Here's the topic: The word should.
I can hear you thinking, "Wow, now that's a deep concept, Carol...thanks for enlightening me..." #sarcasm
Sure, it doesn't sound deep. But just wait until I show you how deep it is.
Let me digress a bit and tell you how difficult it is for me to force myself to do things that I don't want to do. I know most of us feel this way from time to time, or even on a regular basis. And I don't mean to imply that I am a hoarder (even though I hate cleaning) or that I fail to wake up and take my children to school (I am really not a morning person). But I have noticed that I do procrastinate on doing the things that don't make me happy (just ask my family about my "laundry-doing ability" ... it's very sad).
I have always wondered why I don't do laundry more often. It's because I despise it. It's boring, tedious, and endless. Sometimes I even think to myself, "What's wrong with me? Why don't I keep up with my laundry?" But then I have to catch myself and rephrase it and say, "I wonder why I do this?" (the first statement implied that I am flawed, the second implied that I need to do some self-reflection...big difference).
Okay, okay, just so you know, I am a perfectly functional person. I never send my kids to school in dirty clothes. They might not always be folded and in their drawers, but I can always go down to the laundry room and fish out some unfolded clean clothes for them every day.
But this blog is not about laundry.
It's about the 'shoulds' of life. Now that I think about it, laundry is a bad example. Sorry about that. Because, yes, we all need to do laundry.
But here are four reasons why you should take the word 'should' out of your vocabulary:
1. The word 'should' implies that you don't really want to do it.
2. If you don't have to do it, then don't.
3. If you do something just because you think you should (and it's not absolutely necessary), it decreases your happiness.
4. If it doesn't make you happy, then don't do it.
Unless you absolutely, positively have to do something, then don't do it!!
Some examples are:
- Serving as PTO president (just because you are an over-achiever and/or perfectionist)
- Going to a co-worker's party (even though you don't like him/her)
- Make gourmet meals for your family every day (if you hate cooking)
- Put your kids in every sport imaginable because you don't want to look like a loser parent (if you don't enjoy it)
- Spending time with your "Debbie Downer" friend (if she/he drags you down...like all "Debbie Downer" people do)
I could go on and on, but then you would stop reading because the list would be endless.
But I think I have made my point. At least I hope so.
Do what you love. Do things that make you happy. Look to your gut and your intuition for whether you 'should' do something or not. If it feels good, then do it! If you get a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, then don't!
Meanwhile, I sure wish I had a "Laundry Fairy" to come to my house to rid me of all my 'shoulds.' But unfortunately, I haven't found one yet. Any takers? Yeah, I thought not.
Anyway, think about all of your 'shoulds' this week. And only do what you absolutely have to do. Everything else is optional!! You just need to remember that :)