I'm a rule-follower. A stickler. Many (including my husband) might call me a goody-two-shoes. And I wouldn't be able to deny it.
I cried in 2nd grade when I accidentally forgot to do an assignment and, therefore, didn't get a sticker on my homework chart for that day. I'm certain it never happened again.
My dad only had to spank me once in my life (that I can remember, at least). My sister, Sarah, and I were in the basement doing something. I don't remember what. But I'm pretty sure I was wrongly accused (it was her fault!).
Scared of the imminent tongue-lashing, I pretended to be asleep when Sarah got home from college the weekend after I had backed her beloved (and freshly-painted) car into a tree just off our driveway (I SWEAR that tree moved). She "woke me up". And she WAS mad. (But I most remember the big hug she gave me after her anger had subsided.)
I didn't have my first taste of alcohol until my 21st birthday when my sister took me to The Mill in my hometown. She ordered me an amaretto sour. I had a few drinks, but stopped way short of finishing it, because I was scared I would get "drunk". To this day, I still haven't had even a sip of beer.
I get nervous if Dale drives more than 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. And I rarely do (never on purpose).
I get really stressed sometimes on our visits to Dale's mom's house in Hickory, worried that Macie is going to accidentally break one of Grandma's beloved ceramic elephants.
I even found a career in which my sole responsibility is to help the UNC Department of Athletics' constituency (coaches, student-athletes, staff, boosters) understand and abide by the NCAA's rules.
So what's any of this have to do with what's on my mind today?
If you read my Not Me! Monday post earlier today, you know about the Facebook photo contest I entered. And you know that (after a glitch I kind of just glossed over in that post) I ended up winning a $250 shopping spree.
But what you don't know (yet!) is that thoughts of how this contest "shook out" kept me awake last night for over an hour and a half after my head hit the pillow. While I lay there and listened to Dale sleeping peacefully, you know what I just couldn't free from my mind? The fact that the rules of the contest weren't enforced. And I'm embarrassed to say that it actually really upset and bothered me. To the point of keeping me from sleeping.
Silly. Stupid (I know, Iv and Mac, "we don't say stupid", but it applies here.). Insane. Senseless. Weak-minded. Unreasonable. Out of control. Foolish. I know. Because, as the contest organizer so appropriately stated, it was intended to "stir some excitement", "see the products in action", and "hopefully spread the word" about their company. And, in my head, I get that. I REALLY get that. But my heart just couldn't look past the fact that there were explicit rules and that, in the long run, the organizers just didn't believe it was important to take the time necessary to enforce them. To them, and probably to every single other entrant, it was just for fun! But, to me, as you all are keenly aware by this point, it was more than that. $250 of shopping credit, to me (and probably to a lot of you!) is beyond just "fun".
But, in all seriousness, I KNOW that something like this should not cause this reaction in me. It's just not healthy. There are so many important, difficult, unbelievable, and unfathomable problems in our world that should be the things keeping me awake, tossing and turning at night. Not this. I feel overcome with guilt, actually, knowing that there are so many people, so many of YOU, that had much bigger worries and concerns that kept them from resting peacefully last night.
So I just needed to get this off my chest. Admit, I guess, to my small readership out there, that I took this too far. Berate myself in "public". So that I could fully understand the absurdity of my thoughts and level of frustration. This, to me, is taking the first step to acknowledging that I've gone overboard and reign myself back in so that I can move on to the things in life that I know are much more worthy of my thoughts.
I think I'll start by trying to raise my girls to hopefully be a bit more realistic than I am when it comes to how the real world "follows rules". And how it's really important to step away from something and put the situation into perspective before proceeding. I hope this will save them from sleepless nights worrying about things that DON'T MATTER.