As a child, following the rules is what stressed me out the most. I was always one who didn't want to get in trouble. In third grade we had a green, yellow, and red system for behavior on the wall. If you were on green, that means you were in good behavior. Yellow meant that you had a warning and that you needed to shape up or else you'd get in trouble. Red meant you were in trouble and you had some sort of punishment coming your way. I think I had flipped from green to yellow only two times in my third grade career. I think one time I was talking in line while at the bathroom when our teacher told us to be quiet. I don't remember what it was the other time.
I always wanted to be the good student, the role model, the leader. We had this weird job in school, I think it was called the TLC or some other thing. Basically, we were hired tattle tales. If we saw an infraction of the rules, it was our job to call out the perpetrator. We'd write them up and then at the end of the week we'd have a mock trial where a "judge" would be able to figure out a punishment. I guess it worked. It all seems a little strange as I describe it now.
In high school, I got pretty upset at people when they didn't follow the rules. I think I carried a lot of anxiety about it when I really didn't need to. That's what I've been trying to improve upon in my daily life. I don't need to carry water for other people's problems and issues if I don't want to. Getting needlessly anxious and upset over things and people you don't have to care about is worthless. I get to choose what makes me mad and upset as an adult. (I think social media has really dulled that capacity. Now everyone has to get upset over everything or else they are not paying attention.) It's helped that I've instituted a policy of trying to contain things in my life.
I still like to think I follow the rules. My roommate asked if I had ever gotten detention in my life. I honestly don't think I ever did. I think I was terrified of breaking the rules because my brother did, often. I didn't want to be yelled at.
What stresses me out now? I don't think about following the "rules" as much. I mean, I guess your adult rules are the laws and whatever HR policies are at work. Those don't seem too much of a burden to me. I'm not stupid. Money stresses me out a lot more now. I'm doing better at managing it much more than I was a few years ago. Last year it was probably finding a new job and a place to live. Luckily, those things are taken care of and I'm not worrying about them as much.
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