The rules I live by
A very wise woman told me I live with a lot of rules.
When I have a few moments, as I did late Saturday afternoon, the voice me inside said,
“You should fold the laundry that is waiting in the basket on your bed…you should be cooking the pork for the Vietnamese salad you planned for dinner…you should be doing some research on hotels and places to visit for your upcoming vacation….”
Do you hear all of those rules?
All of these things I should be doing?
Where did these rules for my life and my time come from?
And why do I accept them?
I had never thought about these should statements as rules until my friend pointed them out. Goodness, my life is ruled by rules, things I should be doing, all the time, even when I am clearly doing something else, the shoulds are there, whispering to me, reminding me that when I get a free moment, here’s some other stuff to do.
There were so many shoulds going round my head Saturday afternoon, I was overwhelmed and promptly plopped down in a chair and sat there, doing absolutely nothing, just to calm my brain and although the voice quieted…to a whisper, I felt guilty. Just for sitting.
And then another voice, spoke up.
“Mom, we gathered sticks, we’ve got ’em in the wagon. Can we have a bonfire and burn ’em?”
As I sat there, for just a moment to think of my answer, I realized, YOU’RE LETTING THE SHOULDS MAKE THE DECISION!
And then, faster than lightning, I SHOVED all of the shoulds out of my brain, let them fall on the floor, hoping they would shatter (they didn’t) and promptly swept them out the front door.
And we went outside, sat on a blanket, ate some turkey-cheese sandwiches, and played.
No should about it, totally spontaneous, and not at all what I should have been doing and absolutely everything I needed.
This just about sums it up…
The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing of the rest of your life.”
The work I should be doing came and told me, right to my face.
The most important thing, my greatest work, what I do everyday without thinking should, is to be a parent to two funny, amazing, smart, mind blowing, drive-you-crazy, don’t stop talking, quit-nagging-your-brother, I love them so much…kids.
“We’ve gathered sticks and got ’em in the wagon.”
Then we absolutely should go have a bonfire.