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Old 01-24-2008, 09:15 AM   #1
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Default Are the SHOULDS in your life affecting your creativity?

DH and I were feeling very stressed so we decided to take a day off to relax and unwind. We each picked something to do that we thought would be fun. DH picked a nice restaurant to eat lunch at and I of course picked a new rubber stamp store to shop at. Both places were located over an hours drive from our house so it was a change of scenery and a new experience.

As the day progressed I had one of those big "AH HA" moments. Instead of relaxing and enjoying the experience to it's fullest, I got caught up with the thoughts of I SHOULD, I CANT or I BETTER NOT.

At the restaurant I didn't order the steak I really wanted because it has too many calories and it cost too much etc. I got the low fat/low calorie chicken but it was pretty blah and I didn't enjoy the meal. Then DH asked if I wanted to order chocolate cake for dessert, but I once again passed saying there were too many calories and too much sugar. Well you can see the pattern emerging here.

At the rubber stamp store I found myself doing the same thing. Instead of enjoying the special treat of shopping at a new store, I decided I SHOULD limit how much I would spend and only get one stamp. Half way to the counter to check out with one stamp in my hand, the light bulb went off! We drove an hour to get to this store and this is supposed to be a treat. I realized that I probably won't get another chance to shop at this store for a long time and I deserved to get what I really wanted. So I went back to the isle that had the stamps I really loved and grabbed the ones I wanted without checking the price tags, then quickly went to the check out counter to pay for them before I changed my mind. I felt like a little kid at Christmas time when I got in the car.

On the way home I realized that way too much of my life has been spent being "responsible" and doing things because I "SHOULD" or because others have told me to instead of being that little joyful kid who has fun.

This morning as I was thinking about this experience, I had another "AH HA" moment. I haven't been happy with a lot of the cards I have made in the past year and I think I now understand why. I was making what I felt I "SHOULD" make instead of what I wanted to make a lot of the time.

So here's my question for you to ponder today: Are the SHOULDS in your life preventing you have having more fun and affecting your creativity?

Deloris
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:20 AM   #2
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VERY thought provoking! I think on a daily basis it's good to live on a 'should' idea. Otherwise I'd be online all day talking here instead of working like I should be. hehe.

But yeah.. I agree. I think a lot of my time is spent doing what I should do instead of what I'd like to do. I don't spend as much time stamping as I'd like because my house should be cleaner than it is. Or I shouldn't spend money on the stamps I really want so I get stamps I sorta want that cost less. That's going to stop. Instead of spending money on those I'm going to save it and put it towards the ones I really want.

SO yeah.. very thought provoking! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and Ah-HA moment!


Psst... I wanna see the stamps that you got in use.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:20 AM   #3
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Definitely. Especially spending on craft stuffs.. We are both retired so $$ isn't as abundant as it was and that sucks! I know I need to buy inks as I've never bought any, only stamps so far... so.. should I get them or not...lol we all know the answer to that one!! Thanks for starting this thread, I'm sure there are many of us who can relate!
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:41 AM   #4
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Growing up, I was always the people pleaser type of kid. My sister was the rebel and I was "the good kid", "the responsible kid", "the honor roll, A student". That type of pattern continued throughout my life - always seemed afraid of disappointing others, didn't matter if I disappointed myself.

Since I've had kids of my own, I've finally started breaking out of that mold. I've alienated a lot of "friends" and family because I'm saying and doing more than I used to. I don't keep my mouth shut anymore and it tends to rub them the wrong way. They're so used to me not saying or doing anything and just blindly accepting everything. Now that I don't, they're don't know what to do. I don't particually care if they like it or not, I like me better now.

