Hope you all are having a beautiful holiday! We have been very Merry and had lots of Silver Linings! So much so that I have decided to take Christmas Day off to fully celebrate and disconnect. It is for this reason combined with the fact that I have a dear friend who in in the middle of chemotherapy whose treatment is complicated by a severe case of “should-ing” that I have decided to re-post my anti-shoulding piece.
How many times in the course of the day do you say, “I should do this” or even “I should REALLY do that”?
Being of Irish Catholic descent, ”Should-ing” is part of my DNA. So much so, in fact, that I practically had to recite “I should…” prior to my First Communion. My earliest memories include being told that “You should this or that.”
Needless to say, I am (let me correct that: I WAS) a big “Should-er”. Day-in. Day-out. I was always saying, “I should go to this. I should be here. I should go there. I should participate in that. I should send the aforementioned.” Blah. Blah. Blah.
If you can’t relate to what I just said, then GOOD FOR YOU!
A dear friend introduced me to the concept of “Should-ing” on oneself. Sounds gross, doesn’t it? Well, when you think about it, the whole concept of “Should-ing” IS gross, not to mention bad for you.
Well, please allow me to encourage you from this day forward to stop “Should-ing” on yourself!
Now, let me be clear: there are certain things in the world that are not options, e.g., death, taxes, eating, breathing (in the reverse order, of course!) and reading to your children.
I also believe that being kind is a moral imperative that is non-negotiable.
Aside from these things, however, “Should-ing” does not make for a happy life.
Think about it: do you ever really feel better after doing something you feel as though you “Should’ve” done? I can honestly say that I haven’t.
I’m still getting used to this concept. Despite how much I love the idea of not “Should-ing,” I’m finding it to be a big transition (see DNA reference above!).
So, as I am coming out of my FBC fog, instead of “Should-ing”, I make decisions because they are the right ones. For example, I recycle because it’s the right thing to do. I send a thank you note (or flowers) because it’s the right thing to do. I exercise regularly because it always makes me feel better.
It’s almost as if “Should-ing” is seeing the glass half-empty; whereas doing something because “it is the right thing to do” is seeing the glass half-full, which is the Silver Lined way to see things, if you ask me.