How I stopped “should-ing” all over myself!

I’m really not a fan of foul language. I don’t believe I am a prude; I simply believe there are other creative words I can use to express how I feel.

Speaking of bad words, there IS one word that really makes me cringe! You might hear it all the time too, either spoken aloud by others or whispered in your head . . .

The word is Should.

You should reply immediately! You don’t want to keep them waiting!

I guess I really should be open minded. After all, it’s all the rage now.

You know you should say Yes! What will they do without you?

You should have been there! Look at what you missed!

You should have reminded me of the time; I was late for work again!

For years I caved in to Should.  Guilt became my motivation to do this, buy that, attend this and try that. You get my point. Though I said Yes on the outside, I oftentimes felt a nagging NO inside. I soon discovered I had lost myself along the way.

Something had to change.

I had to stop should-ing all over myself!

I’m not sure exactly when it happened. The day I discovered it was okay not to try and please everyone at the same time! I tried something new. I started saying, “No, I’m sorry. That won’t work for me.” Soon, I began to feel different inside. Less cluttered.

My mind was no longer pulled in two different directions! Peace replaced Anxiety.

Speaking of Peace, it’s that time of year again when there are more activities than there are hours in a day. Below are 5 ways I have decided to stop should-ing all over …

5 simple ways I no longer should all over myself!

1. Who said I should answer the doorbell?!

Home offices are now the norm and the last thing I need is an unexpected caller ringing the doorbell while I’m on a call or simply concentrating on a work project.  So I am doing everyone a favour and have decided to post a polite, “Please do not disturb” sign on my front door (See below).

NOTE TO SELF: The sky will not fall if I don’t answer the door!

2.  Who said I should “hang around” the house all day while visiting with relatives?

I know I need to take brief “time outs” while visiting long hours with relatives and I make sure I arrive with a game plan.

Plan A: When I need to recharge, I will offer to walk the dog (I actually did this once. Three times!).
Plan B: No dog? No problem. I will offer to walk the neighbour’s dog!

NOTE TO SELF: I always have choices. Self care is not Self-ish!

3. Who said I should buy the latest whatever?

Call me old fashioned! I don’t want an app that tells me I live north of the 49th parallel. And yes, I am still very happy using my slow cooker and no, I don’t “do instant”!  And no thank you, I don’t want to upgrade to a new phone. Gosh, I’m still learning how to swipe my new “flat” phone (AKA Android) when taking a call!

NOTE TO SELF: I am more than okay with what works for me.

4. Who said I should volunteer every time I’m asked?

There was a time when I replied “Yes” to every request for help that came my way. Following several burnouts, I finally discovered the word, “No.”  Before committing to anything, I now ask myself, “Is this good for me?” and “What is my motive for doing this?”  Remember, I’m not in charge of funerals and I don’t run an emergency service. I can turn my phone off when I need to rest.

NOTE TO SELF: I am not indispensable; they will survive without me.

5. Who said I should prepare ALL the food?

Gone are the days when I feel I should do it all, especially when it comes to hosting a large dinner at home. I now invite each guest to bring a prepared dish or favourite beverage of their choice.  And little hands are thrilled to help set the table. I am also not loathe to ask for help with clean-up afterwards! The old adage, “Many hands make light work,” certainly applies here!

NOTE TO SELF: I don’t have to do it all by myself; I can ask for help.

Like they say in 12-Step Recovery, take what you like here and leave the rest!

Wishing you a very merry Should-free Holiday!

Whatever you have to say let your ‘yes’ be a plain ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ a plain ‘no.’
— Matthew 5:37a Phillips Bible Version


What is Louise up to these days?! Click on the cartoon below to learn more!