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  • Writer's pictureSian

What would your life look like without the word 'should'?

There's a little word that creeps into your mind….you’ll hear it often….in your own thoughts, when talking with friends, when scrolling social media, when dropping off to sleep at night….

That word is SHOULD….and I challenge you to ban it from your thoughts!!

I was outside with our boys the other day. They were playing on the tramp, I was sat on the deck with a cup of tea in hand, soaking up some sunny rays. And suddenly, out of nowhere, the thought popped into my head: ‘I should sort out the boys' clothes and get rid of the ones that are too small’. Yikes!!! I caught that thought and threw it right back where it came from! NOT HERE, NOT NOW.

I went back to focusing on my boys, the fact they were playing SUPER well together (#winning!), I was in the sun and happy. I gave the boys a big smile and went on enjoying my cuppa.

When my husband had cancer two years ago, we focused inwards, all the peripheral ‘stuff’ in our lives went on the backburner, including the jobs list around the house. It just wasn’t important in the grand scheme of things. It was time instead to enjoy the little things, be present in the small shared moments.

You may find that as we get back to normal, the word pops into your head more often. And I ask you to consider taking a pause from the SHOULDs. Instead try to savour those little moments with those close to you. The relationships, the laughter, your peace in the present - these are the things that last, the memories that you’ll call on when times get tough.

I get that you have ‘jobs’ on your list. But if they are all SHOULDs, take up headspace, distract you from the here and now, and don't ever move off the list, it can quickly develop into a negative thought spiral, and can lead to frustration, guilt and resentment.

My top tip is to keep a small whiteboard in your kitchen or magnetic notebook on the fridge where you can list all the jobs you’d like to get done (the kind of jobs that pop up as ‘shoulds’) and then start to plan when you’ll tick them off. This moves the jobs from an intention to a plan…which leads to action.

Here’s a photo of one of my jobs – putting up this photo gallery has been on my list for FIVE YEARS!!!! Yes, you read that right! FIVE YEARS! I finally got around to it over the last few weeks. And now, every time I see it, it makes me smile. It’s no longer a frustrating ‘should’ but a soul-lifting experience.

At least that’s one I can cross off the whiteboard now!

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