No Whining Rule

We have a No Whining Rule at my house. Confession time, it’s for me. When you’re in a family of stone-cold super-survivors and the hardest adult thing you’ve ever done is stay up late pushing a record button, you need some guidelines.

I’m getting a cold. That’s not an excuse. My head hurts. I’m coughing. I ache all over. These are facts, people! I got the cold from an un-named family member whom I love dearly. I resisted naming names. So far so good.

The Plot Thickens

Today, however, reveals a disturbing trend. Rather than suffer the man-shame of falling into the whiny-pit, I’ve found a loophole. According to the orignal No Whining documents, it’s perfectly legal to let all discipline go – as long as I do it silently.

Technically Not Whining

My good habits start to slip. I don’t make my bed. I forget how to wash a dish. I skip shaving and call it creative.

The next thing you know, I read an internet article about the positive effects of eating chocolate cake for breakfast – and I believe it. (It must be true . . . Internet!)

From here all barriers are breached. The discipline dam bursts. I start over-commenting on Facebook. I develop opinions. I attempt jokes. I try to explain the internet to people.

If this doesn’t stop soon I’ll be hijacking ice cream trucks and buying in bulk! Something obviously must be done.

Smarmy & Smarmy

It has become obvious that just because I’m not whining aloud doesn’t mean I’m not whining. But Smarmy & Smarmy, the legal team in the back of my mind, has quietly gotten me off the hook on a technicality.

My good habits are the momentum that keeps me going when things get rough. I’ve worked hard to put them in place. I can’t really afford to let them go dormant just because I found an excuse. Thanks to my Smarmy & Smarmy, there’s always an excuse.

It’s time for a new rule.

The No Excuse Rule

Whereas whining has been defined as audible excuses, therefore excuses shall be defined as any reason, stated or otherwise, written or unwritten, that I use to avoid doing the duty I have chosen.

That’s right. I chose this. So, any lie I tell is a lie told to myself. I will do this even if it hurts. Even if I’m sick.

But Wait, I’m Sick

But it’s cold. No excuses! I’m dressed like an Eskimo but I’m shivering so hartd I Can’t hold my ifone stilll. Who mad these tiny keys! I remind myself that the troops wer coldr at the Battle of the Bulge. Probbbably.

I grit my teeth, hold my tongue and thank God for dpellcheck. Gratitude is not whining. I didn’t even mention dyslexia.

If only I can make it to the medicine cabinet for a swig of the hard stuff – NyQuil. I manage it without my legs buckling.

There. That’s better. Now, all I have to do is make it to bed and finish writing before I . . .

Operation Restore Order

This morning I got up and made my bed. Okay, it was after coffee but it still counts. It’s a simple, foundational habit that I chose. If I skip it I’m letting myself down. It didn’t hurt much, even though it looked like there was a bar fight in there.

Today will go better because of it.

I also I ordered my hand-tooled leather “No Excuses Tour” bomber jacket to commemorate my survival. No one else will understand what it means. But you and I will.

We lived it.


Photo: Chocolate Cake by Tim Hoggarth via Flickr

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