Rule # 1 – Do what you love.
I used to laugh so hard when I heard old sayings like, “Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Yeah, right. Like I can just snuggle puppies all day every day and still afford to pay my bills.
YOU GUYS. I SNUGGLE PUPPIES ALL DAY, AND IT PAYS MY BILLS.
I have a four-year degree, and I make more money as a dog walker and pet sitter than I ever have before. Best of all, I get to do what I love all day, every day. I’m here to tell you, you can do it too.
Rule # 2 – Wear what you want.
Just getting dressed in the morning used to be a struggle for me. I had a closet overflowing with clothes but nothing to wear. I tried capsule wardrobes, fashion fix boxes, and even a personal shopper. Everything I put on made me feel too fat, too trendy, too old, too something.
It wasn’t until I stopped worrying about how I was “supposed to” dress that I found my own true style. I stopped buying what was on sale and what women “my age” were wearing. I started buying what fit my body and my personality.
Rule #3 – Eat what makes you feel good.
I have three words for you: avocados are gross. I have always disliked them, but I still ate them because they were a “healthy fat.” I was the queen of fad dieting. I tried low carb, vegetarian, and even raw vegan at one point. Looking back, I realize none of those gimmicks were sustainable because health and wellness is a lifestyle.
Once I started paying attention to how I felt when I ate certain types of food, I realized I dreaded any meal that involved avocados. I also figured out dairy made my stomach hurt and tomatoes, in any form, gave me heartburn. So now I just focus on eating what makes me feel good. My weight has stabilized. My stomach troubles are gone. I don’t count carbs or calories, and I feel better than ever.
Rule #4 – Be kind.
Another daily struggle for me was figuring out my life’s purpose. I thought I should be working for a non-profit organization somewhere or devoting all my free time to volunteering. I even tried both of those things, but I still wasn’t fulfilled. I was burnt out and jaded, and so was everyone else I knew.
So I started doing acts of kindness for the people around me. My coworkers, my friends, my family members, the suits behind me in line at the coffee shop on their way to work. Who knew a handwritten note, a cup of coffee, or a surprise bouquet of flowers could be so life-changing?! I got so much joy out of being kind to others, I decided that was going to be my legacy.
Rule #5 – Forget the rest.
Each and every day, the world tries to tell me who I am supposed to be, how I am supposed to live, and what I must do to be considered a success. But I don’t have to listen. I can be my own beautifully imperfect self, and I can ignore everything else. Sorry not sorry. My life. My rules.