what should be . . .
listening to the tara brach’s “flow and presence” podcast yesterday, there were several moments when i felt like she was speaking straight at me. the most powerful point to hit home was the idea that many of us tend to spend our time and energy trying to control [time, our relatives, everything] — at all cost. then, when we find that this is impossible, we lose the ability to be present and happy in our lives.
taken one step further, a huge part of what leads to the control scenario in the first place is the idea that things ‘should’ be a certain way [otherwise, what would be the point of pushing?]. some of us are . . . well, should-ier than others, and i know that i personally land on the extremely should-y side of the spectrum.
a selection of SHOULDS of my past and present:
✔ [childhood] i should be able to excel in 324982 activities simultaneously while getting perfect grades
✔ [college] i should have a boyfriend with X, Y, Z specifications
✔ [adulthood] i should be a certain size
✔ [adulthood] i should run X miles/week and race at a certain speed
✔ [adulthood] i should cook something healthy and balanced for dinner every night
✔ [adulthood] i should be able to go into work every day and just LOVE what i’m doing 100% of the time
✔ [adulthood] i should have a REAL job by now
✔ [adulthood] i should be pregnant by now.
even yoga class is not should-free for me:
the common thread in all of these “shoulds” is the idea that the universe is just supposed to behave in a certain way — a way that is — for better or for worse — just not the way reality is.
if _____ were true, i could then be happy.
but, as i have acknowledged, some of the above shoulds do not jive with reality, and others are mutually exclusive. so, what would that mean for me?
★ i have time on my side with our fertility struggles. i am 31, not 41. if i were to get pregnant an entire YEAR from now, it would not be any sort of disaster [other than the potential for wasting that whole year stressing about it]. furthermore, the time that it has taken has meant more time for josh + me to just do our own things together, just the two of us.
★ i am on track towards a great career and on my 10th year out of 12 of POST-COLLEGE graduate training. i may not love what i do in the lab every day, but it is a learning opportunity AND a chance to enjoy a much more balanced lifestyle [compared to residency]. i used to dream about getting adequate sleep every night, and now i’m better rested than i’ve probably been in years.
★ i am a good person even when i do eat cereal for dinner.
down with the 2WW
and with that, it’s time to forget about the 2-week wait. i truly do not want to live life in a countdown! i will acknowledge some of my unrealistic expectations and “shoulds” and “if only” thoughts, and just be okay with what is, today.