The weight of the shoulds

I had a long list of things I should have done today. I should have done more laundry. I should have finished the dusting. I should have washed the kitchen floor. I should have started going through boxes to purge the extra stuff I keep moving around. I should have gone grocery shopping. I should have…I should have…the list goes on.

But I didn’t do any of them. I spent the day working on a counted-cross stitch project, a gift for a friend. And I’m having a hard time not feeling guilty and thinking about all the things I should have done instead.

I remember hearing a fable of sorts growing up, about a girl and her shoulds. Every time she should on herself, another stone was added to the bag she was carrying around. Eventually, the bag was too heavy to carry and she was dragging it. Finally, the weight of the shoulds in the bag was too heavy to move. She was literally weighed down by all the shoulds. The point of the story, of course, is to illustrate that “shoulding” on yourself is not a good thing. That eventually all the shoulds compromise your ability to function.

But the truth is, it doesn’t matter that I didn’t do any of those things on the list. Nothing I didn’t do today is life or death. No one is going to care that there’s a bit of dust on the bookshelves (just don’t sign and date it, please). The laundry isn’t going anywhere, and there will always be more. I’m not starving, there’s still food in my kitchen, I have food for lunches this week, so the groceries can wait. I spent the day working on a project and frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Now I just have to convince myself of that fact.


About slmcdanold

I’m learning to laugh at myself on a daily basis. I’m a librarian (cataloger) and I love it. My job involves all things metadata related in any and all formats. I have been known to cause a ruckus when necessary (aka troublesome cataloger) and make no apologies for it. I have a passion for continuing education and teaching. I’m a newbie coder (still learning). I like to cook. I’m a fan of rugby (go Australian Wallabies!) and ice hockey (go Detroit Red Wings!). I’m car-free and bike/walk a lot. I’m learning to love running one stride at a time. I own (and love) a very mouthy cat with a punk attitude and a slightly neurotic rescue mutt.
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