I am often so overwhelmed with the shoulds of life that I lose sight of the cans. Obligation, duty, and responsibility are noble things in life. Often very necessary for a variety of reasons. And I’m not arguing against their place. However, obligations have a way of clouding our awareness of opportunity. Of blessing.
Yes, of course, I have an example for you. 🙂
Today I had scheduled the second part of my DIY Branding Strategy series. On a normal blogging schedule, I would write Tuesday’s blog on Monday evening. Last night, however, was the first night I saw my husband in nearly two weeks. His job and my out of town conference over the weekend kept us separated.
I should write that post. The thought ran through my head only once before a second thought followed. Yes, but I can sit with Eric tonight, catch up, and nurture my relationship. It was our only chance for another week. So, plan B was to write the post this morning before work.
I should write that post. It resurfaced as I made lunch this morning. Then my daughter came behind me and asked if I’d sit and eat breakfast with her this morning (a rare request). I can spend quality time with my daughter before school. So, plan C was to write the post during my lunch break.
I should write that post. Again, the thought repeated midday. This time, work intervened and I was unable to pull away from assignments. But, I’d venture to say you get the point.
Not all shoulds will be so easily be cast away for cans. And, yes, I could have spent the time writing this post to write the DIY continuation. That’ll get posted on Thursday. It is way too stinkin’ easy to be hard on ourselves, friends. I should have done this. I should be doing that. I’m not sure if it’s my age and changing perspective of what matters, but I care way less about the obligations dictated on me from a slew of outside influences. The media, other parents, society’s standards, and even sometimes friends and family.
You want to know what my list of shoulds looks like just for tonight…and the cans I’m trying hard to replace them with?
I should have written that post.
I can write it Thursday and write what’s on my heart tonight.
I should create a usual header image for this post because it goes with my branding.
I can do one silly post without it (Photoshop is on the big computer, which is occupied).
I should color my hair tonight (pesky grays!).
I can be confident without being perfect.
I should put away the nativity set that’s been out since Christmas.
I can be reminded of Christ’s birth every day of the year.
I should research opportunities for freelance/guest writing like other authors I know.
I can be content with the story God has placed on my heart right now.
I should get Emma into the shower and ready for bed.
Well, that one actually needs to happen because it’s getting late. Ha!
For now, guys, just promise me you won’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t let the shoulds overwhelm the cans and cloud the opportunities. Don’t wear yourself out trying to meet the demands of the world if they don’t match the plan you feel like God has for you. And I’m not just talking about the big picture. He’s in the details. He cares about the small stuff.
Now, with that said…I’ll be writing into the wee hours thanks to a can that is also a should. Sometimes we get lucky and the two mix. Praise be!