[ This is a guest post about some rules that don’t exist from our good friend and professional speaker, Laurie Guest. ]
Kim and Jason have coined a phrase that speaks directly to my heart. The phrase is #notarule, and it challenges adults to look for ways to fight Adultitis, a disease that causes stress and decreases fun.
Jason wrote a book called Penguins Can’t Fly +39 Other Rules That Don’t Exist. He invited others to submit suggestions for #notarule, and I had been on the lookout for a good example. I wanted to be included in the book, but unfortunately, I never found a worthy submission and lost my chance.
So imagine my surprise last month when a most unique #notarule presented itself to me. While waiting to meet a friend for lunch, I was sitting in my car with the windows rolled down, the sun shining on my face, and a cool breeze flowing through the vehicle. A light gray Ford pulled up next to me facing in the opposite direction so our driver sides were next to each other. I looked up and saw a man’s grinning face as the car slowly rolled past me. In his back seat was a huge stuffed dog with the head plastered up against the window. Of course, I did a double take, and the driver (I later learned his name was Pete) rolled down his window and said, “There is no rule that says the dog has to be real!”
Now, I am not making this up. I am not embellishing a story to get Jason’s attention. Those were Pete’s exact words. Breaking into hysterical laughter, I asked him to tell me about this dog. I think he was a little surprised to find someone with sincere interest in his quirky ways, so he jammed the car in park and explained, “You see, I’m an old man living alone, and I am determined to live a happy life. It is such a shame so many people are mad, grumpy and nasty all the time, don’t you think?”
I shook my head in agreement.
“I decided I’d put my dog back here to make people smile, just like you did when I pulled up.”
“What’s your dog’s name?” I inquired.
He replied, “His name is Whoop as in ‘whoop your ass’.” Another round of belly laughter followed from me.
Now it was his turn to ask me a few questions. “What are you doing just sitting here?”
“Well, Pete, I’m a professional speaker in town to give a presentation. I got here a little early, and I am enjoying the weather and thinking to myself how lucky I am to be living the life I want. I’m loved, I’m happy, and I’m blessed.”
“Is that what you speak about?” he asked.
“No, generally I just try and make people laugh which actually is not much different than what you and Woop are doing really.” I told him about the #notarule movement that my friends have started and that sooner or later he would be the topic of a blog and likely a moment in my speech that same day.
“Now, isn’t that somethin’. You’re gonna talk about me today?”
“Yes, Pete, I am!” I said with a giant smile.
And with that, he rolled on out of the lot with a quick “toot toot” of the horn. I got two lessons from Pete and Whoop that day.
Pets have to be real. #notarule
An older adult can’t act like a kid with spirit. #notarule.
Through more laughter, I realize that this was not only the highlight of my day but a great story I could not wait to share with Jason and Kim.