evannichols (evannichols) wrote,

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Wherein I Measure Myself Against Tolstoy's 10 Rules of Life

I saw Tolstoy's 10 Rules of Life on BoingBoing.net, and the first items seemed to be descriptive enough of my life that I thought I'd look at the rest. So I decided to rate myself on a 0 – 10 scale (0 = So Totally Not, 10 = Totally) to see how I rated with some dead Russian's opinions on how Life Should Be Lived:

1. Get up early (five o'clock) - I do! Well, sometimes on weekends I sleep in until 6:00. If I stay in bed after 7:00, I feel as if I'm sleeping the whole day away. Anyway, that's a 9.

2. Go to bed early (nine to ten o'clock) – I do! Yes, again there are exceptions, like when I go to Dude Night and am out until 10:00, so I don't go to sleep until 11:00 or so. So this also gets a 9.

3. Eat little and avoid sweets - I do! Although I do like cookies now and then. So I'll just take an 8.

4. Try to do everything by yourself – Okay, this is obviously a slam against the Bourgeoisie, who have servants do everything for them. So, yeah, I try to do everything by myself, because if I don't, nobody else is going to. I don't even have an assisstant. Does it count if I don't get to everything, because I'm trying to do it by myself? You know, I'm just going to give myself a 10.

5. Have a goal for your whole life, a goal for one section of your life, a goal for a shorter period and a goal for the year; a goal for every month, a goal for every week, a goal for every day, a goal for every hour and for every minute, and sacrifice the lesser goal to the greater - Well, I do set goals for myself, but I'm not really good at setting goals for every freakin' minute (seriously, wouldn't you be spending a significant percentage of your time thinking up goals for each minute? Plus writing them down, and noting whether you achieved your goal, for your Performance Review (would you have to do a review at the end of each minute?)). Makes me tired just to think about it. I'll give myself a 6.

6. Keep away from women – Um, in what sense? I spend a lot of my time in the company of women, working with them, talking to them and often socializing with them. So I definitely don't qualify in the "don't even get near them" sense. Is Tolstoy talking about the "doing it with women"? Because there's been none of that for a while. But not because I've been avoiding it, if you know what I mean. Hmmph. What's next?

7. Kill desire by work - I'm really not liking the Puritanical turn this list has taken. Unless this he means "desire" in a Buddhist sense. He did write about nonviolence, but I don't think he was Buddhist. And I don't think one releases material desires merely by devoting one's self to work. You just get tired. I really don't want to work myself to such exhaustion that I lose desire. That just seems wrong.

8. Be good, but try to let no one know it - Okay, this sounds better. I don't discuss what I do for charities and non-profits, because it isn't done to impress other people. (Except my Tax Preparer. Because I still like tax deductions.) And when I do kindnesses for people, like bringing them food when they're sick, I suppose they know about it. I can't say that I never mention it to anyone, but I generally don't make a big deal about it. That sounds like what's most important: Don't go around boasting about being a good person. That seems dickish. So I'll say no more about it...

9. Always live less expensively than you might - Absolutely. Well, I don't know about "always," but certainly more often than not. If you've seen how I live, you know what I mean.

10. Change nothing in your style of living even if you become ten times richer - Oh, of course! If I suddenly increase my wealth tenfold, I'll stay exactly the same as I am now. I swear. Hey, let's test this! You'll see that I'm right. Now, all I need is someone to give me a whole lot of money...

Anyway, I kinda lost track of scoring, but I don't suppose I really care about whether I measure up to Tolstoy's standards. I am a Rebel. I Live By My Own Rules, and Cannot Be Tamed. So I'll give myself a 100, because that's how I do things. And now, I'm going to bed. Even though it's early.

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