Should-ing Ourselves

By December 17, 2020 No Comments

Raise your hand if you’re tired.

The year that was has left us wrung out.  Weary.  Worn.  And now Christmas.

My heart really wants to soak up the goodness of the season.  To revel in the magic of it and to delight in the warmth of celebrating faith and light and family and joy at the end of a year of challenge.  But the truth is that I’m exhausted, and the year of challenge is still challenging.  Suddenly we’re a week out from Christmas Day and I just want a hot bath, a hot toddy and a warm bed.

I have a friend who often tells me we have to stop “should-ing” on ourselves.  (read that out loud).  I should play more music.  I should bake more.  I should have a cleaner bathroom.  I should write a song with all this Covid experience and emotion.  I should stretch more.  I should watch “It’s A Wonderful Life”.  All those things are good things – but I’m going to give myself a break.  I’m going to stop “should-ing” on myself.

I would encourage you to be careful about “should-ing” on others as well.  “You should go do this thing”.  “You should make a YouTube video”.  “You should go for a midnight ski”.  People are weary – the only thing we all “should” be doing is caring for ourselves and our loved ones in the best way we can.  Outside of that, there are great ideas that can make wonderful suggestions.  But wording and phrasing are important.  Rather than “you should write a song about that”, you could say “that would make a great song” and leave it at that, or bite your tongue.  Make sure you’re not “should-ing” on people.

(For the record – I haven’t been feeling that from anybody lately.  That last paragraph isn’t a personal reflection right now!!)

This year of all years, though, gives us reason to dig deep and access Christmas magic, whatever that looks like.  Maybe finding rest is more important this year than usual.  It’s OK to outsource things like baking.  Your locally owned independent bakery would love to make your apple pies or mincemeat tarts for you, especially this year.

Money concerns are still a reality for many.  Remember to breathe – whatever your situation.  Take time to stand outside in nature, close your eyes, be still and know.  Know that the earth is beneath your feet and the sky is above your head.  Know that that there is plenty of air to fill your lungs and keep you going.  Know that the only direction we can go from here is forward.  Know that you are not alone.

For all of us this year the holidays look different from the norm.  I’ll write another post once we’re through this last week of school before the break and I may have found some rest.  The truth is I LOVE Christmas and can’t wait to share some perkier holiday thoughts and some festive music links with you before it gets here. Take care of yourselves, Friends.  Keep your light shining.

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