Shoulding Yourself

105182105411111CDPby Neva Bodin

I should have…. Yesterday I should have….. Today I should have known better. About 30 years ago I went to a workshop and one of my take-aways was when the presenter said “Do not should yourself today!”

“Shoulding” yourself is an easy thing to do. I have times when “I should have known better,” or know “I shouldn’t have done that!” But, the sad fact is, increasing my sense of frustration by reminding myself that I should or shouldn’t have acted in some way helps no one. Then I say, “I should get up and dust the bedroom,” and stay right where I am.

So, what’s the next step, or what to do instead of bringing up that “bad” word—should?

I try to remember to drop the thought as soon as it forms and move ahead. Either I must now deal with the results of what I should have done and didn’t, or what I should do and don’t. I can feel depressed because I didn’t do what I should have! Which, again, helps no one, least of all me.

Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy, vacillating between should I, or shouldn’t I. Telling myself to do it or telling myself I have a good reason for not doing it helps. Also telling myself if I do whatever I think I should do, I don’t have to feel guilty later for not doing it! (There should be a way to follow my line of thinking.)Frustration

According to the freedictionary.com, should is the past tense of shall and its uses are as  follows: 1. Used to express obligation or duty: You should send her a note.2.  Used to express probability or expectation: They should arrive at noon.3. Used to express conditionality or contingency: If she should fall, then so would I. 4. Used to moderate the directness or bluntness of a statement: I should think he would like to go.

Definitely a useful word, and I should know how to use it!

So, should I or shouldn’t I write some more on my novel tonight? I think I better not answer that, and just get busy and do it!writing now.JPEG

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18 Responses to Shoulding Yourself

  1. Wranglers says:

    Neva, I too should be writing right now. I shouldn’t get on Facebook or any otver procrastination today. I should write before exercising, but then I won’t get my exercize in. LOL. I look like the characterbanging it’s head. Funny Cher’ley

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  2. Love this post Neva. It definitely resonated with me. I think my favorite word is “should” although that’s not how I planned it. Your post brings home some info and comedy into the action and I completely empathize with you and the rest of us who “should”. I “should” get up now and take the dog to the vet. Oops, let me rephrase that – I must get up now and take the dog to the vet! Good job Neva!

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  3. Doris says:

    Should does have its place, I just can’t figure out where it is. In many ways it can become the curse of both the productive and non-productive. Well said and best on the novel. Now I should return to my work… Doris

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    • Neva Bodin says:

      It’s a tricky word isn’t it? Thanks for the comments and are you sure you shouldn’t just rest a bit more? Seems I hardly use that word to reward myself! Like “I should eat more chocolate.”

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  4. sstamm625 says:

    I should stop shoulding myself. 🙂 I think we’re all guilty of this one, Neva, and we always need reminding. And, you’re right, doing it doesn’t seem to help anyone, because of the sense of guilt involved. Do or don’t do, but don’t should yourself about whichever you choose.

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    • Neva Bodin says:

      You really understand what I was trying to say! So many times, I say, “I should do this but…” and as you said, feel guilty and still don’t do what I mentioned. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  5. Mike Staton says:

    Often I think: “I should have stayed in bed.” Also, I tell myself like right now, “I should have glanced down at the keyboard before typing.” Why? I just typed a line of gibberish, and had to delete and start over. Now I think I should leave the office for the living room where I can watch Mississippi State vs. Alabama football. Yep, I definitely should. Bye. 🙂

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  6. Nancy Jardine says:

    Great post! YES! I agree, Neva. I need to get on with my wip writing tonight. I do find myself saying ‘I should have…’ but I’ve learned not to be too hard on myself when something isn’t done. There’s a teensie bit of guilt but ‘tomorrow is another day’ also pops into my head. I’m going to do that WIP writing right now. 😉

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    • Neva Bodin says:

      Did your WIP writing go well? And what is WIIP writing? Thanks for the comments and learning not to be too hard on yourself. As I wrote already in a comment, I need to use should in a postive way, such as “I should take a nap and not feel guilty!” Aren’t we interesting creatures?

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  7. So much for procrastination. Smile.

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  8. Coulda, woulda shoulda — I do those a lot. I, too, should write more on my novel… and haven’t, especially when I realized I “shoulda” written my blog post. One down, the other yet to go — tomorrow! Great post, Neva!

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  9. erinfarwell says:

    I often find myself living in a world of “shoulds” like I should have commented on this post the day it went up rather than two days later. Thanks for the great post.

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  10. katewyland says:

    I can certainly identify with this post! Shoulds have ruled my life much too much. But how to get rid of them?

    Like

  11. Travis says:

    Hey Neva,

    My life is so full of should’ves. I hate it. I’m better than I have been at not looking back as much, but I really, really need to get back to taking more chances and letting things happen.

    Like

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