My thoughts on rules are mixed right now. Usually I think that rules are good; they help to keep structure and peace. They mean that we know where we are. We are taught from a young age that all we do is simply follow the rules and we will be safe. But to have a rule means that someone needs to enforce it. This is not always easy as people are not always happy to abide my the rules. Some people are challengers by nature and some just want to disobey. As a submissive I like having Rules. They help me to keep my focus on the things that I want. Sometimes these rules will be instigated by Sir as he thinks they will help with our dynamic in some way, and sometimes I will ask if he could help me by making something a rule for me. In either case, they are agreed through discussion, as are the consequences if they are not adhered to.
Today I have had to be the enforcer. Arghhhhh! It has been hard and, to be honest, I could see rules far enough. I am tired of trying to persuade others that the rules should be accepted. I feel that I have gone round in circles and my submissive nature that leads me to listen, talk, listen and accept (ok, this is me and there is probably more talk in there than I have included) is clearly not shared by those who I am trying to convince. They are clearly of the challenger variety and it has led me to respond by wanting to make the rules even more extreme. I am not good at enforcing, especially when I am just the messenger.
It started at work. It was relatively recently that I learnt that a school uniform was something that a lot of cultures don’t have. Here it is commonplace and in the area where we live it is very unusual to find a school which doesn’t have an official uniform. While I realise this is the stuff of fantasy to many (and easy for me to access for private use) the response to tightening up on standards over the last two days has been more the stuff of nightmares. I have been met with, “I’m not doing it!”, “You can’t make me!” and “I don’t see why we have to anyway!” I guess that “Yes Miss!” kept quiet – probably because he was already dressed appropriately. So, tired from doing battle for someone else, I left to address some issues closer to home. Meet the enforcer mark 2.
The issue at home is simple. As simple as the reasons for a formal school dress code in fact. Family members are spending increasing amounts of time using internet devices to focus on relationships with others, to the detriment of the relationships with those round about them. This issue came to the fore over Christmas when Sir enforced a phone/ipad embargo on two of the children, following a broken rule and failure to meet expectations. His point was simple: if they were not going to use their technology to communicate with us when circumstances changed he would remove their ability to communicate with others via that method for a period of time. So at 1am on New Year’s morning they went off the grid, and the reflection began.
This actually transpired to be a valuable lesson for more than his victims. I saw quite quickly how much family life was improved for all. It made me take stock of the way we use the internet and the fact that this actually takes time, energy and attention from each other. Not all of my suggestions for some great new rules which, will benefit everyone, have been welcomed with open arms, so I am now doubly tired from trying to reason with the unreasonable about the value of the rules. But I am hoping that as time passes, others will come to feel as I do about many of the rules that Sir and I follow. That they are there for our benefit, that they make things simpler and that they help us to get the most from our relationships with others and help us to manage things rather that things managing us.
It always seems such a contradiction that having rules imposed in some areas, can actually lead us to feel a sense of freedom in others. My daughter was quick to say after day one that she felt free without her phone. She had no worries and nothing to trouble her and so much time to do the other things that she wanted to do. This is actually how I feel about many of my rules. They save me so much time. I don’t have to think or debate, I just do, leaving me free to get on with other things. Like a uniform they provide a standard which I understand, have chosen and can easily adhere to and I am not left standing in front of the wardrobe for hours wasting time debating what would be most appropriate for the occasion.
So in conclusion, I have to say that I am a believer in rules. I can often see the benefits: they can add structure, create a standard, and provide simplicity, although the have to be sensible, well thought out, and meaningful. If there is not a purpose then there is little point and I will challenge along with the best of them. They also have to be enforced somehow. If you don’t do anything when the rules are flouted then you send the message that they are not important and they lose any of the value that they had. This is what has happened at school. Things were not followed up and standards slipped and now there is a resistance to go back. I am weary from my challenge today in trying to persuade unwilling listeners that they should adhere to the rules. As a submissive I am not the one enforcing the rules, but I do accept that if I break them it is in my interest to have that pointed out and to have some consequence that will lead me to reflection on their value.
I apologise for the rant tonight. It will not be repeated – from now on my new internet rules will be in effect so no posts post 10pm!