Oh Should! (should happens)

After my Mother’s Funeral I made a valiant attempt to thank all the people who had graciously spoken or sang on her behalf.  Most Importantly I wanted to thank her Friend Kathy who gave the most beautiful and gracious eulogy imaginable.

In the midst of my thanks I confessed all the my guilt over my Mother’s death, my mind was swirling was all the things I should have done.

She said something, funny, slightly vulgar, and profound: “Don’t should on yourself.”

But I do, all the time.  I’m constantly living in a pile of my own should.

Here are some examples:

  • I should develop a better morning routine for the kids that doesn’t involve turning on the tv in the first 20 minutes.
  • I should become a better gardener and pour more of my heart into the earth that way
  • I should keep a bit tighter reign on our budget
  • I should have said or done this when I was talking to her / him earlier.

The list goes on, and these shoulds pile on the guilt, inadequacy and the “less than.”

The other day we met my brother Brian and his wife Lisa at Craig’s Cruisers, a local arcade, mini golf, go kart place with an endless pizza buffet.  It was typical flashy childhood entertainment and the kids went crazy for it.

After the simulators and crane games I fixed their plates piled with pizza AND Mac n Cheese.  On a whim I stopped by the soda fountain and got them clear, fizzy glasses of sprite.  My husband’s mouth gaped when he saw me deliver the drinks and plop down with my own cherry coke, my first pop in almost 10 months.

I told him: “I don’t give a *!@# about what I should right now, I’m so tired, I’m on vacation.”

We sat in a room covered in children’s murals with 4 huge TVs showing “Finding Nemo”.  It was flashy, easy, kid heaven when in my mind we should have been throwing frisbees or reading books.  Yet, it was just what we needed in the exhaustion of that day, should be darned.

My shouldn’t was exactly what we needed.

We all have our should lists, the ones we make when play compare / contrast and feel like we’re coming up short.

Here’s what I’m learning about dealing with my pile of should.  Everyone on this planet has deeply rooted, God planted purpose, which must flourish in the assault of should the world flings at us.

We must use our true purpose as an umbrella against the should storm.

When you feel “should” creeping in when you see other’s people truly good pursuits, remind yourself that their passion it probably just your should.  If it keeps bugging you, bring it to God and ask him to put it in the right category.  90% of the time the should will flush away, although sometimes the spirit is at work.

Remember that you’re uniquely and perfectly crafted for your purpose, and not everyone else’s.

When do you find yourself should-ing on yourself?
Any wisdom on staying daisy fresh in the should storm?

  • http://www.debidayle.com Debi

    That’s awesome! Great analogy! If there is any conclusion I have reached as I approach my 60th birthday it is that living by the law (should) kills and destroys but living by grace and an overall awareness of the love and goodness of God brings LIFE. (And well-that is actually in the Bible. 2 Corinthians 3:6).

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      I love that, and I am so glad that as you approach your birthday you find yourself ever freer!

  • http://staceydaze.blogspot.com stacey

    Ah, the lie of should’s. I have to say I am still susceptible to them, though some are seen for what they are faster than they used to be. Sometimes I try to should other people to. I HATE it when I’ve caught myself there!

  • http://www.facebook.com/betsy.eisenga Betsy Eisenga

    This is GOOD, thanks! My Should list is always longer and older than my Done list!