Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Case of the "Shoulds"

We've all suffered from this. We have all made ourselves feel guilty over it. You know you have too. I'm talking about a case of the "shoulds", the overwhelming feeling of guilt that comes over you when you feel like you should be doing something else (usually entailing work of some kind) while doing absolutely nothing***. So far, there is no cure.

I have been suffering from a case of the "shoulds" all weekend. After feeling a little sick on Friday, I decided that I wasn't going to go in to the studio and paint, thinking that laying in bed and resting would do me better. But then that nagging voice in my head started in about what I should be doing. I should be finishing my painting that I have been working on all week. I should be researching galleries to submit my work to. I should be responding back to a bunch of emails I have been neglecting. I should be cleaning my apartment. But on Friday, I didn't let it get the best of me. I was actually able to rest up and felt a bit better by that evening.

Saturday was a different story though. I had a high school friend in town, one I haven't seen SINCE high school, and she wanted to see my art. Since I didn't get in to the studio on Friday, I figured I should get some work done while I was waiting for my friend to show up. And so I did. I gave in to the "shoulds" and stayed for a good 6 hours, and guess what? I feel more sick today than I did on Friday. What I really should have done was rested some more.

Now I know it isn't easy to resist the "shoulds". I am usually powerless to it's power and succumb almost instantly. It's usually hard for me to just relax and do nothing. I can't help it. There's just too many things I should be doing instead. But sometimes, especially when it comes to your health, you just have to stop listening to that voice in your head. You need to take care of YOU. I think today I am going to try and do that.

*** Other strands of the "shoulds" include:
1. What your parents think you should be doing with your life. This one is tough to resist and only the strongest will survive.
2. What society (television, advertisers, cultural norms, and anything else that likes to tell us what to look like, eat, or buy, etc.)  thinks you should do. 

Here's the progress I made yesterday when I should have been resting.

Here's a detail. I still need to work on this boy and add spokes to the rear tire of the bike. 

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