The Word “Should”

There are so many things I “should” be able to do, yet I can’t seem to manage to pull off these days. I’ll admit I’m overwhelmed, even on a good day.

The new puppy ate our stair, which led my husband to look for replacement wood in our guest room closet. He realized the closet was soaking wet and the bathroom upstairs had flooded into the downstairs guest room. This “shouldn’t” have happened.

The damage!  

I “should” be able to train the puppy. After all, I have a pretty extensive knowledge of behavioral theory. I can spew off facts about Pavlov, Skinner, Little Albert (look this one up & don’t do it to your kids), classical conditioning, operant conditioning, applied behavioral analysis, Premack principle, and the list goes on. I put together detailed behavior plans for kids at work on a regular basis, yet I can’t figure out how to get the puppy to stop jumping on my daughter.

Don’t let his sweet looks fool you

I “should” be able to get the kids to sleep without losing my mind each night. They “should” be able to block out the loud fans blowing to dry out the mess from the leak in the bathroom. After all, it’s pretty much white noise like we played in their room when they were babies. They “should” listen to me. I “should” write them their own behavior plan, like I have been planning to do for months in my free time.

Just a sample of the bedtime shenanigans 

My shoulder “should” be better by now. I “should” be able to resume my aerial practice that I miss more than I can put into words. I “should” be able to watch videos of others or past videos of myself without the urge to cry.  It’s been over 5 months… I “should” think about what I have gained from this experience besides 7 pounds, a met deductible, and a blog.

My silly socks in this picture keep the tears at bay

The one thing I “should” do is to stop thinking about all the things I “should” be able to do. Just like I talked about having unrealistic expectations for my children on special occasions in my last post, we (myself included) need to stop having these delusions for ourselves. This kind of thinking just sets one up for failure, feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and depression.

10 Things you “should” do:

1. Breath- take a few cleansing breaths before reacting. 4-2-4 breathing is one of my favorites. Breath in for 4 counts, hold for 2, and breath out for 4. The world looks different when you are calm.

2. Take a break- run, swim, walk, sit outside, garden, nap, write, read, do nothing, whatever works for you!

3. Accept help from friends and family

4. Hire help if financially feasible (cleaning service, puppy trainer, etc)

5. Treat yourself!  My favorite treats recently have been wine and dark chocolate, both of which have been wonderful in moderation. Red wine happens to be an antioxidant that has been linked to helping with circulation, improving cholesterol and healing your body at a cellular level. Dark chocolate has also been known to have to similar benefits.

I am not advocating having drinks larger than your head on a regular basis.  

6. Spend time outside – vitamin D is a natural mood booster

7. Exercise – endorphins from working out can enhance your mood within minutes


8. Take medication if it helps your body and mind

9. Talk to a professional if you need it

10. Accept your imperfection and not think about everything you “should” be able to do

One of my favorite songs, by one of my favorite bands, that just happens to describe me…   

15 thoughts on “The Word “Should”

  1. The word “should” is something my therapist and I talk about literally every session. It’s such a guilt-laden word and honestly, it can make your life miserable! Thank you so much for talk about its damaging effects!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for commenting and sharing that you relate to this. I feel like my list of “shoulds” is endless these days. I wrote this to remind myself of why this word sucks!


  2. Dale Fermaglich May 17, 2018 — 6:15 pm

    Excellent blog as per usual!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your blog! Especially the list of things you”should” do. I need to remember to breathe. I often run around like a chicken with me head cut off and then end a ball of nerves.


    1. Thanks for reading! I’m the same way too! I’m surprised I’m still alive from holding my breath do long. I Look forward to checking out your blog!


  4. Sounds like you may be on the right track now. Hope you figure it out soon


    1. Let’s hope so. It’s going to be a long track ahead though


  5. Good read. Hope you figure out that soon


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