Saturday, July 4, 2009

Should-less Holidays

Earlier this afternoon I found myself experiencing a considerable amount of anxiety and irritability. In my experience I can always pinpoint a "should" that is directly responsible for this kind of suffering. Today, my "should" was:

It's the 4th of July, it's a Saturday night, I should go out.

So with the help of my book, "Absolutely Should-less," I did some questioning:

How did you learn this should?
I learned it from the culture around me that reminds I should be social and extroverted on a Saturday night, especially if it's a holiday. The media is constantly telling me I should want go out, spend money, watch fireworks, and party the night away.
Is this should true for everyone?
Absolutely not. There are plenty of happy people who do not go out on the 4th of July,
Who is profiting off your should?
Certainly the bars, the clubs, the restaurants I would go to, the cabs I'd end up taking (despite my best intention to use the subway).
How do you feel when you think this should?
Anxious, inadequate, miserable.
What would the 4th of July be like without this should?
It would be great! It would be peaceful, fun, joyful, whether I go out or not.
Replace it...
I could go out tonight. I might go out. Or I could stay in and prepare for my WeLoveSoaps podcast on Monday. No matter what I do, I have a choice to have fun, or be miserable. That choice is mine.

And with that I feel better. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, but I realize that if I make a choice based on "shoulds" then I will be unhappy. Wouldn't it be easier just to be honest with myself and do something that feels right?


Belinda said...

... like reading a book that you've been intending to read but haven't gotten around to. Sure, you CAN work on the podcast, but you can also read instead. Or watch a video. Or do absolutely nothing and enjoy it. I spent one New Year's Eve reading Interview with a Vampire, and I didn't feel like I was missing a thing. Whatever makes you happy - do that. To heck with going out. -BB ;-)

markymarc said...

Don't let outside influences make the decision for you. Do what makes you happy and if that means staying in, so be it.

Anonymous said...

how quick and easy -- and so peaceful! i love that living should-less isn't complicated and it gets right to the heart of the matter so quickly!!