Rules for Transitional Periods

  1. The rules are changing.
  2. Always make a daily \”to do\” list; keep it short, essential, and feel free to amend it, but always write in changes.
  3. Make no commitments.  Promise nothing to anyone, even yourself.  If \”maybe\” isn\’t good enough for them, say \”no\”.
  4. Sleep a lot and eat whenever you want to.
  5. Allow two hours a day, at a minimum, to do nothing.  These will be your most productive times, although you may not realize it.
  6. Accept respectfully and with interest all information from yourself, including (but not limited to): boredom, fatigue, headaches, restlessness, cravings for unusual foods, dreams, forgetting to do things you thought you wanted to do, etc.
  7. Assume that you know what is best for yourself, even if you cannot explain why. Do not under any circumstances ignore hunches or intuitions, even if you cannot begin to justify them.  As far as possible, appease moods, also.
  8. Do not seek, or even permit, the company of individuals with whom you feel a strong desire to be appealing, impressive, charming, enabling or making excuses for, or several thousand miles away.
  9. Decide what responsibilities currently held are necessary for survival and for a minimum of complaints from people who impact your daily life (e.g., employers, housemates, spouses, partners, children, and creditors).  Do those things adequately — not extremely well.  Do not alter this set of duties until the transition is completed (except where such alteration is in the nature of the transition, as in job changes).
  10. Regard everything you do as an experiment.  Regard all consequences and outcomes of your activities as feedback, as information for future use.  Remember that in light of Rule 1 (above) no valid judgments of self or others can be made at this time.
  11. Amend these rules as needed, except #10.

From my own experience, this list requires incredible discipline.

I received this third hand in an e-mail list for spouses and partners of clergy, many of whom were intern or interim ministers.  The sender did not know the origin.  A Google search of the title turns up nothing.  If you know who wrote this, please contact me at jeff dot taylor at i triple e dot org.

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