The Rules! Let’s Break a Few…


PicassoWant to break some rules?

Work rules?

Family rules?

Fashion rules?

Aging Rules?

Money rules?

Decorating rules?

Eating Rules?

The story goes that menopause makes us braver. I don’t feel overly brave, but I do think I’m gutsier.

I’m not sure of the difference between brave and gutsy.

Brave seems more serious, more challenging, more noble.

But gutsy sounds like fun.

Cliff and I recently stayed in a hotel in Surfside, Texas. Rules were posted in the hall:


The signs made me want to run and slam and shout!

(But I didn’t. Menopause hasn’t made me THAT gutsy, especially since this was the only hotel in Surfside, Texas–or at least the only one I’d be brave enough to sleep in.)

Still, I think it’s time to question the rules.

Some rules.

All rules.

Or maybe just rules that seem extra-fun to break.

William Faulkner wrote his plot outlines on the wall of his study.

On the wall!

When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to even tape anything on my wall for fear I’d ruin the paint.

At my grownup house, picture hanging is a big deal. We try to do it right. We follow rules of proper height and spacing.

But look at William’s plot right there on his wall:

Faulkner's Writing on the Wall

Faulkner ended up so famous that people like me go to his house and snap pictures of his walls.

(Which wasn’t against the rules because I asked the docent.)

And then there’s Pablo Picasso, who encourages us to be rule breakers.

And everybody wants to plaster their walls with Picassos.


Is it time to break some rules?  What rules would you like most like to break?

24 responses »

  1. I am old enough to start breaking some rules that is for sure.
    When I was 13 I babysat for the children of Abbie Hoffman who later became a Yippee leader. He was home preparing for his PHD and his wife hired me to watch their small kids for the afternoon so he could work. Abbie told me to let the kids draw on the walls if they wanted or take all their clothes off and run outside. At 13 this was a big breach of babysitting rules, and I would have none of it. I don’t know what became of these kids who must be in their late 40’s now, I hope I didn’t scar them for life. I was following rules!

  2. Fun!! We have SO many internal rules, mostly from childhood. Sometimes I am amazed when I realize it was a rule placed in my head and I can be big and change it if I want to!!

  3. Since retirement, I have broken many fashion rules! Dressing professionally for 40 years was a real drag for me… I am a blue jean/sweatshirt type of gal. So I now wear what I want when I want where I want (most of the time) Have also ordered dessert before the entree at a favorite restaurant, and although I never really had trouble making a fool of myself in public… I am even better at it now!
    Not that much of a rebel, but I am braver about voicing my opinions, especially when in the minority!

    • Love the breaking down of the fashion rules. It must be such a relief to be able to dress down after dressing up for so long. And I really LOVE the dessert rules. I should try that on our upcoming vacation. Now that would really shake up the family!

  4. Rules are there for a purpose, however who’s purpose? I always follow rules (probably its the teacher in me), but breaking them once in a while probably would bring on a sense of freedom I’ve been lacking for some time now. I may give it a try, you never know what might come out of it!

  5. When I was a teenager, I painted my bedroom green using ‘flat’ paint. I knew this would allow me to use my bedroom walls as a chalkboard. This was long before the invention, or at least the availability, of chalkboard paint. My friends would come over and we would write all over my bedroom walls, enjoying not only the messages we wrote, but the fact that we had definitely broken the rules. 😉 I think I need to break some more rules soon… feeling a bit overwhelmed. Rule breaking would be nice right about now.

  6. Hi Carol! found you from your comment on Cynsations recently–around aging and writing. Great to see others focused on creativity and breaking the rules after a “certain age!” Please take a peek at my website and blog around portrayals of aging in picture books? thanks! Lindsey

Comment on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s