Those Pesky Shoulds

ThinkingWhenever I get a little bit of free time, my mind is filled with things that I should be doing instead of not doing anything important or, laws forbid, relaxing.

I should work on that bag I started as a way to keep me occupied during afternoon kid minding.

I should do a few more lessons on Duolingo.

I should do more work on whatever writing project I’m doing even if I’ve already hit my daily To Do List demand.

This blog post is a should. I had some free time this afternoon. I did a few extra Duolingo lessons. Then I still had some time. So instead of enjoying the fact that I don’t have to make dinner this evening and resting up some before I go to work tonight, I’m writing this blog post. And after I’m done writing this, I’ll do my workout, and probably try to get a couple more chapters on A Tale of Two Lady Killers revised before I leave for floorset.

You see, so long as there are things I should be doing, then I’m always going to feel like a lazy bum if I’m not doing them when I have the time.

I already feel like a slacker, like I don’t work hard enough or have enough to do. I feel like I haven’t earned any downtime or free time or relaxation time. So I SHOULD be doing something productive. I should be working out or writing or sewing or working or SOMETHING.

Those shoulds are so pesky. They make me feel guilty every time I decide to take ten minutes to play a game or check Twitter. Because I SHOULD be doing something else. I’m wasting time.

I don’t relax. I waste time. At least that’s what the shoulds in my brain make me think. And so I go to bed feeling guilty often because I wasted time watching reruns of F Troop and The Rifleman instead of doing more exercises or writing more words or curing cancer or whatever else I should be doing.

It’s something I try to work on, but it isn’t easy for me. I envy people who can do nothing and not feel bad about it. I spent a day in bed with a really nasty headache last week and felt like a bum because I barely got one page written before I gave up on trying to be productive. Even a headache doesn’t quiet those shoulds in my brain.

Because I should have been doing something else.

For me, to not do anything is an act of rebellion because I don’t feel like I’ve earned it. Even when I complete my To  Do list for the day, I didn’t earn it. I’ll never earn it and I know it. There’s always one more thing I should be doing before I can relax.

Ooh, that reminds me! I need to wrap up this post.

There’s something else I should be doing.

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