I have a confession to make. I am addicted to watching “Sex and the City” episodes. My husband bought me the entire collection for Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago, and I have worn it out.
In one episode titled “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda”, Carrie Bradshaw poses a question at the end of one of her newspaper column…”Why are We “shoulding” all over ourselves?”
Maybe I am the only one who can relate to this question on a daily basis, but have you ever found yourself saying, ” I should…(fill in the blank)?”
Today for example. I started with my normal routine, feed dogs, make tea, read blogs, and as with many other days, I started with the “I should’s.” I should go out, I should go shoot some photographs, I should go see that movie I wanted to see, I should scrub my floors, I should do some work on my car…and it goes on and on.
Why is it so difficult for me not to feel guilty about just doing what I want to do, instead of what I think I should be doing? I know that as a homemaker my choices for my day are much less regimented than most folks, and this also makes me feel guilty. Why all the guilt? Why do I feel I should be doing more..always more than I am actually doing?
I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to appear a certain way in society. When women find out I am “just a homemaker”, I feel I have to justify it, defend myself. Why? Do they think I should be doing something more now that I am not raising children, or do I just think that is what they feel? Most importantly, why do I care what they think?
This is what I call a “drive-by shoulding.” It really has nothing to do with me or my life. It has to do with preconceived ideas of what constitutes a “full” life, a driven life, an accomplished life.
Yes, I lead a small life. I am a throwback to the 50s. I cook, clean, shop, pay the bills while hubby is on the road working. Do I wish it was more sometimes? Yes, there are days I wish I had more variety in my life, more activity, but I can choose to increase those things if I want to, but is it a true desire on my part, or is it just another way of “shoulding” on myself? Do I feel I should be doing more? Am I not valuable enough if this is all I ever do?
How much of what I want in life is led by true inner desire, and how much is based on expectation of others and society? I honestly don’t know, but in the meantime…I am going to take my dinner out of the oven, go sit comfortably in my bedroom and watch some more “Sex and the City” episodes. Maybe I’ll go see that movie tomorrow, or maybe not. Who cares?