A couple of years ago, I got into the Body-for-Life challenge through the supplement company EAS. At the time, Bill Phillips was the CEO, big boss, etc. of the company. He wrote a book Body-for-Life, had some wonderful DVDs out, book on CD, etc. The whole premise of success is you first have to make a decision to make a change. I had finally decided (along with my eating and exercising) to make a change in how I acted in life. I was tired of always being afraid to step on anyone's toes, always afraid of failure. Now, I think before I do, not out of fear or what I feel I SHOULD do, but I think because I don't want to do whatever it is if it goes against the new picture I have for me and my life. Sometimes I'll go into a stamping store and buy a lot of stuff because I'm working on a particular project and am looking for a particular kind of stamp or materials for that project. Used to, I would go in and buy a bunch because I was depressed about something or whatever. Some people would say that it's not much of a difference because I still spent a bunch either way. But there's a huge difference - now it's for a purpose, before it was simply a reaction to outside forces. I'm trying very hard not to let outside forces regulate what I do and don't do. I try to keep the "future vision" of the me and my life I have in my head (if you've been involved with BFL, you know what I mean), and I now try to make my decisions based on that.

So to long-windedly (is that even a word?!) answer your question, yes, their have been and still are SHOULDS that come into play. The difference now is that I'm more aware of them - I look for them and see whether or not that SHOULD fits in with the shoulds of my "future vision". Let me tell you, life is a lot more enjoyable now that I'm aware of those SHOULDS and am doing something about it. Frees up the creativity more than I thought was possible - the creativity in all aspects of my life.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:11 PM   #5
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I've only skimmed this, because I "SHOULD" be getting dinner together. I'll be back to read more closely, though.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:22 PM   #6
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A very good post to ponder!! (Yes, I too should be getting dinner together, but I am here on SCS!!). Many years ago DH and I were taking various vacations around the country, I would see somthing I like and question if I should buy it, yada yada, - DH would say go ahead, but I would put it back. One year we were in the 4 corners area and I saw a beautiful silver bracelet with a design and technique that I had not seen before. DH bought the men's version and thought I should get the women' version. I thought, oh we're traveling through the Southwest and surely we will find something similar down the road and it will be cheaper. Well, of course we never found anything like it and we traveled to the area several times over the years, but NO! I cannot find anything like it. So, whenever I hem and haw about "should I get this", DH always reminds me of the silver bracelet that got away!
Look, if it is not going to bankrupt you, or leave the kids starving - do it. You wont' regret it. What's that line..."Nobody ever got to the end of their life and said - I wish I spent more time at the office".
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:28 PM   #7
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I agree that with Nancy. I do treat myself, especially when I am going to scrapbook and I know I need certain things, or I am making cards. My family NEVER goes without. The kids always have the best, so I deserve some things that make me happy to. Great thread starter!

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Old 01-24-2008, 03:29 PM   #8
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I feel that way alot. However, I spoil myself anyway, then sometimes have buyer's remorse.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Shopping DivaView Post
I feel that way alot. However, I spoil myself anyway, then sometimes have buyer's remorse.
You're so not alone! I'm trying to find that balance, ya know? I'm aware of the "shoulds" and heed them if not doing so would bankrupt or otherwise hurt us. But I've learned to spoil myself too the past couple years and then try not to beat myself up over a small credit card bill.

Seriously, I'm so done with sweatin the small stuff. And YES--you CAN have dessert once a week and feel absolutely guilt free!! (Bob and Jillian said so)
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by geogymnast82View Post
Growing up, I was always the people pleaser type of kid. My sister was the rebel and I was "the good kid", "the responsible kid", "the honor roll, A student". That type of pattern continued throughout my life - always seemed afraid of disappointing others, didn't matter if I disappointed myself.
That was me too, the oldest in the family and the one who seemed to shoulder the burden of being the responsible one. It still continues somewhat today (once my husband told my MIL that I can't say no to anybody except him!). I have difficulty sometimes with my two teen boys, because I know that there are many "shoulds" that they should be concerned with and are not.

There's nothing wrong with taking care of the shoulds in our life, and I try hard to balance the have-to-dos with the want-to-dos during my week. Little bit of work, little bit of fun....that kind of thing.

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Old 01-24-2008, 03:48 PM   #11
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Haha, we're undertaking a big "should" right now - refinancing our house (which we've owned for almost six years) and going from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage with a much lower interest rate. We could have refinanced and kept a 30-year mortgage and had less money due every month for payments. However, we realize we should concentrate on paying our mortgage down sooner.

