Posts Tagged With: The Platinum Rule

Day 933: Wiggle Room

I’m  going to give you some wiggle room, now, to think about what “wiggle room” means to you. 

Here’s a little photographic wiggle room, while you’re taking the room to think about that:

Those bunnies and chicks look like they’re wiggling in that room, don’t they?

It looks like there’s some wiggling going on there, too, even though that wiggling is taking place in a parking garage, not a room. 

Let’s see if there are any other photos wiggling on my iPhone that might make more room for the concept of “wiggle room.”

Actually, that seems like the OPPOSITE  of wiggle room; it’s a description of somebody not moving. 

Okay, this post has wiggled around, long enough. Here’s a definition of wiggle room that’s currently wiggling on the web:

(Informal) the freedom or opportunity to do something, or to change your mind and do something differently, if that is what is needed.

Here’s my personal — and perhaps simpler — definition of “wiggle room”:

(Informal) the space and freedom to move, without negative consequences.

Now that we have some definitions of “wiggle room,” allow me the wiggle room to explain why I’m writing about “wiggle room” today. 

Since I’ve been giving myself the wiggle room — through this blog, EMDR therapy, and other means  — to wiggle further along the path to self discovery and personal growth, I’ve realized that “wiggle room” is a very important concept, for me. 

Rather than wiggle through another long sentence trying to explain this, I’ll try a wiggly brief explanation:

Because of things that have happened to me in the past, I can easily believe that I have little or no wiggle room with other people. 

In other words, I am constantly fighting fears that any tiny wiggle of a 

  • Mistake,
  • Mis-step, or
  • Misunderstanding

can  threaten a relationship, no matter how secure that relationship actually is. 

Here’s one wiggly example, illustrating this:  

When I was in my early 20s, I managed to escape, physically unscathed, from an encounter with a rapist outside my apartment. When I went inside,  shaking with relief and terror, I did not wake up my roommate, for fear she might be annoyed with me for doing so. 

Can you see how wigglingly weird that is — my not realizing I had that wiggle room with my roommate, to disturb her sleep for such a good reason? Especially since my roommate was a dear and loving friend I’d known since childhood. 

I could give you many different — if less dramatic — examples of how wigglingly easy it is for me to doubt that I have any wiggle room with others. 

I believe that my habitual difficulty with wiggle room causes confusing wiggles in my relationships. That is why I have deliberately and consciously been creating the wiggle room, this year,  to realize I have LOTS more wiggle room with other people. 

Does this make any wiggly sense?

I wonder if I have the wiggle room, now, to share a few more photos that may — or may not — relate to “wiggle room.” 

Let’s find out, shall we?




I hope you know that you have the room to wiggle about those photos — or anything else — however you choose. 

I shall now take a little more wiggle room, for myself,  to share this wiggly musical memory:

It’s  the Wiggles, singing about “Fruit Salad” in their wiggly way.

Now I need to wiggle my way to work, to a teeth cleaning (with a wiggly IV of antibiotics), and to a high school reunion planning meeting. I expect there will be lots of wiggle room, everywhere. 

Wiggly and roomy thanks to all those who helped me wiggle my way to writing today’s post and special thanks to you — of course! — for making room to read it. 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 30 Comments

Day 739: Rules and guidelines

Here’s a catch-phrase I used to hear when I was in my 20’s, working as a technical/marketing writer at an innovative start-up company in the Northeastern USA;

It’s more a guideline than a rule.

I like that expression, because:

  1. I’m a child of the 1960’s, and lots of people who grew up then do not love rules,*
  2. I’m an Aquarius and a Myers-Briggs ENFP — in both cases, people who don’t love rules,*
  3. I’m a psychotherapist who does groups that break some rules* of group psychotherapy (e.g., group members have the control to attend these groups when and how frequently they choose), and
  4. I have an overactive superego — also called the internal critic — which means I can judge myself and my behaviors by some rather harsh rules, unless I practice, practice, practice new habits and guidelines for how I think.*

I’m also thinking about another rule* I heard, last year:

Ann, you’re now on anticoagulants for your atrial fibrillation,  which means your blood won’t clot normally. No antidote exists for this medication, so PLEASE DON’T SLIP ON THE ICE.

This guideline/rule — which one of my cardiologists told me — tends to make me more anxious when:

  • It’s friggin’ cold outside, and there’s ice,
  • I’m driving a car, in any weather, and
  • I hit my &*%$@! head on a cabinet, like I did right before I started writing this post.

If this post makes less sense than usual, that MAY indicate that I’m developing a subdural hematoma. So if my regular readers notice anything different in my writing style, please contact my nearest health provider.

Where was I?

Oh, yes.  Guidelines rather than rules.

Yesterday, I encountered several rules and/or guidelines throughout my day.


That’s something I wrote on my whiteboard in my office, yesterday afternoon . Why? Because yet another kind, empathic person who sees me for psychotherapy was being too critical of themselves. Therefore, the antidote we came up with together was “The Platinum Rule” rather than “The Golden Rule” (do unto others as you would have others do unto you.)

Here’s another photo I snapped in my office, later in the day:


Note that the barista spelled my name wrong. I used to have a rule* about that: I believed somebody misspelling or forgetting a name was demonstrating that the other person wasn’t important enough.  I no longer think that’s a rule, at all.


That’s a photograph I snapped after I got home, after a long day at work yesterday (which included my facilitating a therapy group starting at 5:30 PM). Even though it was verrrrrry cold outside, I wanted to take that photo of the moon. Because my communication style includes full disclosure*, I want to tell you that even though that moon LOOKS full, it really isn’t.

There are many other things I could write, this morning, about rules vs. guidelines,  but I need to leave soon for cardiac rehab, so I can get my very unusual heart into great shape. The morning session there starts at 7:30, but thanks to the wonderful Carla, Danise and Kathy (l. to r.):


.. that’s more a guideline than a rule.

One of the rules* of my daily posts is that I try to include some music. Instead, today, I’m going to break some conventions and do something new!

I just searched YouTube for “rules and guidelines,” and here are two things I found:

(Photo Composition: Should You follow Rules and Guidelines? found here on YouTube.)

(Stoudman’s Western Movie Marathon: Rules and Guidelines found here on YouTUbe.)

Inspired by that last video, here are ….

Ann’s Rules and Guidelines for the Weekend, Starting Tomorrow:

  1. Must Watch Movies I Love.
  2. Must Spend Time with People I Love.
  3. Must Use The Platinum Rule.

Them’s the rules, pardner.

Thanks to all those who contributed to my writing this post this morning AND to anybody, anywhere who follows or thinks about rules and guidelines (including you, of course!)

* More guidelines than rules, I think.  What do you think?

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 43 Comments

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