Planning to be more rebellious

I am a rule follower. I struggle to go in the “out” door. Jaywalking is a challenge.
Rebellion wasn’t hard-wired into my genes. I’m not sure that is a positive attribute–despite the ease for my parents during my teenage years.
I think I can blame my father. His brand of discipline involved his hand placed over his heart, a pained look on his face while he whispered, “Oh, Wendi. I never thought you would.”
That was his response to me when I left my jacket on the fence gate overnight in the rain, when I peed my pants in Grade 1 having been afraid to ask to leave the room, and when I struggled with Grade 11 physics.
It was his go-to response–and he might have said the same thing had I robbed a bank or stolen a car.
I was filled with shame and regret, and tried to run every decision through my head before proceeding in an attempt to reduce the disappointment my father must endure. So the idea of rebellion never had a chance.
I’m 62 years old now. I can do as I please and to demonstrate my free spirit, I had dessert for breakfast on Monday of last week. Lemon cheesecake. Homemade. (yummy, if I’m allowed to boast).
The ingredients included fruit, dairy, and protein in the cream cheese. Surely that borders on sensible.
Further to that, I stayed at a small inn while I toured Parrsboro, N.S. during the last few days of August. I am compelled when staying in hotels and the like to make the bed and fold the towels before I check out, and to ensure everything is where I found it.
I didn’t make the bed this time. I broke out of my sense of obligation. It didn’t feel that great.
I think it is a little late in the game for me to find my rebellious self–and I’m not sure she even exists. Some relative once told me to never hang my laundry on Sunday, especially those items of an unmentionable nature, though it was okay to hang the laundry inside.
That seemed hypocritical at best, and a rule I have never followed. So perhaps in her eyes, I would have been a “rebel.”
The rule has to make sense. Blue and green should not be seen without a colour in between. So said my grandmother. Nonsense. I am a fan of blue and green.
I stayed out once past my curfew in high school. Once. My brother was home and in charge of my comings and goings in my parents’ absence, and I came home an hour-and-a-half late to find him asleep on the couch–a clock positioned on the coffee table for his supervision.
I turned the clock back an hour so I was only a half-hour late, then woke my brother. He chastised me for my irresponsibility and promptly went back to sleep. I then turned the clock back to the correct time.
Don’t tell him, though. I would hate to disappoint him now at this stage of the game.
I admired my friends who felt able to bend the rules without breaking them. I envied their clear sense of purpose and self. Oh well, that ship has sailed.
Rebellion is natural for youngsters, “they” say. It is how children develop independence and form their own vision of the world. I’m not sure it is essential, though; rebellion, that is. I raised four daughters with relative ease–a circumstance I credit to luck rather than my parenting.
But still. I plan to challenge myself to not always do as I tell myself I should. Surely I can do better than dessert for breakfast. I love breakfast for supper, but I’m not sure that qualifies.
Back to the drawing board.
wendistewart@live.ca