I didn't marry and start a family until I was 31, so I got a lot of the "wannas" out of the way in my teens and 20s. In my 30's and now my 40s, with two young kids, it's high time for "shoulds." I envy those of you who can now put aside a lot of the "shoulds" and get back to the "wannas." However, by paying attention now to the "shoulds" in our life, my husband and I will be able to do a lot of the "wannas" when our kids grow up and we retire.

Everything in moderation...
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:32 PM   #12
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Good Topic.
Wouldn't it be nice if we all had unlimited supply of $$ and time..
Well at least $$
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:38 PM   #13
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I have spent so much of my life doing the shoulds that it took a major life event to wake me up. Now on occasion I allow myself to live a little. I don't go overboard very often, but by golly on occasion I do!!!
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:09 AM   #14
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I have spent so much of my life doing the shoulds that it took a major life event to wake me up. Now on occasion I allow myself to live a little. I don't go overboard very often, but by golly on occasion I do!!!

That's so true. We had a major life event in our family that has me rethinking what's important in my life.

My SIL worked hard and saved money for many years and always did the "SHOULDS". She retired with plans to travel and really enjoy her leisure time only to find out last month that she has Lou Gehrings disease and will never be able to do them.

The lesson I've learned from this is that the future isn't guaranteed to be there so I want to make each day count.

Last edited by deeth1; 01-25-2008 at 05:13 AM..
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by AlternateRealityView Post
Haha, we're undertaking a big "should" right now - refinancing our house (which we've owned for almost six years) and going from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage with a much lower interest rate. We could have refinanced and kept a 30-year mortgage and had less money due every month for payments. However, we realize we should concentrate on paying our mortgage down sooner.

...

You will never regret this decision! DH and I did the same thing with the 15 yr mortgage and our house is now paid off. It was the best financial decision we ever made. So many of our friends who kept refinancing for cars, etc are still paying off their house and now their homes are worth less because of the real estate market downturn. The freedom you have when you don't have a house payment is wonderful! Congratulations on your decision.
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:15 AM   #16
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We bought our home one month after getting married when we were 23. On my 32nd birthday we paid the balance off. For 9 years we disciplined ourselves to pay extra on our mortgage and we also put every bonus check against it. Then we had the opportunity to refinance at a crazy low rate about 5 years ago, but we kept paying the same monthly amount we'd been paying (so a big chunk was now paying off the principal). Hence, we owned our home in 9 years. Wonderful feeling!!!! You definitely won't regret what you're doing!

Oh, and don't think of this part of your life as a "should"! Having young children is fun! Ours are 7, 5, and 2 and most days I wake up excited to be at home with them, being a wife and mom. I laugh so much more, I enjoy my husband so much more...these "shoulds" everyone is talking about (making meals, laundry, cleaning, etc.) are really opportunities to show your families how much you love them! I feel so satisfied and content seeing my husband relaxing when he comes home from work because I've created a relaxing environment for him. I love that my kids enjoy their home and that it's their favorite place to be, because I've worked very hard to make it that way. Yes, sometimes it does feel like a burden, but that's why I sometimes ask my husband if he'll take over childcare duties so I can stamp or scrapbook. I've found that he's much more receptive and willing because he knows how hard I work to keep our home what it is!

Ladies, I encourage you to take time for yourself but change how you look at your "shoulds"!
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:58 AM   #17
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I'm in the middle of a move to our retirement house. I am hoping to get things so organized that I am not PRESSURED by things undone. I found I didn't take time to enjoy craft stuff because there was so much I NEEDED to do. Now that did not mean the work got done, I just felt too guilty to spend a couple of hours with the stamps. You know, that is DUMB. So I am making changes.

This thread helps. Thanks
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:13 AM   #18
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If my husband is telling me "go ahead"...I always do. Mostly b/c he is the wage earner (I stay at home to take care of babies!). If he is saying okay...then it means we have enough to pay the bills & buy groceries.

