Right now many people are plotting and planning for the new year, making lists of self-improvements and goals. Nothing wrong with that at all. But I'm not doing that this year. Instead I'm trying to plot something else - something big, something difficult. I'm trying to plot an escape from the "Shoulds".
With much credit to Karly Pitman at First Ourselves for introducing this idea to my life, I share my thoughts here.
"Shoulds" are the things we think we "should" be doing - but perhaps not the things that matter most, or the things we are truly deeply passionate about. "Shoulds" are often unrealistic, setting us up for a fall. And often we absorb them without realizing it, taking on other people's standards of perfection and making them our own.
Eat perfectly - green smoothies and such
Look amazing in a bathing suit, like a movie star, only not photoshopped
Fix my hair and wear makeup every day
Have a stylish, gorgeous home which is always clean and neat
Be organized within an inch of my life
Drive a nice a car which is always clean and neat and well maintained
Always be happy and optimistic and relaxed and fun and confident and extroverted and energetic
Have an amazing career that I'm proud to talk about at with strangers at a cocktail party
Be Martha Stewart - but better!
Make home-cooked meals every day
Read deep intellectual literature and learn at least three other languages
Change the world, with some sort of cause, like being a UN ambassador or running my own charity
If you know a woman truly like this, who actually meets up to my list of shoulds, please let me know. I'd like to meet her. (I mean beat her, ahem).
These are just some of my shoulds, but trust me, I've got armies of them, waiting to march forth and conquer the earth. They are powerful, incessant, persuasive, unbending. And sometimes they make me miserable when they all jump on me at once.
And for me, New Year's Resolutions just add to the pile. Even more things to do that I'm not doing right. So this year I'm not going to go there. Instead I'm plotting an escape from the "shoulds". That includes things I think I "should" be doing as a blogger.
So instead of focusing on all the things I think I should be doing, I want to focus on more on being. And more on accepting the way things are and being okay with that.
Happy New Year, y'all.