Life path · Marriage · Opinion Piece

Get the Should out of Your Life Theme

Two Random Chairs
A Reflection on Marriage

I copied and pasted the questions and answered them prior to writing this opening paragraph because I wanted a chance to go a little deeper inside myself without stressing over the starting words.  I dug a little further into my soul this time based on a previous request from a comment made on my blog, and although it’s a bit scary to explore some of my inner thoughts and feelings, I know what I’ve written is true for me and that is all that matters.

Without further ado, here are my answers to the life theme questions presented last week:

QUESTION: What are the lessons you can’t help but keep learning (and quite likely, teaching — through living example?)

I haven’t quite learned how to have a relationship with someone who doesn’t abuse me or take advantage of me somehow.  I haven’t learned how to lay down the parameters of what’s acceptable and then really mean it by backing it up with action.

This theme is woven into the fabric of my life.  At least I recognize it now so that when some new relationship appears, and it looks like the friendship is going to be bad or one-sided, I extricate myself as soon as possible without any discomfort with letting them go.  I used to feel bad about dumping people and didn’t want to hurt their feelings but now that I know better, it’s easy and I have fewer qualms about saving myself from the misery.

One of the first times I recall letting people go is when I read a book by Leo Buscaglia where he said something to the effect of “Your life is like a play.  If you don’t like the actors, fire them!”  I really took that saying to heart and fired a whole bunch of people in one fell swoop.  I didn’t reach out to any one of them even when a guy called, left a message saying he missed me and wondering what had happened.  Nobody else checked in on me, so I think it was a good call to fire them all.  Because so many years have passed, I can say it was the right decision.  They weren’t good for me and I wasn’t good for them.

I’d love to finally learn this lesson 100% and have the theme stop appearing in my life but I think that would involve liberating myself from a 23-year relationship and that would be extremely complicated.  Perhaps it’s not the only way to learn this lesson fully.

QUESTION: What are you freakishly good at / completely in love with / frequently praised for / undeniably skilled at?

I’m frequently praised for my writing but I don’t see it.  I think I’m an average writer at best.  Certainly not the same caliber as Steinbeck, Lawrence, Rowling, or even Collins.  Someone said I’m like a modern day Erma Bombeck.  Maybe I was close a few years ago but I seem to have lost my way.

Many people tell me in person how funny they think my Facebook posts are.  I suppose that’s a skill.

I’m majorly freakishly good at getting people to tell me things.  I frequently hear, “Wow, I don’t know why I told you that.  I have never told anyone that before.”  I get to hear a lot of things about a lot of people that I wish I didn’t know sometimes.  Someone said I had a very open and accepting face.  And it’s true, I don’t judge people for what has happened to them or what they’ve done because I’ve done many things of which I am not proud, so who am I to say “You should have known better,” or “What were you thinking?”

QUESTION: If you had the entire WORLD tuned into you — broadcasting live, from a top-secret location — what would you want the human race to know / remember / change / release / revive / believe?

Marry for love, not because it’s time, because you’re pregnant, or because the person is ‘good enough’ or the best you think you can do.  A terrible marriage will do more harm than good, including, according to scientists, make your arteries clog up faster than you would have had you waited for Mr. or Mrs. Right.  Marry someone who will support you and all your good…and dumb ideas.  Be with someone who will build you up, make you laugh, and never break your heart.  Be with someone who holds your hand in public without prompting and hands you a tissue when you cry.  Marry someone you don’t need tissues to be with.  Marry someone who will go with you wherever you go, not because they’re interested in everything you’re interested in but because they want to be with you wherever you are.  Take the time to find someone who will kiss you good morning and good-night no matter how bad your breath, and be sure to spend your life with someone who talks to you and listens to everything you say, because in the end, all you will have left after your looks are gone, are your words.


Now that the heart wrenching, tissue clutching writing is over, it’s time to get back to a fun exercise for the new week.  In the e-guide 52 Weeks: 52 Weeks to Love Your (Wild) Self, this week’s homework is to take the should out of my to do list.  I should, however, do something because it’s fun, creative, good for me, good for the planet, rejuvenating, and/or generous.  I need to get the should out.  For one week, I have been given the authority to do only the things that float my boat, and not out of obligation.

What will I do first?  I know!  Even as I asked the question, I knew the answer.  I am going to buy flowers from my favorite greenhouse and create a centerpiece for my kitchen table. Every time I create a floral arrangement it brings me joy and I think it adds a certain peacefulness to my often chaotic home.

What’s the first thing you will do this week?  Were you able to reflect on your life theme?  What did you come up with as your life theme?  What are you freakishly good at?

Until next week, enjoy doing a few things just for you.



5 thoughts on “Get the Should out of Your Life Theme

  1. It was so nice reading your life theme answers, it’s good to see you digging a little deeper, especially because I do think that we should all do this sometimes. And not in the sense of should that you’ll be eliminating this week, but in the true sense where one’s happiness really does depend on what is inside of us…
    And like you said yourself, what you’ve written is true for you and that is all that matters!

    Hope you’ll take a picture of the flower arrangement you make! My little floral artist heart would love to see it l;)

  2. Thanks, Estrella! I couldn’t get the flowers yesterday like I had wanted because my favorite place was not open but I did spend the day with my daughter shopping, not because I should but because I wanted to spend time with her. I ended up with a new pair of earrings and a mascara. Plus we went out to dinner; I don’t enjoy cooking much so instead of doing what I should, I did what I wanted. Yay for me. Two-fer-one.

  3. That was so eloquently written It was so honest and raw. It seems as if you your “wild self” is deeply romantic and that perhaps longs for something you once had a taste of but now is out of reach. Thank you for looking inside yourself and exposing a little of your true soul to your readers. You managed to do so honestly and tastefully as to not damage your reputation or legacy as it relates to your children, I recall that was you concern in a previous reply a comment I left you. You sell yourself short as a writer. You are quite talented.

      1. Thank you. No, I actually had permission to use that photo from a friend. What I love about it is the reflection of the chairs in the water. I can picture the silence of the trees and imagine myself sitting there listening to the leaves falling onto the ground. I love the sound of leaves falling. Who knew they made any sound at all?

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