And I have told him...if you want to go out, but we have to be "careful" about what we're spending, then lets just put it off for another week. It's not that I want to blow a ton of money...but if he is worried about adding up every penny...he is not enjoying himself...I can usually see he is thinking hard about stuff like that...so I stop enjoying MYself.

Our kids are young...4 years & 4 months. So anything we do together as a family they enjoy. They don't know that spending a few hours at the park is free...but the oldest is having just as much fun with her bag lunch as she would had we gone to chuck-e-cheese or McDonald's & paid for lunch.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:50 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by deeth1View Post
That's so true. We had a major life event in our family that has me rethinking what's important in my life.

My SIL worked hard and saved money for many years and always did the "SHOULDS". She retired with plans to travel and really enjoy her leisure time only to find out last month that she has Lou Gehrings disease and will never be able to do them.

The lesson I've learned from this is that the future isn't guaranteed to be there so I want to make each day count.

AMEN!!
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:57 AM   #20
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VERY thought provoking! I think on a daily basis it's good to live on a 'should' idea. Otherwise I'd be online all day talking here instead of working like I should be. hehe.

But yeah.. I agree. I think a lot of my time is spent doing what I should do instead of what I'd like to do. I don't spend as much time stamping as I'd like because my house should be cleaner than it is. Or I shouldn't spend money on the stamps I really want so I get stamps I sorta want that cost less. That's going to stop. Instead of spending money on those I'm going to save it and put it towards the ones I really want.

SO yeah.. very thought provoking! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and Ah-HA moment!


Psst... I wanna see the stamps that you got in use.
Ok, here's the first card I made this morning. (See I really am using them )

http:////www.splitcoaststampers.com/...00&ppuser=4482

I'm so glad I went back to get this stamp. I really love it.

Deloris
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:43 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by cnsteeleView Post
Oh, and don't think of this part of your life as a "should"! Having young children is fun! Ours are 7, 5, and 2 and most days I wake up excited to be at home with them, being a wife and mom. I laugh so much more, I enjoy my husband so much more...these "shoulds" everyone is talking about (making meals, laundry, cleaning, etc.) are really opportunities to show your families how much you love them! I feel so satisfied and content seeing my husband relaxing when he comes home from work because I've created a relaxing environment for him. I love that my kids enjoy their home and that it's their favorite place to be, because I've worked very hard to make it that way. Yes, sometimes it does feel like a burden, but that's why I sometimes ask my husband if he'll take over childcare duties so I can stamp or scrapbook. I've found that he's much more receptive and willing because he knows how hard I work to keep our home what it is!

Ladies, I encourage you to take time for yourself but change how you look at your "shoulds"!
Totally agree!

Even though I'm a bit AR/OC, I have come to hate housework and cooking. As a SAHM with two boys ages 8 and 5 (the 5yo has atypical autism), I have found myself feeling like a slave to housework and cooking NOT because these things are hard but because they are so repetitive and relentless. Day in, day out. Grrrr.

Deciding I needed a mental re-adjustment, I recently started asking myself through the day: Why are you doing this? Do you HAVE to do this? Can you do this more efficiently, in less time, easier? The "why" question is the most important, I think. Usually, cleaning the bathrooms when I'd rather be stamping makes me grumpy. But the other day, I realized, duh, you clean the bathrooms to keep your family from getting sick. That's dang important. I didn't get grumpy at all.

Great thread--very thoughtful and thought-provoking. Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:12 AM   #22
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Most definitely! I am in the process of figuring out how to tackle this ugly monster. I have been walking in and out of my craft room since my baby was born thinking that I should put it all on ebay and be done with it b/c it is a waste to let it set in there and be used so little.

I love DS and DH and wouldn't change anything about life with them I live, but I would like to figure out how to have my cake and eat it too. Work full-time, take care of my home, my family and also take time for myself guilt-free. I aspire to be the women who have already figured out an answer to this situation.

