fun when I had to drag my foot across the bathroom floor to prevent blood dripping on the floor. It was like that scene in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion when Romy tries to get away from the suit salesman she meets. "Will you excuse me? I cut my foot earlier and my shoe is filling up with blood." *commence foot sliding across the floor with mild limp*

Anyway, I personally think that people take themselves too seriously. the best advice I was ever given was from one of my Education professors in college. "Get over yourself, and get over yourself FAST."  I honestly do not remember a single other piece of information from that course. I loved the course! But that stood out to me the day he said it as much as it does today.The professor also told me if I could Rick Roll one of my assignments, he'd give me an A for the semester. Okay, so I remember two things.

My point is to get over yourself and let yourself have FUN! I will blow the GDAMN speakers out listening to Wannabe and Mmmbop any day over "adulting."  I'm not saying blow off your obligations. But do you really have to be serious ALL of the time? You do NOT.

Buy the poop emoji pool float.  Drink out of a Beauty and the Beast cup. Wear a carebear shirt to bed. PLAY SLIP AND SLIDE KICKBALL. (I've done all of these btw). Simply put: HAVE FUN.

3. Pivot, Pivot, PIVOT.

We have choices in life at all times, whether we realize it or not. I'm sure when you're in the middle of an argument with your significant other (or any human for that matter), the last thing you think of is your choices in the moment, but what if I tell you that doing so could save you time and energy spent being angry? It can. While I'm not always the best at this, I am learning to PIVOT when I want the situation to get better.

I'm not proud of this, but I have moments where I love being mad; Times where I like feeling justified in my anger or my hurt feelings. But it never really does me any good. My saint-like fiancé handles my grumpy moments like a champ. But that doesn't mean he deserves to be on the receiving end of a temper tantrum.  One of the most powerful moments I experienced recently was my decision to PIVOT during an argument. I couldn't tell you what it was over (obviously it wasn't anything important) but I remember thinking "it doesn't have to go like this." I swallowed my pride, walked into the living room and said "I'm really sorry for arguing. I'm just grumpy and I'm taking it out on you." That, my friends, is pivoting. Realizing in any given moment that it doesn't have to be this way.  The more you pivot when things are not going how you want them to, the easier it becomes to stay in a positive mindset!

4. Eat the Chips and Salsa, Dammit!

If you don't know me, I can inhale chips and salsa more than the next person. When I was teaching, I was caught eating chips and salsa at 6:45 AM. To be fair, it was for a co-worker's birthday and they were sitting out on the break room table. And these adults know I don't have self-control when it comes to salsa. So I'm not to blame for this one.

Where am I going with this?  Life is short. It's too short to be avoiding the things we love OR feeling guilty for indulging in them. Now, if your diet is strictly made up of your favorite treat, then yes, re-think that approach. But one piece of cake isn't going to kill you or go straight to your badonkadonk. Somewhere along the line we have been taught to feel guilt surrounding food because our culture is so set on the "perfect" appearance. I, for one, find that to be shitty. Let's do better.

I support healthy eating, exercising to love, not punish our bodies, and allowing ourselves to enjoy treats without sending in the Regina George of our thoughts to berate ourselves.  Even Regina goes for the cheese fries.  Enjoy, party people.

5. Keep. Moving. Forward.

This one is so, so important.  Yes, you may take a few steps back here and there. Life isn't going to be perfect. However, you must always have it in your heart to move forward. Because staying where you are will eventually become painful (if it isn't already). Don't be afraid to fail. Because you will. Maybe just once. Maybe 2 dozen times. But where there is failure, there is success. Anyone who you deem successful is most likely going to tell you that.

There will be challenges in life that will knock the wind out of you. Keep moving forward anyway. At 27, I've lost 12 members of my family. Some of them took years to grieve. Some days I still grieve them. But when I made the decision to move forward, life brightened for me. Healing occurred. Whether it's a break up, the death of a loved one, an illness, losing your job, or any "horrible" instance, I promise you that when you make the conscious decision to move forward and let it teach you rather than hinder you, you will sail.  

Even if friends and/or family do not want to go forward with you, you still need to keep it moving.  Those who matter most will be there for the journey. Have courage and keep your faith!

While I definitely have my days of forgetting every single one of these rules, I find that I can follow them more often than not. When I look at my life, I can see where following them is apparent. I'm grateful that I get to live a life that I'm proud of because there were many days in my early twenties when I felt like I was worth absolutely nothing.

Following these rules has helped me make the most of my days.  I'm hoping that if these rules don't serve a purpose in your life that you find or define ones that DO. Just do me one favor: LIVE.

It's been real, party people. Until next time,




Staci Speece