Ever Feel Like You’re Drowning In A Sea Of Shoulds?

I do… and I live on the beach so I should know from drowning. Almost every day I feel like my life has devolved into crossing off a list of things I have to get done, as opposed to things I feel like doing. And this is certainly devolution, not evolution; a uniformed populace obediently going about their daily drudgery is not what passes for life. (Unless you happen to work for a James Bond villain.) So as a public service I am posting this highly professional list of tips to get away from the Shoulds, and back to the Wants, the Desires and the Love To’s.

1. Don’t read parenting books, they will just make you feel like a failure.
2. Stop flipping through women’s magazines at the supermarket counter, you cannot be taught about “the new G-Spot” from women who are completely Boy-riented; they believe the new G-spot is a penis.
3. Don’t watch Cesar Milan aka The Dog Whisperer, he will make you abuse your dogs as you unconsciously see that they are not following correct dog pack protocol. (On the plus side Cesar did get divorced last year.)
4. Don’t switch on the Food Network, if you don’t feel completely overwhelmed by your duty as a woman to produce effortless pastries, succulent lamb roast and saffron tacos, then you will be hypnotized into going out and buying them. Either way – you get fat.
5. Do not buy into cultural stereotypes about ladies’ weight (loss). Can you breathe relatively well after going up stairs? If you’re over 40, is your waist size still less than your age? When you look in the mirror, can you articulate separate features (i.e. – chin, cheeks, eyes, lips?)? If you answered Yes, you are FINE.
6. Ditto for losing pregnancy weight. In fact, if anyone makes any remark that even alludes to your duty as a female to “get back in shape,” you have my permission to punch him or her with whatever heavy item you happen to be holding, except a baby. Do not use your baby as a weapon. (Jessica Simpson should be in prison for multiple assaults right now.)
7. Don’t feel like you have to do anything your inner child tells you is a definite NO – this includes shaking hands with someone with a “bad vibe,” kissing a relative who makes your skin crawl, or blowing your husband after his balls have spent hours being strangled by denim. Just Say No.
8. Very few things are actually “life and death,” if you have the urge to be creative, let that take precedence over such trivialities as “folding laundry.” The kids can certainly wait until you finish your latch hook pillow of the fifty American States before they get a bath.
9. Do not feel like you have to talk-, listen-, return a call-to, or date an asshole, unless there will be legal consequences if you don’t. Court dates are sadly mandatory – but you can always get ice cream on the way. (This rule does not apply if you are in the entertainment-, legal-, or associated- businesses; you made you’re a-hole contacts, now go ahead get back to groveling!)
10. Stop reading lists of TIPS online telling you what you SHOULD and SHOULDN’T do, they are facile, patronizing and manipulative and won’t teach you anything. (Except this one. This one WILL change your life.)

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