Great thread!
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:26 PM   #23
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this is a great thread!
I was married for 20 years and then divorced, but really, my ex always said i was a hurricane, never stopping (becuase he expected everything to be perfect,) and i worked full time etc.
when spending a few years with just me and my dogs, i had alot of time to readjust my way of thinking and what was important to me.
I'm married now to a great guy, who appreciates my creative endeavors, due to having a lot of vacation time that i have to take, his idea was for me to take it couple days at a time and use those days to create or just do whatever i wanted, no cleaning house, laundry etc. he knows i can't be comfortable still with stuff that NEEDS to be done, so now the day or evening before my days off, we both do what needs to be done and when i wake up the next morning, i'm already to relax or create with no ingrained pressure of what i should be doing.
it's hard habits to break , but i'm learning and loving it!
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:21 PM   #24
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I'm very different to most of you in that I don't have any kids and I don't own a house hence no mortgage payments. The only bills I do have are my car loan, bank loan and credit card. But I still have the SHOULD thoughts on a regular basis. I really SHOULD be saving more money each month, not spending for the fun of it. But then I look at it like this: I'm a primary school teacher and work pretty hard for my pathetic wages in comparison to other people on the same wages as me. Because I work so hard (I regularly take work home 3-4 nights a week and spend another 2-3 hours marking each of those nights - no other job I know "expects" you to work from home! I did 3 hours yesterday just so I could have the weekend free to do some stamping!), I feel I deserve to treat myself each month by buying something I enjoy. It might be stamping stuff one week or clothes or a nice meal out or whatever but I feel I deserve it KWIM??

As someone else said you have to live for today as you never know what's round the corner, but I still like to have a little bit of money put away for a rainy day just in case! I think the amount of SHOULDS should be balanced with an amount of WANTS!

Vannessa xx
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Old 01-26-2008, 05:06 AM   #25
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I'll be turning 40 soon and I've decided that I'm going to live the life I want NOW. So I now eat steak AND chocolate cake. I cut all my long hair off and dyed it red and I quit trying to squeeze my size 16 ***** into size 14 jeans!! My husband is very upset about the hair but you know what? If he wants long blonde hair then he can grow some himself!!

I'm also choosing to be happy. I've started laying in bed every morning thinking about all the good things that I'm thankful for in my life instead of my endless to-do list. I still yell at people who cut me off when I'm driving (some things never change!!) but I've noticed that I smile a lot more now.

My grandmother always used to say you regret more the things you DON'T do instead of the things you DO. So I've started saying yes to life.

Maybe I should change my screen name to KATYDOES!!
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My blog: The Theory Of Creativity
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I speak the truth not so much as I would, but as much as I dare,
.......and I dare a little more as I grow older.
-Michel de Montaigne, essayist (1533-1592)
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:33 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by cnsteeleView Post
We bought our home one month after getting married when we were 23. On my 32nd birthday we paid the balance off. For 9 years we disciplined ourselves to pay extra on our mortgage and we also put every bonus check against it. Then we had the opportunity to refinance at a crazy low rate about 5 years ago, but we kept paying the same monthly amount we'd been paying (so a big chunk was now paying off the principal). Hence, we owned our home in 9 years. Wonderful feeling!!!! You definitely won't regret what you're doing!

Oh, and don't think of this part of your life as a "should"! Having young children is fun! Ours are 7, 5, and 2 and most days I wake up excited to be at home with them, being a wife and mom. I laugh so much more, I enjoy my husband so much more...these "shoulds" everyone is talking about (making meals, laundry, cleaning, etc.) are really opportunities to show your families how much you love them! I feel so satisfied and content seeing my husband relaxing when he comes home from work because I've created a relaxing environment for him. I love that my kids enjoy their home and that it's their favorite place to be, because I've worked very hard to make it that way. Yes, sometimes it does feel like a burden, but that's why I sometimes ask my husband if he'll take over childcare duties so I can stamp or scrapbook. I've found that he's much more receptive and willing because he knows how hard I work to keep our home what it is!

Ladies, I encourage you to take time for yourself but change how you look at your "shoulds"!

