I'm not a cold and callous woman who looked the other way when someone needed a meal, or a coat or a home (although I may have). I'm talking about my "Needies"...more specifically, the "Need To" family.
The other day, the Hubster had an evening meeting and would not be home for dinner! I felt like I had a "Get Out of Jail Free!" card. I raced right home. Why, I don't know.
As I was driving home, I was thinking of all the things I "should" do; the things I "need" to do. Like work out. Ugh. I hate doing that. But I had been slothful all week. I really "should" do it. And write. Well, yes, I wrote my blog, but that book is never going to get written if I don't make some time to do it. And really, how hard is the proposal letter? It's simply a matter of starting it! Oh, and the dog never gets walked. I see other people walking their dogs, even though it's cold, and I feel guilty. I "should" do that.
These are the two things I struggle with all the time. Exercising and writing. One I love and one I hate. I'll let you guess which is which. If you have trouble, you can get a clue by reading my post, Friend or Faux?
When I got home, I didn't want to do any of the above.
I wanted an ice cream cone.
I had this inner battle of what I "should" be doing, what I "need" to do, and what I really wanted to do.
And then I thought of what I'd just written on my blog---about The House at Pooh Corner and how, as Kenny Loggins puts it, "I've wandered much further today than I should, and I can't seem to find my way back to the wood."
Well, I didn't want to wander further from the wood. Having an ice cream cone just might help me find my way back to being carefree.
Whoever said I had to write? Me.
Whoever said I had to exercise? Well, actually my doctor. But today? Me.
Whoever said I shouldn't have the ice cream cone? Me.
So what did I do?
I put the dog in the car and I went to get ice cream.
I gave myself permission to be carefree. I turned my back on the "needy." Sometimes, you just have to do that.
I did not feel at all guilty while I ate my ice cream. I savored the chocolate, the coffee, the brownie pieces, the fudge throughout.
And you can see that Lucy was fine with not taking a walk.
And here's the funny part of all this. When I got home, I was cold, and the first thing I thought was, "Huh, I kind of feel like working out just to warm up."
After going through the 500 steps to switching from the TV to a video, I started out marching, thinking, "Okay, I've done Zumba before. So far, so good. Marching is good. I can do this."
Can I just say that the instructors were no more than 30 years old with perfectly sculpted, spray-tanned bodies to kill for (mine never looked like that even when I was skinny)? They were able to move their bodies in ways I couldn't even figure out. It was sort of like twerking while standing up. And I felt like I was watching a dance competition or something.
The "Shoulds" crept back in.
"I should be able to do this. Why doesn't my body do that?" (BTW, it never did, even at 20).
Twerk Instructor was sweating profusely and I wasn't even breaking a sweat. Because I was pretty much still marching. I should be sweating.
Finally, I just did what I felt like doing. I was in my living room, for heaven's sake! Of course, the blinds were closed so no one could watch my spastic erect twerking attempts. I'm pretty sure that if I'd had a mirrored wall, I would have seen my mother.
Then, I just got tired of feeling like I was watching a performance and turned it off. I did a Pseudo-Zumba workout for awhile, but I started feeling like I "should" keep going, even though I was getting more annoyed at Fake Latina Barbie with her hip-hop outfit (really, one pant leg up and one down? The recovering OCD Mary was having a hard time with the imbalance of it all). It was time to say, "Enough." (She had to be fake: she blurted out, "Arroz con leche!"...Rice with milk?)
Leslie Sansone was my friend last week with her "Walk Away the Pounds" DVD. That's more my speed. And she's more my age. And she doesn't try to make me shake my booty. My booty shakes just fine on its own, thank you.
And here I now sit, in front of my computer...writing. Okay, so it's a blog, and not that book proposal. But I'm writing.
When I gave myself permission not to do what I thought I "should" do, what I "need" to do, and instead did what I wanted to do, I discovered that I ended up wanting to do what I "should" and "need" to do after all.
I wonder why that is.
Could it be that once we take the restrictions away from ourselves and grant freedom to ourselves, we stop rebelling?
I don't know. And of course, it doesn't always happen this way. Sometimes I do what I want and remain slothful. Sometimes I do what I want and shirk my responsibilities, and then suffer the consequences.
But sometimes, sometimes, you just have to find your way back to the wood and let yourself be carefree.
Evict the "needy!"
What about you?
What have you repeatedly told yourself you "should" or "need to" do?
What would happen if you just did something that you want to do (within reason/not sinful/in moderation), and turned your back on the "needy?"
Do something fun today! Give yourself a break!
Blessings Along the Path,
sharing this post with Arabah Joy at Grace and Truth,, Laura at Faith Filled Friday, Barbie with The Weekend Brew, Janis with Sunday Stillness, Deb at Blessing Counters, Laura at Playdates With God, Terri at Good Morning Monday, Holly with Testimony Tuesday, and Kelly with #RaRa Cheerleading