Thursday, September 13, 2012

Don't Should Upon Yourself

 Do you ever 'should' all over yourself? I used to watch a reality show a few years back. Several women who were dealing with a problem and needed to start over came and lived in a house together. There were two life coaches, both women, who guided them along and gave them assignments to help them with their goal. One of the life coaches, a therapist named Iyanla Vanzant, gave this advice to one of the women: Don't 'should' all over yourself, and don't let others should on you either.
   Some of her advice stuck with me. I don't agree with some of her methods or ideologies, but that's okay. I don't look to her for spiritual guidance. But that one nugget of truth is what I needed from her.
  Why am I blathering on about this? Because I'm sitting here 'shoulding' on myself. I should be checking the laundry. I should be starting the ham. I should be picking up the living room. I should be finishing the dishes. I should be working on my novel. I should be this, I should be that. Enough!
   I am only one person. I can only stretch myself so thin before I finally snap. And I don't think I'm alone in all this thinking. We women have a tendency to wake up in the morning with a laundry list of should do's and must do's , and we go to bed thinking of tomorrow's list, all the while berating ourselves that one or two items on today's list didn't get done. And the time in between? We're running around like a headless chicken, stressed out to the max and taking everyone in our path along for the ride or we shut down. The TV or computer snaps on, fanny is firmly in place on our seat and before you know it, the day is half gone and so is the emergency chocolate stash. (Come on, admit it, you know you have one. Please tell me I'm not the only one.)
   This  does not need to be how our day is. I don't want my days to be like this. So how do I fix this?
  Prayer and bible study first thing sets the tone for the day. And yes, I'm reminding myself of this, because I have a nasty habit of jumping into the day without this very important step. And I can tell you from personal experience that my day goes a whole lot better when I have my quiet time. Does it stop all bad things from happening? Not by a long shot. Hiccups, mishaps, and just plain bad days are going to happen. Prayer and bible study makes us better equipped to face the problems because we realize we aren't alone in this.
  Again, preaching to the typist here. I've fallen off the wagon many times on this one as well. But I feel better and my attitude towards everything is better when I take my walk in the morning. You may like exercising in the evening. That's fine. Just remember to take care of yourself. I usually walk alone because I'm the only morning person living in this house. When I do it right, it's part of my quiet time with the Lord. I enjoy that.
    As busy wives and moms we have a lot of responsibilities. Some of us even have college and/ or full time jobs on top of all this. And yet we think that we are supposed to buy into the Superwoman mentality who can work outside the home, volunteer and Jr's school, keep the house spotless, and cook great meals, and five hundred other things that come up as well, and not ask for help. Remember that song back in the day? "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan... " blah blah blah.  Also something that trips women up (although it is not supposed to) is the Proverbs 31 woman. 
   There is absolutely nothing wrong with that chapter, none at all. I aspire to be that woman too. But  the reason she was able to do so much in one day is she had servants helping her! If you're like me you don't have servants helping you. We do have husbands and some of us have kids. Ask hubby or Tommy or Mary to fold the towels when they come out of the dryer. Can hubby stop after work and pick up the groceries or the forgotten milk? Oh no, I can't do that. I have to do it because I like my towels folded a certain way. Hubby will get the wrong kind of cereal.
  I started out wanting my towels and other items folded a certain way. Now, as long as it gets done, I'm not gonna make a fuss. As for the grocery list, yes I have a few items on my list that I'm really picky about. My sweet hubby has learned that  I'm going to be persnickety about some items. If I give him a list, I write down the specific brand for those items otherwise I'm at his frugal mercy and I just have to bite my lip and remember to thank him for helping me. 
  As for the stuff you have to get done yourself, write it all down if you have to (I do or it doesn't get done.). Then take a few minutes to decide what absolutely must get done and what can wait. Give yourself some breathing room in your schedule. Surprises, both good and bad, do come up. 
  These are just a few things that may help you in your day. I know it helps me. Now, if you'll excuse me, my kitchen is calling... 

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