sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

September 4, 2013

the word ‘should’
posted by soe 3:09 am

Call me a nearly 40-year-old rebel, but there’s something about the word “should” that makes my skin crawl.

There are lots of things I like doing and some that I even love doing. But add “should” or “ought to” in front of them and suddenly I feel hemmed in, restricted, disinterested. I should spend 15 minutes working on my blog. I ought to work on that sock I meant to finish last month. Nope. I have other things to do — like wash the kitchen floor — that are more pressing.

I don’t know why that is except that I struggle with authority, even when that authority is my own. Who are you, or I, to tell me what to do?

So instead I work to abolish the word “should” from my vocabulary when I talk to myself, much like one might when talking to a reactionary toddler or teenager. I want to be able to cross exercising off today’s to-do list. I’ll be glad to have written a blog post. Finishing these socks will free up some needles so I can cast on something new.

Many times (and more and more often, since I realized the problem) the rephrasing/re-envisioning works. But other times I dig in my heels and say, who’s gonna make me? (I can be a real spoiled brat sometimes.)

And while I should be firm with myself and ought to have consequences for not following through on desired actions, we all know how that’s going to turn out…

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