To go along with our Values and our Projects, we’ve also developed some silly rules of our own over the years to keep us focused, busy, and on track. We probably have quite a few more but here are some of our big ones that are tops on our list currently:
Vegan – We’ve chosen to live with a plant-based diet, avoiding consumption of all animal products, be it from fish, mammals, birds, and crustaceans. Our motivations are health oriented as well as ethically driven. From what we’ve learned – and this can always change – we feel that living a vegan lifestyle offers us the best probabilities for maintaining our health as we age. It is not the only way, but based on our habits, how we eat, and our family histories, we think a plant-based diet is our best option currently. Ethically, we both feel wrong killing or enslaving animals to eat them or the things they produce. Should our lives be on the line, we may think differently, but they’re not, so while plants are available, that’s what we choose to eat.
3 years – We’ve decided to limit our stays to 3 years maximum in any one city or region in the world. Our motivations are to continually challenge ourselves by forcing change in our lives and to avoid the common pitfall of complacency. We think that by living with this rule, which is essentially like living with a deadline, we will make a greater effort to get to know our current homes and make stronger friendships, knowing our time is limited. We also think this rule will keep us challenged by forcing us to set up shop repeatedly and start fresh throughout life. This isn’t the only way to accomplish our goals, but it seems like it can be effective and exciting at the same time. If we follow this rule until age 75, we’ll live in at least 15 more places throughout the world between now and then, and this is a very exciting idea for both of us.
Alcohol – We are not into consuming alcohol. Matt has completely given it up while Julie will drink a glass of wine on occasion – she has better self control and doesn’t need streaks quite like Matt does. Our thought here is that alcohol consumption changes people and how they behave. We are trying to craft the best lives we can and because of all we do to better ourselves, we have no desire to be anybody else, which we feel is essentially what alcohol consumption does, it changes people into someone else. As with all our views, if we are shown a better way, we’ll take it, and we’re not trying to force our views upon others. With alcohol consumption, we simply think it’s better to be ourselves and avoid altering ourselves by consuming alcohol. Plus, so many people end up struggling in life due to the influence of alcohol and we feel like it’s better to simply steer clear all together rather than play with fire.
The Push Up Rule – We both do a minimum of five prison cell pushups every day. A prison cell pushup is something we got from P90x and I think it’s similar to a burpee. We do this every day in order to maintain our fitness. It’s really minor, but making this little effort every day keeps us both mindful of our activity for the day and keeps us motivated to stay fit. While five per day is the minimum, we often find ourselves doing more.