You should do that first! You shouldn’t think like that! You should eat better! You shouldn’t talk like that. You should, you shouldn’t, you should, you shouldn’t…are you seeing a pattern yet? It seems all my life, if I am not shoulding on myself, someone else is.
I wonder if most human beings across this planet think like this middle class American does. Do they think they should be able to do what they want, when they want, where they want, and how they want, with who they want, and do they think, others should not be telling us what we should do, or how we should do it, or when we should do it?
When I was younger it was my elders who were shoulding on me mostly but as I grew older and became the elder, I began to take over more and more of the shoulding responsibilities. This morning is a pretty good example of this shoulding. First off let me preface my words with it was my desire this morning to either go fishing or to sit and do some writing since I haven’t made a new blog post since last Saturday nor have I gone fishing for weeks and, heck, it is not raining! Secondly, I fish best and write best in the morning, even though I usually end up writing mostly at night between naps. The mornings are my most creative times. A cup of coffee or maybe two cups of coffee does help.
This morning, even before I got the coffee started my should messages started firing at me. You should take out the garbage, you should get a load of white’s started, you should sweep – look at this dirt! You should shoot that irritating wood pecker who is not pecking wood but is in a constant screeching mode. I do need a cup of coffee, I should make my coffee first. Oh, but that is impossible because a couple of shoulds have already grown into action and I finally can see that pesky wood pecker on my second return trip from the garbage tote. I can hear that the water is now finished filling the washing machine and I should add the whites so it can be washing while I make my coffee. NO! The coffee should be making while I load the washing machine, then my coffee will be ready when I am finished loading the washing machine. What is this? Dirty dishes in the sink? Oh yeah, I ran the dishwasher last night. I should empty the dishwasher next. No, I should start my computer so it is booted up, so when the coffee is done I can start writing.
Well, here I sit writing. The woodpecker gave up its screeching to peck wood, I have a cup of coffee to my right, the whites have finished washing. I should go start them drying, the garbage is taken out, but I should really get up and unload that dishwasher. The crock pot has begun its six hour chicken cook, and I have a pile of dirt in the corner where I started the sweeping. I should stop being so lazy and get up and do a proper job of sweeping – or maybe I should just go fishing where there is no dishes, no laundry, and no floor to sweep and I could feel the sun soak into my back, and maybe, feel the strike and see my pole tip do a little splash breaking the the lake surface.
Years ago I saw a sign hanging in a friends office that said, “Don’t should on yourself.” Yeah, maybe we shouldn’t should on ourselves but if we didn’t would we ever get anything done? Maybe you would, but I am not so sure those shoulds are not my best friends.
Now I should go get that second cup of coffee.
Go ahead should on yourself if you must.