Saturday, October 31, 2009

Should-less Halloween

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.
Replace it...
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?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Q & A for Give Up Your Should Day

Question: What is this thing all about?
Answer: This is the second annual "Give Up Your Should Day." It is a chance for people to go one day giving up a "should" about themselves or about others that is causing stress. Just one day! If people want to go back to shoulding on November 2nd they are welcome to do so.

Question: Why is it on November 1st?
Answer: Because November 1st marks the beginning of the holiday season. Or to put it another way, this is when the media's campaign to make you feel as horrible as possible kicks in. If you start by giving up one should on November 1st, then I promise your holiday season will be better!

Question: Where have you been? You've been ignoring this blog for months. If you cannot find time for us, why should we find time for you and buy your books?
Answer: Great question! Although I don't believe anyone "should" buy my book about "shoulds," I do think it will help people get through all of life's struggles regardless of whether I'm blogging or not. I have been very wonderfully busy this past summer doing interviews and commentaries at We Love There I do interviews with people on screen, behind the scenes, theater reviews, as well as cover events such as the 36th Annual Daytime Emmy's and Broadway Cares If the names Jacklyn Zeman, Harding Lemay, Suzanne Rogers, Claire Labine, James DePaiva, Lynn Herring, Colleen Zink Pinter, Jessica Leccia, or Van Hansis mean anything to you, check out my features here.

Question: So are you focusing on "shoulds" or "soaps" now?
Answer: Both! My work on "shoulds" has been more offline, as I am working on a new book about "Should-less Relationships." So both are getting lots of attention, it's just the soap work is more obvious and public.

To participate in Give Up Your Should Day:

Leave a comment on this blog on November 1st telling me which should(s) you are going to give up for that one day. Then come back over the next week and tell me what that day was like. If you want to win a signed copy of "Absolutely Should-less" or win a T-shirt, then make sure you leave an e-mail address where I can find you.

[p.s. - If you want to continue to give up that "should" after November 1st you are welcome to do that too!]

Give Up Your "Should" Day!

Hey everyone! After a long break this blog is back, alive and kicking!

And it's just in time for the second annual Give Up Your "Should" Day! Yes, November 1st is the return of this yearly event. For one day, you are invited to give up a certain "should" that leads to stress, guilt, misery, or any sort of sadness. Some examples of "shoulds" people gave up last year included:

I should clean the house
I should go to the gym
I should be making more money
I should lose weight
I shouldn't still be grieving this loss

And many many more. Remember, a "should" is any rigid thought you carry about yourself, the people around you, and the world. It is NOT necessarily tied to your action. For example, you could give up your "should" about going to the gym, and then still go to the gym. It's not about what you do or don't do, it's about the thoughts and beliefs you are carrying as you move through you life.

So here's how this works: Come back to this blog on Sunday, November 1st, and tell me which "should" you are giving up for the day [you are welcome to give up more than one!]. Then during the next week come back to this blog and tell me what that one day was like. Several lucky participants will even win a "Should-less" T-shirt!

C'mon, it will be fun! If you have more questions feel free to write me at
Good luck!