Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rules Abound, or, Little Black Book Redundancies

So rules abound here. Well, that's not quite right...There's technically only one rule which transposes into two, and lots of expectations along the way.
The one rule is obey, which translates into, "Please me", then everything that encompasses. Seriously, that one rule encompasses everything about being alive. It is...Excessively simple on its surface.
That said, I still have the punishment book. Every day, (okay, sometimes I slip. Fine, lately, it's a lot of times) I put an x by the the things I did or didn't do that I am supposed to, or not supposed to, do. The list is by no means all-inclusive.
In a way, it's kind of silly because to make a complete list would take miles of paper, and then one would be sure to miss something because there's only one rule and it encompasses everything! But...It's things that I need to work on, struggle with, or reflect past mistakes that were big enough for him to want me to remember, which go into the book. Still with me?

During our last night alone, I asked if we could sit down and review/revise the things which are written in the book. I feel like some have become redundant, some could be tweaked, and others perhaps added to. He agreed that we could look it over. And proceeded to not look at it once.

I had asked this same question last year. He said the same thing. Everything in the book is exactly as it was when I first started writing in it. Except, of course, the number of pages and little x's. Last year I just quit writing in it. For months. Until I got in trouble. Apparently, he likes to wait long enough for me to really hang myself before pointing out that he's been paying attention all along. Hmph.
Anyways, I had a hissy and quit doing what I was supposed to because I felt like it didn't matter to him since he didn't sit down with me and do what I wanted.

Over the years, I have discovered that it's really hard to place importance on things that he doesn't seem to find important. It just is. I quit writing in the book because I felt like it wasn't important to him. I started again because he (not so kindly) pointed out that he shouldn't need to constantly validate the importance of something--saying that is what he wants and leaving it at that should be enough.

Do I wish that he would sit down with me and revise the damn book that I'm supposed to write in every day? Well yes, I do. I want to know that me doing what he wants matters to him, or, more accurately, I want validation that it matters. I already know that it does, I just like acknowledgement or something...
I also feel like I have grown, and some of them are unnecessary, and I would like to know that he feels the same. I also happen to hate activities which I find redundant.
Of course, taking things out of the book wouldn't mean that those requirements no longer exist, it just means that I no longer need constant daily reminders of them.

The book makes me mindful of my behavior. It keeps my focus on pleasing him. It is a good thing. Some of it is redundant, and some of it needs expansion. Will I quit writing in it again simply because he's ignoring my desire to revise it, after agreeing to revise it? No. Because, while I find the point of the book to be largely about focusing on improving areas the need improving, it's also about submitting and pleasing him.
Writing in the book and presenting it every night pleases him.

Hmmm, perhaps I'll add a note to the page. Just this once. Or maybe not this time...I've been slacking, which is never the best time to suggest that he might be doing so himself.

And after all, there is a concept that I have been working on quite a bit, which fits quite well into this whole thing:


  1. This really is good. Act without expectation. It is about time I adopted another mantra.

    It is only natural that we only place importance on the things that they feel are important. It is how they have made us, isn't it? On the other hand, I make the bed every day even though he has not mentioned that as being an important rule since... oh... forever... the last time I forgot to do it. One time I only got around to do it right before he went upstairs for the first time since morning. I told him that I was very late with it, and his response was "Well, you did it before I got up there so you are off the hook". Technically, yes, I followed the rule. But did I feel good about how? Or his response? Would you?

    1. ksst,
      it's not an easy mantra to adopt! Though, I rather think that it might be useful in many different areas of life...

      I think that it's a difficult feeling sometimes, when we have done as we were supposed to, but not how/when we should have--it kinda makes the whole experience less satisfying....

  2. i totally get where you are coming from and would probably have the same reaction to the lack of validation. (Don't you just hate when they keep giving you the rope to hang yourself with?)

    1. scarlet,
      seems there's always enough rope to hang myself with! Not an inch more, and not an inch less. You'd think that I'd have this figured out by now, lol.

  3. Shame on me, but maybe you could add a little note in the books that says something like WTF, or FU or WANT A DATE. Something just to see his reaction.

    1. sunnygirl,
      LOL!! Yes, shame on you!

      I'm thinking that the FU is a bit braver than I want to be, but I was considering writing a sample page of edited rules and presenting it as I usually do. Just cuz...

  4. Act without expectation, I love that!

    I totally get this Lil, it's hard to place importance on things he doesn't place importance on ... or worse, things we *think* he doesn't place importance on. This is something I struggle with. I get that he shouldn't need to constantly validate the importance of something, but I need that validation.

    As you have highlighted too, our circumstances and needs change and things that may have been important/relevant may no longer be so. I therefore think it is important to sit down and review things from time to time. Also, we have found if something isn't overly important to him, he doesn't hold me accountable for it.

    I also have a book to record 'offences' and discipline and I don't always maintain it ... oops.


    1. Roz,
      I think there's a nice line somewhere (I'm sure of it, just haven't been able to catch it yet) where the validation isn't necessary, but there...?

      I think it took me a year or two to figure out that it was really only worth doing/following if it was important to him. If it's not, well that kinda just makes it a moot point, doesn't it?

      Maintaining the book when I have slipped up and gotten behind makes me cringe!

  5. Meanings behind actions... they're everywhere.


Play nice.