Don’t Should on Yourself

This is going to be either a self-serving justification or a sensible explanation.

A dear and wise elderly friend has a favorite expression: “Don’t should on yourself,” whenever you say “I should really be doing…” whatever it is you feel you’re shirking.

I’ve been “should-ing” on myself a lot lately, and this morning I finally invoked Mrs. C’s reminder.

Us with dear Mrs. C last Christmas

Gary, me and dear Mrs. C last Christmas

The city recently acquired a vacant lot near us and designated it a pocket park. The neighborhood association is sponsoring a park fix-up day today (Saturday) and asked volunteers to help with planting, clearing, tidying and the like. The session ran from 8:30 till about 2, with snacks provided and suggestions to bring a picnic lunch. The park is one block from our condo entrance. I seriously thought about volunteering, and even as I lay in bed at 8:30 trying to wake up I thought “I should get up do that. I hope to use that park when it’s developed.”


Our new pocket park.

Our new pocket park.

I just couldn’t do it. If I had my granddaughter this morning it would have been a fun way to teach her about volunteering. If my husband didn’t already have plans I might have been able to get him involved. There would probably be people there I know, and if not I could get to know some neighbors. (I’m not shy.) So what held me back?

Yesterday there was an email asking for local Democrats to meet at noon to protest the sequester at the local office of our Congressman. His nearest office is literally around the corner, and I had just come home from the grocery store at noon, so I thought I’d pop over there. Turns out that field office is closed on Fridays. Poor planning on MoveOn’s part, and a waste of my time. Several years ago I volunteered for one of our church’s Hands-on Housing projects, and there were so many people there we got territorial about what part of the house to paint. I felt useless and redundant.

So, that’s one reason—why show up if it proves to be a waste of time?

Another is my desire to do some spring fix-up around our place—sweeping the courtyard, cleaning up the patio, getting rid of dead plants and putting out new ones, which in this case is a little window-ledge herb garden. The courtyard is a lost cause—I set up a sandbox area for Chloe, and most of the courtyard is now sandy. But I swept and tidied a little.


Our sandbox runneth over


Early herb garden












I have noticed I am more of a homebody than I used to be and miss out on some cool local events because either (a) it’ll be too crowded or (b) it’s sold out. This week I missed out on a site-specific concert on the grounds of Laguna Gloria art museum because it was already too late to get tickets, and tomorrow I’ll skip the Kite Festival because it has become too much of a hassle to get there and back and then wait in long lines for toilets with small kids who can’t wait.

Which leads to me to the main reason: energy. I am loath to attribute this to age, but I suspect it is a factor. I’ve always been pretty high-energy, but lately, especially since I’ve been on Prozac, I need more sleep and I’m tired during the day if I don’t get enough. Mainly, though, chasing a six-year-old around playgrounds requires me to pace myself so I’m not a raving bitch by dinner time.

My latest "workout" equipment

My latest “workout” equipment

Selfish or sensible? Let’s just say I’m trying to preserve my sanity.



3 responses to “Don’t Should on Yourself”

  1. Diane Huska says :

    When I was on Prozac, I felt like I was always having to catch-up to myself, that I needed that afternoon nap that they say is one of the side affects. Also, I agree with you, that it is much easier to stay home and avoid the crowds. Now that I help care for my mother, the planning of visiting hours during the week can drive me a little nuts because I have nothing else to do but study alot, go to class, eat and sleep. I am better at goiing out to places that I specifically want to visit, or walk areas of the ocean, or some neighborhoods I have not been to. I will find a different coffee house in which to review notes….and I am not a “hangerouter”. Maybe find a different path, think about what makes being out enjoyable, I think we are the same age….and I agree that caring for a youngster is energy from another planet. My sleep in, ME day is Sunday. I still go to visit the little mother, but I don’t rush, don’t clean, don’t do anything except what I want to do. The phone does not even get answered….and I changed meds. It all has helped. I went thru this terrible guilt period because I was not sitting with Ev every day….and it ate me up…..and now that I am in class most days a week, she has not suffered, and I have realized that it will be what it will be…..she will survive or not, but it will have nothing to do with my being there. The change in meds to Wellbutrin have made me feel about as normal as I think normal people might feel. I started with 1/4 of a pill once a day, and just worked my way up to 2 a day/ 1 am and 1 pm. My doc was fine with me chopping them up, because I weigh 100 lbs, so taking an entire pill was not an option….I am really sensitive to meds……so, try a change from Prozac and pleasure yourself with a day to yourself, and maybe the real you will come back….it sounds like you are having some conflict somewhere in there; it will surface if you give yourself time to see it. xoxo d

  2. wigginswordsandimages says :

    Diane, thanks for your thoughtful reply. When I see my doctor in April I will discuss possible alternatives. In the meantime I’m mostly happy with the results–I am calmer and less anxious. Sundays are my crazy day–that’s when we have Chloe overnight and take her to church (and I still sing in the choir). But it’s important, and MONDAY is my catch-up with me day! Today’s sermon was really helpful–I’ll send you a link when it’s posted.

  3. lisaelskerarvid says :

    Så vakre dere er💗💕💖

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


fine abstract art

Julie Powell - Photographer & Graphic Artist

Creating & Capturing Life's Precious Moments

Poet Kate Hutchinson

Life From Both Sides of the Window


Discover the hidden world of ordinary objects

Yellingrosa's Weblog

Poetry, Visual Arts, Music and IT Tech

A Madarasachap Muslim

Things you should know about Islam.

Deb Breton

Making the world brighter, one painting at a time...

Susan Rushton

Celebrating gardens, nature, photography and a creative life

Yuba Gold

Art and creativity with a touch of nature

Letters & notes

A collection of poems, spoken word & cooking from Gretl Feeson as well as being an online reblog magazine of sorts.

A Young Retirement

"Looking Back on Our Four Seasons of Life"

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry


A chronicle of our family's time in Japan



Ollie On The Move

The Horizon is my Home


art, sketch, portrait, lifedrawing, landscape, seascape, water color

%d bloggers like this: