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The Rules of Randy

In today’s #RandyTales, our hero FINALLY talks about the Rules of Randy…

I have been a Doctor Who fan for as long as I can remember. Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor) is who I grew up on – watching it on PBS in the early 80s. British television definitely inspired a lot of my story telling style… and might also explain many of my quirks like funny hats and cross dressing. But it was the Eleventh Doctor who explained something not so quirky about me – “Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to ask why I have so many.”

I like having “rules” which I guess makes me not a good man. To be fair I never claimed to be – you people keep insisting that I am. Rules are simply some guidance on how to navigate through life. They are our own personal boundaries. The typical idea of boundaries are the limits you place on others. And it is easier to enforce some thing on yourself than others… at least in my experience.

The Rules of Randy are my personal code of conduct. I think I first came up with the term 20 odd years ago in some therapy session. Over the years, I have refined some and expounded on others and even retired a few that no longer belonged in my life. I even added a new rule in the last year, because the moment you stop growing is the moment you start dying.

So, what are the Rules of Randy?

• Never ask a question you don’t really want to know the answer to.
Any conversation with me for any length of time will have me evoking the First Rule of Randy. I don’t lie. I can origami the shit out of any answer I give, but I prefer just the direct answer. I don’t sugar coat anything with anyone. I don’t do smoke and sunshine and “aww… poor baby”. I will not repeat your delusions back to you. So if you ask me something, you will get an unfiltered and honest answer. And by the same token, I don’t ask questions I don’t want to know the answer to. Ignorance can be bliss… for a little while.

• No judgement
I don’t judge people, especially my friends. We all make choices in our lives and some of those choices may not be the ones others would make. I have made some really bad choices and been judged for them. I do not have a right to say if what you did was right or wrong. As long as you don’t harm animals or children – I will accept you. I will talk to you about your bad behavior and I will tell you what I think. And I may even grade it.

• Never pick sides
I always strive to remain neutral in all situations. I was taught to remove my biases and preconceptions to see the situation as fairly as possible. Sometimes, this is not easy – especially when two people I love no longer love each other. I try to be there for both parties if they are open to it. My neutrality allows me to say and do the things I do. My words and my voice loses their weight if I make those kinds of decisions and let’s face it, I make horrible decisions anyway.

• There is always more to the story
This has been said far better by others. There are things we don’t talk about. There are things that happen behind closed doors that aren’t common knowledge. Not everyone is like me and shares fucking everything. You don’t know what you don’t know. And sometimes those unknown things aren’t meant to be known. Be open to being in doubt, and realize those doubts can be the key to understanding. And always remember that somethings aren’t talked about for a reason.

• Everything happens for a reason
This is one of my oldest Rules. I honestly believe that things happen exactly the way they are supposed to. It isn’t some kind of predestined thing. We are given lessons and challenges and experiences so we can learn and grow. Learn the lessons – you move on. Don’t learn them – you will be forced to repeat them.

• Family is everything
Long before Vin Diesel started imparting this, my grandmother (Nana’s mom) told it to me. Your family is your people and they are the most important thing. My grandmother was talking about blood relatives with ties to the Klan and the Mafia, and really annoying in-laws. But I have moved it into my “friends” who are closer to me than the above mentioned relatives. We are a family – we may not always agree, but we always love. And all interactions should start and end from a place of love.

• There are no ordinary moments
Every moment has the potential to be an experience, possibly life changing. It is all about the attitude and enthusiasm with which you approach it. A trip to the grocery store, being seated in a restaurant, some multi day festival – these all have potential to be amazing. You just have to be open to whatever may happen!

• Work is work, play is play
This Rule originally was a reminder to not fuck co-workers – something that was a problem at various points in my life. Over the years, I extended that to keeping my professional and personal lives separate. Very few people ever cross that line, and usually with a lot of deep conversations. And those that do – no matter when – are absolutely the ones I want in my life.

• Only do one stupid thing at a time
I heard this one many years ago at Burning Man. It was the mayor of one of the large theme camps advice for how to not die at Burning Man. I am the first person to admit I don’t always make the best decisions. But I try to keep my stupid things to one at a time. Any more than that is asking for trouble, and the Universe loves to reward people looking for trouble.

The newest rule and a long overdue addition. I am no longer accepting less than I deserve. I don’t want or need temporary or conditional friends or relationships. I give a lot in every interaction with people, and I want to receive a lot. Not every relationship is going to be on the same level – and that is okay. But if someone doesn’t want to make their time with me a priority, then I don’t want their time.

• No regrets
I have broken every single rule on this list. I have done some horrible things in my life. I have had to make choices where there were only bad consequences. But every decision I have made was made without regret. I will not second guess myself, because I made the best decision I could at the time. I will learn from that choice and make a better one next time. Regrets just eat away at the core of who we are.