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 Halloween, it's a Saturday night, we get an extra hour, so 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 and I can get extra sleep. The media is constantly telling me I should want go out, spend money I don't have, 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 Halloween.
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, socially inept.
What would Halloween be like without this should?
It would be great! It would be peaceful, fun, joyful, whether I go out or not.
I could go out tonight. I might go out. Or I could stay in and prepare for my WeLoveSoaps video shoot tomorrow with Alex Evan Cole. 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?