Stop The Should-ing

For some reason I carry around a lot of guilt. I do a lot of “should-ing” and I fill my brain and heart with these ideas of what I’m doing wrong instead of what I’m doing right. Day in and day out there is constant flow of negativity running through my mind. It’s like an endless wall of ants marching to bring their Queen Ant food. You put something in the ant’s way and they just find a different path OR just climb over the obstical. There is no room for any other way to think. I don’t know if I can stop that train of ants from creeping into my mind but I can try and devert them and slow them down by listing a few things I’ve done well or right for myself so far in 2016.

  1. I rested. I didn’t work out for a full week. My FitBit read 1,087 steps on Friday and 1,123 steps on Sunday. I rested because I’ve been sick. I WAS SICK–NOT LAZY.
  2. I said ‘No’. Latly, when it comes to my career, I’ve been running around the city of Chicago like a crazy person. Picking up new clients, new jobs, hours and skills. My new boss asked me for more of my time. She asked me to come in on Tuesday morning and then come back for a closing shift. That would be I would be there at 8am-3pm. Clock out. Come back at 5:30pm-9pm. It takes me 45 minutes to get home from work. So I would basically either have 30 minutes to chill at home before coming back or go sit at Starbucks for two hours. Nope. I said, “I just can’t do that at this point.” Saying ‘no’ is so scary. But so empoowering.
  3.  I asked for company. Being sick is boring. I asked someone for company and he came from across town and watched cooking shows from the early 2000’s with me on Netflix. He let me be whiny and terrible. (Don’t worry, I wasn’t contagious.)
  4. I stretched. I’m the worse at stretching. And my sore back and tight shoulders are the ones that pay the price. I’ve made it a habit to sit with my clients and stretch along side with them. Teaching them how to stretch on their own and giving my muscles the attention they deserve.
  5. I got to therapy. Every. Damn. Week. Life got rough and I needed help, (I know, white girl, first world problems) but you know what? SHUT UP. . Problems are in the eye of the problem-holder and I’m not going to apologize or explain to anyone about my life and my issues. In October I started seeing a therapist and it’s honestly the best health-thing I’ve done for myself, ever.

This list was a lot harder to sit down and write than I origonally anticipated. I kept reverting back to “Well, I could say this, but actually I SHOULD have done it this way…” My brain is hard wired to “should on myself” and I’m sick of it. I can’t be the only one that does this. Share with me. Share times you’ve taken time for yourself and DIDN’T beat yourself up for what you “should” have done.

A New Kind Of Normal

I feel guilty. I’m a huge guilt addict lately. However, what I realized I felt guilty about this morning was the fact that I haven’t ‘gone for a run’ in ages. Just a run to run. Recently, when I’ve laced up my running shoes I’m headed to the gym, I’m running the mile to the gym—only to hop on the elliptical and lift weights. Or I run the 1.6 miles to the pool to swim some laps then run home. The other day I did go for a run, but I found a set of stairs and I ran up and down them for 20 minutes instead of logging miles here at 3,000 feet—I added to my elevation gain and loss via concrete steps. Weird, I know.

 

            But what I realized on my way to the gym this morning was that I don’t have to run. I’m kicking my ass nearly everyday lifting weights, swimming, biking and elliptizing, (I have this weird love for the elliptical…) I’m doing good for my body and yet in the back of my mind I think I should be running. But why?

            I think I feel this way because for so long I was the runner in my circle of friends. (Let’s be honest, I still am in some of those circles,) but that’s who I was. And it’s okay to change. It’s okay to not do what you’ve always done and change up your norm. Right now I enjoy being a gym rat, I enjoy logging laps at the local pool, I enjoy laying on my couch and reading a novel, I enjoy selling drinks and French fries rather than wool socks and running shoes! I’m still in a routine, I’m still exercising (all norms in my life,) but changing it up and creating a new normal is kind of exciting.

 

I have no doubt I’ll get my running legs back eventually, but for right now I’m enjoying a different kind of normal.

Shoulding–We All Do It

Okay. I know is just wrote a post about slowing down, taking in each moment and enjoying where I am while I’m living it. But after much thought and meditating on it I think I’ve found the source of why I have a hard time staying where I am and being able to enjoy that particular moment. GUILT.

Dictionary.com defines guilt:

Guilt:

noun

1.

the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; culpability: He admitted his guilt.

2.

a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.  

 

Or a more reliable source, UrbanDictionary.com:

Guilt:

An unfortunate side effect that results from being overly exposed to morality.

I believe that my guilt stems from a syndrome that my friend has named I-should-be-doing-something-more-productive-than-this syndrome. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a pretty lazy person. I love to and often do sit around, drink coffee and read or watch a movie: but in the back of my mind I’m thinking: I should clean my room, I should have done a harder workout, I should write a blog post, I should go for another run, I should be reading about Buddhism instead of this novel, I should I should I should

 

I should all over myself every damn day. I propose that we all stop shoulding on ourselves. Or at least I’m going to try and stop, you can do what you want, maybe you don’t have this problem and you can tell me your secret. Shoulding is messy, it’s pointless and it doesn’t help anyone with anything. And who’s to say that what I am doing isn’t what I should be doing?

I tend to think of relaxation, non-educational books, general hanging out as a crime of some sort. It somehow, in my 26 years of living, has been defined and ingrained in me as something I think is morally wrong. That itself is so wrong—learning to relax is going to be key in enjoying the next two months of travel.

I’m buckling up, slowing down and telling guilt to shut the hell up and go away. Got any good book suggestions?

Haha

Hehehe