Why your life isn’t good enough…yet

It occurred to me the other day that I will never have what I want–what I am striving for–until I become utterly happy with what I already have.

This revelation came to me last week while I unpacked my “sub-standard” vehicle on our first day vacationing at the lake. I found myself lamenting how old, scuffed up, and uncomfortable the car was. Then I caught myself. Was I really on vacation complaining about what I didn’t have? Talk about not being able to appreciate the beautiful forest for the one ugly tree!

Do I want a new car? Sure. But this one had just carried me and my daughter 864+ miles not including a stop in Minneapolis to see the sights. It has since brought us all the way back home, never once disappointing me, never once letting us down, keeping us safe the whole time. Right now it is sitting out there, covered in bugs and waiting to do whatever is next. It’s overdue for an oil change, unwashed, kind of stinky from our 13 hour road trip, yet ever the reliable mode of transportation. Continue reading “Why your life isn’t good enough…yet”

Stop ‘Shoulding’ on Yourself

How often do you say “should”? I’m guessing several times a day. “I should go to the store.” “I should clean my house.” “I shouldn’t eat that.” “You should [insert unintentionally judgy comment].” Maybe you aren’t even aware of your shoulds. This is the negative Mean Girl dialogue that sometimes takes over inside your head. “You should have gotten that job.” “You should work harder, do more, be better.” “You should look like that girl in the magazine.”

This kind of thinking is stressful and sucks the joy out of everything. You can’t live up to your full potential if you are constantly thinking you are not who or where you need to be or that you should be someone or somewhere else. Continue reading “Stop ‘Shoulding’ on Yourself”

Shoulding on the Holidays, part 3: Comparison

I got sucked into it just this morning. I was looking at one of the piles of catalogs and store ads that come in the mail this time of year, and there was a picture of a well-dressed couple in an embrace looking so utterly happy. It wasn’t so much a conscious thought as it was a feeling of…well I guess it was envy. What was I envious of? The moment? The well-dressed man? Her perfect hair and svelte figure? Their embrace? The fact that this couple actually got to go out and take a picture together and look happy about it? Whatever it was, it was ridiculous. And actually kind of funny. I was looking through the mail while my coffee was brewing and thinking about this very blog which I already knew would be about comparing ourselves to others. While doing all of that my brain had the capacity to compare my life to those people’s, and they were probably models.

The last two weeks we have been talking about “should-ing” and how shoulding sucks the joy out of the holiday. “Shoulding,” in a nutshell, is focusing on what should be happening rather than what is actually happening or worrying about what you should do rather than what you want to do. Yes, since you are an adult there are some things you really should do. You should clean your house once in awhile and you should go to work, but I’m talking specifically about those things you “should” do around the holidays. You should get the Christmas lights up, you should prepare a big dinner for everyone, or Continue reading “Shoulding on the Holidays, part 3: Comparison”

Shoulding on the Holidays, Part 1: Guilt

Welcome to holiday season pregame. Otherwise known as the week of Halloween. I absolutely love this time of year. I love the festive feeling, the events, decorating the tree, Christmas music, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, turkey dinner…I could go on. I even like dealing with the Elf on the Shelf. Having a little girl in the house makes everything that much better. I do understand that not everyone likes this time of year, though. For many, the holiday season spells added stress and anxiety. I heard someone just the other day say that they were already dreading the long checkout lines and crowded parking lots. My mom has given up on most of the holiday traditions because “It’s a lot of work and what’s the point?” Many people experience a sharp let down when their high expectations of the holiday didn’t turn out exactly right. Others merely tolerate the season with a “meh”, or more appropriately a “humbug”, attitude. If this is supposed to be such a joyous season, why do so many people find it so miserable? How can you enjoy the season and hopefully inspire joy in others at the same time?

Continue reading “Shoulding on the Holidays, Part 1: Guilt”

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