I am a chronic rule follower. I didn't even know this about myself until a few years ago when I was playing a game with my newish group of Portland friends. I was clinging to the rule sheet, getting uptight over a rule that another gamer wanted to ignore. My friends called me out, "Ooooh, Leah is a rule-follower!" and I was taken-aback. Moi?? I always thought of myself with a punky rebel streak and attracted to controversy. I began to observe this in myself, and I've found that not only is it totally true but that its best for me to embrace it. Whether it's a public sign, a game or an expectation I put on myself, I just feel icky and off if I don't follow directions properly, or if I leave something out or cut something short. For example, last week a did a 10k run (my first) and the halfway point was an orange cone that all the runners were supposed to approach, and run around. You can bet I ran my ass up to that cone and made a graceful, intentional turn around it, with a heart full of integrity and satisfaction. You can also bet that I was irritated as hell when I watched other runners cut short as they got close and just mosey over the other lane where the cone-obeyers were, therefore being in front of me rather than behind where they belonged. It is not a contest for me but it took me about 3/4 of a mile to get over it. Maybe more.
National blog posting month is also not a contest but because I hold myself accountible to my own rules, I don't want to miss out or be late. Writing is screaming to get out of me, making leaps to escape--this feels like my month, as rusty and bumbling as I am. But we moved this weekend and the internet isn't up yet, so at 11:23pm as I sat reading others NaNoBloMo posts, I felt a sense of disappointment. "It's too late," I whined. "Can't you just start tomorrow?" my husband inquired. I reminded him of me-and-rules, and he got it especially after I confessed the orange cone story. So thanks to the glorious magnificance of the iPhone, I had a new blog up and running by 11:41 in bed, in the dark, in the nick of time. Because I'm no cheater.