VERY good reply! I think your unselfish attitude has probably served you really well! Good for you... the way you think is the way we should all strive to be, I have been, and I'm a lot happier because of it.
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Old 01-26-2008, 06:56 AM   #27
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I agree with paragraphs 1 @ 2 from geogymnast82. This was me, too. I could have wrote that! Sometimes it is hard for people to get used to the "new you"; but I believe in being yourself, as long as you are respectful of others ideas/opinions. Finding the balance between the shoulds/wannas isn't always easy. Someone also said, "everything in moderation"---great advice! For me, stamping keeps me sane! My career is highly stressful, and stamping is my "therapeautic recreation"! I don't feel guilty about what I spend. Spending time doing what I love makes me a happier person and this spills over into all areas of my life! Great thread---I love reading what everyone has to say. I'm subscribing!
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:01 AM   #28
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Several of these stories completely relate to me and how I've lived my life. BIL and I talk about it often.....

Any way - I realized a few months back that I was shopping to relieve stress - horrible habit to get into financially. Then I looked about my house and realized that it was cluttered with unopened shopping bags. The kids only had a few "safe" rooms to play in, but even their play room was starting to look like the rest of the house - cluttered. The dishes weren't getting done, the floors vaccumed, things like that. I kept getting angry at DH for not doing them. Any way I decided to use the one touch rule. If I touch it I either have to use it and put it away or place it in the pile to find it a new home. I have made countless trips to Goodwill since this plan and loving the results. Today I boxed up 7 large boxes of fabric to give away. I have bundled scrap papers and embellishments to give to my friends kids who are scrapping. I pull from the bottom of the stack of kits to work from and I don't stop my scrap session until that kit is completely used up - makes for some late nights.... Doing the same thing at school which is driving my coworkers crazy!!! They are used to coming to me for every little funky thing. Kids have picked up on the concept and gave away over half of their mound of stuffed animals. Now if only DH would jump on the band wagon for old computer things.

Basically I need a few shoulds so that my creativity isn't stifled by the clutter in my life. Now when it comes to crafting supplies - I'm game to try anything!!! Just bought some great glitter mists to play with and I can't wait!!!
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:37 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by AlternateRealityView Post
I envy those of you who can now put aside a lot of the "shoulds" and get back to the "wannas." However, by paying attention now to the "shoulds" in our life, my husband and I will be able to do a lot of the "wannas" when our kids grow up and we retire.

Everything in moderation...
You might not make it to retirement tho, my Dad did all the things he should do, thinking when he retires he'd have fun, well, he died at 59 and never made it. That has had a huge impact on my thinking. I want to live well NOW; I've had too many people die young (My SIL died last year at age 40 from Ovarian cancer and put a lot of life on the back burner, now she's gone) to put my eggs into the retirement basket.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:40 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by deeth1View Post
Ok, here's the first card I made this morning. (See I really am using them )

http:////www.splitcoaststampers.com/...00&ppuser=4482

I'm so glad I went back to get this stamp. I really love it.

Deloris
Darling card!! TFS!
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:44 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by katydidntView Post
I'll be turning 40 soon and I've decided that I'm going to live the life I want NOW. So I now eat steak AND chocolate cake. I cut all my long hair off and dyed it red and I quit trying to squeeze my size 16 ***** into size 14 jeans!! My husband is very upset about the hair but you know what? If he wants long blonde hair then he can grow some himself!!

I'm also choosing to be happy. I've started laying in bed every morning thinking about all the good things that I'm thankful for in my life instead of my endless to-do list. I still yell at people who cut me off when I'm driving (some things never change!!) but I've noticed that I smile a lot more now.

My grandmother always used to say you regret more the things you DON'T do instead of the things you DO. So I've started saying yes to life.

Maybe I should change my screen name to KATYDOES!!
Love this!! I want to cut my hair off and dye it too!!!!!!!
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:38 AM   #32
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This morning I spent the first hour doing the "Want To's" on my list then went on to the "Shoulds". It was a much nicer way to start my day!

So has this thread changed the way you do things?

Deloris
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