First, break all the rules

American novelist James Paterson took the road less travelled when he began to write books in the mid-70’s. After reading “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman,” Paterson decided to break all the rules about how he crafted the books he wrote. He embraced “full-throttle freedom,” learned to trust the right side of his brain and “just let go.”
Apparently it has worked rather well for him over the years.
I’ve never read one of Paterson’s novels. However, his reasoning about full-throttle freedom appeals to me because I love to write my way and because his motto is what I wish for in my life, too.
Letting go and freedom. To. Just. Be. Me.
I am a 53-year old woman who still is a girl at heart, a “Little Miss” who trusts the Universal Plan, dreams big dreams for herself, thinks too much about the small stuff sometimes and too little about the big stuff much of the time. I fall down, get up, and try again. I believe that my intuition always is right and yet I don’t always listen to it the first time or the third time. Sometimes years go by and still I don’t listen. Then I learn the hard way.
I am afraid of change and yet I believe in it with all my heart. I wasn’t meant to be alone in this world and I don’t like how many times I’ve had to be there. I’ve learned great lessons when things didn’t turn out the way I had planned. I’ve learned great lessons when they did. I’d like more of the latter, please.
A few days ago I wore spring like a favorite old good luck t-shirt. I wore it like an old softened faded pair of jeans that fit just right. I wore it like a reunion with a best friend after a long while of being apart. I wore it well.
No more downcast face grunting discontent to a snow bank.
I put away my high-top winter boots, folded up the ski pants and woolly scarves and stuffed them “where the sun don’t shine.” I wore duck boots outside and dodged puddles and skipped over muddy soft spots in the driveway. I smelled thawing dog poop and yes, I liked it.
I watched with glee the steady trickle of ice-cold water pouring out of the eaves trough spout from the roof. I saw signs of green grass, revealed at the receding snow around my septic tank and was thankful for the human condition.
I drove around town on a sunny day with my car window down and went soaring down the highway with my left arm stuck out the driver’s window like a one-winged airplane.
I made two big decisions last week. I don’t like making big decisions by myself anymore. Still, I do it anyway. I bought six new windows for my house. I picked “Country Lane Red” siding too. She’s been an old-looking farmhouse for so long. I guess she’s going to get a second chance.
Second chances are really nice gifts to give ourselves. Believe me, I know. First, you have to break the rules and just let go.

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