Fall Busy-ness: Can Do Versus Should Do

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Photo Source: EclecticBlogs

As Fall gets under way, so does the business that accompanies back to school, fall sports, and upcoming holidays. The lazy days of summer have  given way for all sorts of craziness — if we let it.

Somedays it feels like my life is characterized by a wide variety of should do‘s. You know….

  • I should go clean the bathrooms.
  • I should stop buying (insert the food of the day that will kill us).
  • I should stop picking my fingernails.

Life is full of shoulds. And quite honestly, those can be overwhelming. If you strive to be a responsible and conscientious mom (which I bet you do), you face shoulds all the live long day. I don’t know that we will ever see the end of them. And sometimes they’re quite paralyzing.

What can we do?

We can do what we can.

I don’t say that in a flippant way. I’m not shrugging it off with “Whatever.” But I know that when I forget about the guilt-trip and just try to do what’s within my reach, I feel better, my family is well served, and I actually produce more.

1. Take a moment and jot down all the shoulds that are floating around in your head. Get them on paper. (Seriously.)

2. Next, go get your favorite drink. (Really.)

3. Now, look at your list, whilst sipping your drink, and circle the three things that you honestly CAN DO this week. If you want, copy those three onto an index card and keep it where you can refer to it this week. If you want to get all motivational about it, write “I CAN” at the top.

4. Save your list of shoulds. You can look it over again in a week or in a month or in a year. You may find that some of the shoulds become more important while others become obsolete.

5. This week focus on your CAN DO’s.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. — Ecclesiastes 3:1

What CAN you do this week?

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  1. LOVE it!! Not only am I a mom of many, I am also a preacher’s kid/missionary kid. This means my list of “shoulds” gets to be doubled every time I think of anyone in any kind of spiritual, emotional or physical need. Ain’t I lucky? So getting over the “I should” syndrome and focusing on the “I cans” is almost as hard for me as a mom’s quest for the “I wants.” Thanks for the reminder to relax!

  2. I love this post! I am definitely a “should be”, “should have”, “need to” kind of wife and mother. Thank you for the reminder.

  3. Great encouragement! I often make a HUGE list of things to do in a day and then when I don’t meet them all I feel like I have failed (I am talking about making a list of 10 things, get to 8 of them and then feel like a big Loser for not doing them all). I love the idea of making a list and picking only 3 things that REALLY need to get done this week. Doable.

  4. I started my fall cleaning last week and it felt great. This week, I plan to spray paint some picture frames and work on cleaning Baby #2’s room so we can get started on it in the coming weeks.

  5. Thank you! I so often find encouragement in your posts, even though I am at a different place in my life—-“lifeasgrandma!”

  6. I like your 3rd one. I got a manicure yesterday so that I CAN have a pick-free week for my fingernails.

  7. Love this! Lists help me so much. I’m putting some things on my CAN list for this week that are outside of the normal survival tasks – ones that will make me happy and help our home be a better place to be. I’m excited about that.