I was taking advantage of the beautiful grey skies above, with an evening jaunt in an attempt to tighten my buns or to prevent lunchtime’s pie from taking up residence in my abdominal area. With music coursing through the headphones, it was just me and 2Pac against the world. I should have brought some tissues. Then I got to thinking about the ‘shoulds’ in life.
‘Should do this’….. ‘Should do that’….. ‘Should stop eating cake’….
‘Should’ve done that’…..
Those casual statements generally loom, burdening and sometimes drip with regret. The ‘should have’ makes you shudder and wince a little bit like a puppy dog giving you those sad eyes for not sharing your crispy breakfast bacon.
‘I should have learnt to play the guitar.’
‘I should have sent that parcel over a year ago and now the new born won’t fit the size 0000 clothes.’
‘I should have used/thought of that great comeback line’. That always seems to pop into your head 2 minutes after you walk away from a situation where you could trump someone with the final word.
‘I should have written that down because now that I’m getting old and things slip my mind so easily and dammit I can’t even remember where the pen is.’*
Or the awkwardly embarrassing ‘I should have responded to that life update email my good friend sent me about 6 months ago. Now I can’t because it’s been too long and I really don’t have any time’, all the while turning up the volume to the mindless Kardashians marathon with back to back episodes.
And then I’m openly guilty of:
– Making vacant plans when seeing friends per chance in the street or at a party. Embrace, comment on how long you since you have seen them and then agree ‘We should catch up for dinner/lunch/coffee soon.’
– ‘I should organise all my photos on my computer and back them up onto a hard drive.’
– ‘I should do a cleansing diet so that I know I will be bikini-ready for summer.’
– ‘I should call <insert childhood friend or relative here> and see how they are doing.’
Or my favourite ‘you shouldn’t have’ used in its most positive form, for receiving gifts or having someone else buy you dinner. It comes out of your smiling mouth as ‘you shouldn’t have’ but what you really mean is ‘thank you so much and please do it again sometime.’
The thing is that you can always turn the ‘shoulds’ into the ‘will dos’. ‘I should organise those piles of files magically turns into I will file those piles.’ Sometimes it just takes a list and doing it in bite-sized chunks. Then you get bonus power-up points for the endorphins that dance on out of your system on completion.
And as for the ‘should haves’, you can either tackle them head on or just accept them for what they were and learn from the experience. I have learnt to accept my ‘I should’ve not had all that wine last night.’ I clearly cannot learn from this experience, but hey, most of the time it comes with some great memories.
*Yes I do realise that putting ‘pen’ and ‘is’ together at the end of a sentence makes for a sneaky chuckle about male anatomy. I’m never looking at ‘pen’ and ‘is’ the same again.