Monday, June 20, 2016

Playing by the rules!

Playing by the rules makes life nice for everyone!
In case you haven’t noticed, the rules begin very early in our lives. They are not necessarily the favorite part of our learning experience but they are very necessary if we are to live in a civilized society. I don’t know about you but that is where I want to live.
There are a lot of things written about where we will live in our retirement. The list begins with a new house on a beach. Then there is co-housing, retirement communities, intellectual communities, RV resorts and the list goes on forever. But the thing we need to realize is that, no matter where we choose to live, we want that place to speak to our culture and our sense of civility. What goes on inside our homes and relationships will be the same no matter where we live.
So when it comes to the rules, I am an expert of sorts. As my daughter points out frequently, I have seen a lot and therefore probably know too much. But there you have it…what is, is.
My days are filled with retirement matters and grandchildren. I am lucky in that I have two sons that married late in life and then began families. Those babies are now 4, 6, and 8. My oldest grandchild is 25. There are 12 of them all together so goodness knows I have seen a lot over my lifetime. The one lesson I have learned is that our lives need some rules or chaos would run rampant.
On top of that my husband and I have been retired for 20ish years. Being together 24/7 for 15 years has taught us a lot about retirement, marriage and the rules.
The thing that strikes me now is that those two set of rule, one for grandchildren and one for retirement, are not that much different. In a weird sort of way they run parallel to each other. They go like this:
  1. You must hug another person several times a day.
  2. Remember a “please” and “thank you” is always good.
  3. Come when you are called.
  4. When you are spoken to, please answer.
  5. Be nice.
  6. Don’t be bossy.
  7. Share.
  8. Cooperate.
  9. Look at a person when you are talking to them.
  10. The computer/TV must be turned off after a certain period of time. Go outside and play.
  11. Leave the light switches alone. The person that turned the light on wants the light on. They are not a playthings.
  12. Don’t hide other people’s stuff. That means do not rearrange the kitchen without talking it over or, in the case of children, do not hide your brother/sister's toys.
  13. Don’t touch other people’s computers. If you are a child, you will break it. If you are the husband or wife, the desktop is just fine and the person using that computer likes it that way.
  14. Tell someone where you are going if you leave the house or even the room.
  15. Don’t run in the house unless it is an emergency. Then you need to run fast. You don’t get to decide what an emergency is. If you are asked to leave fast, just do it.
  16. (For children and grandpa only) Do not break the baby.
 I always smile when I think about this list. A child knows that it is rude to leave a question unanswered but grown-up people will ignore each other for reasons only they understand.
A child should not sit in front of the TV or iPad all day. It is not good for their growth mentally or physically. They get up and move because they know the rule. The same should apply to retirees. And the list goes on and on.
Being bossy is probably the biggest problem for both children and retirees. No one wants a child to be bossy. It is still true when we are of retirement age. By the time we retire we are in charge of someone at work. That power does not carry over at home. I’m just saying!
Think about it. Maybe you have other more important rules at your house. We would love to have your input.


I wrote this article for Surviving Your Husband's Retirement several years ago. Nothing has changed even after all these years! :)


  1. This list got me to smile, the rules are the same for retirees and kids. No. 1 and no. 16 are especially good. I would add praying to the list and reading books, good for old and young.

    1. I like that each person can adapt the rules to their own needs. As for me the ones above seem to work.

  2. This reminds me of the "everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten" list. And even though I tell my granddaughters to share, I have no intention of sharing some of my things, i.e a new vehicle.

    1. Well not with the granddaughters at least! I will think of a rule that covers that for you.

  3. I love this list! Did you make it up?

    1. Yes, absolutely. I have experiences that taught be the rules and I am only passing them on to you.

  4. Great list ... should be posted on Facebook.

  5. I've always liked the rule, "Respect everyone old or young including yourself!"

    1. Yes, respect belong on every list of rules for children and retirees. We sometimes forget as we get older that the rule applies to us too. Thank you Betty.


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