Why are we shoulding all over ourselves? I first heard this question several years ago from Carrie Bradshaw in Sex And The City. Carrie and her friends had been doing a lot of things they felt they “should” do whether they really wanted to or not. Well, not Samantha. You know she never did anything she didn’t want to do. But it makes me think why do we do the things we do? How do you choose?
When you were growing up you probably had a parent or teacher or older sibling tell you that you “should” do something. Usually it was something that you didn’t really want to do but you knew you should. This is when shoulding is born. We are really big on shoulding in the south. To hear someone else say that you “should” just sort of validates it. As an adult shoulding becomes even more prominent in our day to day lives.
Of course there are things that you have to do right? You have to keep up with doctor appointments, You have to go to work You have to clean the house and buy groceries and pay bills and taxes and go to that less than pleasant event that you don’t want to but should. Shoulding tends to be in competition with the things you “have” to do and things you “want” to do. “I want to” go out with my friends, eat at that new restaurant, go shopping, knit, take pictures or whatever you want to do. Then you have the ‘shoulds” I should be happy about that. I should have gone into work today. I should apologize. I should go to that meeting. I should be more grateful. I should eat better. So where is that little gray line between have to want to and should?
I have an older sister who does not believe in shoulding. If she doesn’t want to do something then by golly she just doesn’t do it. This used to cause her a lot of guilt but I recently noticed that is not the case so much anymore. I think she feels like she is at an age where she will do what she wants to do and not because she should. Wow!!! That is powerful. There is a part of me that is in awe of her like she is some endangered creature to watch and study. I may even be a little jealous, shhhhh. And then there is that part of me that gets a little pissed off at her when she doesn’t show up for a family event or something that me and my other sister feel that we “should” attend. I guess I am more mad at myself for shoulding than her for not shoulding.
I don’t know the secret to changing a should into a want to. I do know that a should can easily become a have to. And if you do it enough such as exercise, cooking, or whatever that should could even become a “want” to.
Anyway you know what I say,
Love your day your way!!! You really should!!!