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.


Everything is something you decide to do, and there is nothing you have to do.

~Denis Waitley


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    • says

      Thanks for your note, Asta! It's hard, I know. I'm definitely still shoulding on myself and it is NOT FUN! Welcome to The Silver Pen! So glad you came for a visit. Please stay in touch. Best, Hollye

  1. Kim says

    From an English Protestant to an Irish Catholic – I can relate!! To do everything with intension & not guilt!!!! A life long goal of mine, too!! I'm off to your beautiful State for a week – I can hardly wait!