Leave Your ‘Shoulds’ Behind
There is a power in getting away from our “shoulds” and I’d like to explain why it can be powerful for you too.
My wife and I would occasionally use Marriott points to spend a weekend night in a hotel, which often elicited a “wink-wink” or nod from friends and family. We’d feel like we were sneaking away, having an affair, and sometimes even felt a bit guilty that we weren’t being “productive” with our time.
But the power lay in getting away from our “shoulds” at home and it felt incredibly liberating to escape them. When at home there are always seemed to be a laundry-list of shoulds just hanging over our heads:
- ”I should be fixing __________”
- ”Laundry needs to be done and we should do a few loads”
- ”That closet needs to be cleaned out and we should do it soon”
- …and so on.
Often I couldn’t even walk through my own house without seeing all the shoulds and both of us rarely gave ourselves permission to just hang out, relax, and table the shoulds for a set period of time.
Don’t get me started on all the “work shoulds” too. Like you, we would usually need three or more days of a one week vacation to begin to forget all the shoulds at work. When working day-in and day-out (including weekends since we’re self-employed) meant that shoulds could be done any time and they were always out there waiting for us to do them!
But every time Michelle and I have been able to leave our shoulds behind — and felt free to think, talk, watch movies, goof around, hold hands, explore and play — we have always come back refreshed and renewed…and have been better people, more relaxed ones, and eventually more productive because of leaving them behind, if only for a short time.
Give it a try. Put yourself in situations where you are removed from your own shoulds (and couldn’t do them even if you wanted to!). I guarantee you’ll feel the freedom too.