I suffer from a common condition. It’s called “shoulditis”—otherwise known as I should do that disease.
Symptoms flare up under the most ordinary circumstances.
When my friend calls to say she’s taking a Zumba class, I think of how long it’s been since my Nikes hit the gym, and my own voice whispers in my head, I should do that.
When I scroll through Facebook and see a dozen photos of cutesy craft projects other moms created with their children, I’m deflated. I should do that.
When my parenting magazine plugs a recipe for brownies using hidden carrot puree, I think of the Duncan Hines box stashed in my cupboard. Carrots are way healthier. I should do that.
Vacation plans. Extreme couponing. Colon-cleansing diets. Reading lists, scrapbooks, chore charts and hand-sewn purses. Clown-face pancakes, for crying out loud. She does it! I should do it, too!
But I can’t do everything, can I?
And that is the pain of shoulditis. It assumes I’m supposed to be someone else—or a hundred someone elses. My spirit inflames with an impossible itch to be as clever, resourceful, energetic, artsy and self-disciplined as those other women.
Reality check. They can’t do everything, either.
We all have our own things—our talents, interests, commitments, priorities. Yours aren’t better than mine, and mine aren’t better than yours. They’re just different.
Why? Because God is fantastically creative, and he gave us each a unique blend of gifts. Trying to do it all is a waste of time. It’s like saying God got it wrong. On the flip side, doing what he created us to do—that’s worship.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone,” (1 Corinthians 12:4–6, ESV).
So. Let’s slap some salve on that shoulditis, shall we? (Say that five times fast.)
The antidote is: I should NOT do that.
When the neighbors rent a mega bounce house for their son’s birthday party, I will tell myself, I should NOT do that. My girls have winter birthdays, anyway. We can’t fit a bounce house in the kitchen.
When my friend signs up for a half marathon. Good for her! But I should NOT do that. Stroller walks are more my pace.
When that sweet lady in the church choir raves about her make-ahead freezer meals. I should definitely NOT do that. This momma prefers to spend Sunday afternoon running through the sprinkler. I will grab my chicken patties from the supermarket and call them dinner.
So let’s all agree—you should do what you do, and I should do what I do, and together we will create a supportive, well-rounded community of women who love what they do and really can do it all—collectively.
Now I hope you’ll pardon me, but I must sign off. It’s time to work on my photo books. I know, I know—Shutterfly isn’t your cup of tea. You just keep reading that Shakespeare or knitting your washcloths, my friends. No worries. We were made for different things.
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