The early Hassidic sage Rabbi Zusya once said, "When I reach the next world, God will not ask me, 'Why were you not Moses?' Instead, he will ask me, 'Why were you not Zusya?'"
I don't know about you, but I have to make a conscious effort to be myself and stay true to what I know I'm supposed to do. I'm the kind of person who looks around at what everyone else is doing, and though I know better, I start to think, "Maybe I should be doing it like so and so."
I get this way with homeschooling. I'm part of an online homeschooling group and even though we're all very gracious with each other and we're not even giving into the pressure to make homeschool look like public school with mounds of homework, etc., it's easy to compare myself to them and say, "wow, I should be doing more projects, going more places, doing more things, blah, blah, blah."
Then I remember that my kids are learning what they need to learn and the way we're doing school fits our lifestyle. My kids are happy and not so overly busy that we're stressed and going crazy. I like a simple lifestyle.
Lately I've found myself doing the comparison thing with blogging and writing and promoting. "I should have more posts about writing, more contests, more blog hops, and more interviews. I should be helping more writing friends promote their books with blog tours and side buttons and links. My blog should look more professional; have more about my book and links to all the places people can buy it. I should work on my story more often and not play with other stories so much. I should have more description, less tea, etc. I should have my book on Kindle and Smashwords and kobo and wherever. Maybe I should look for an agent. I should say more and do more..."
Makes me tired just writing it.
I've learned from counseling (and my husband reminds me every once in a while) that if you substitute the word (excuse me) sh** for should, when you say you should do something, it's like piling sh** on yourself. And isn't that exactly how we feel when we start saying "I should, I should"?
So it's time to be kind to myself, stop piling crap on myself, and let myself be who I am. I will put whatever I want on my blog. I will help other writers when I can. I will promote myself as much or as little as I'm comfortable with. I will let my mind play when it needs a break. I will continue to self-publish, and not pressure myself into doing it the way my indie author friends are doing it. I will write the story I want to write and not worry about the tea.
Maybe that's my cue to go have some tea, or a cup of hot cocoa.
Now, go have a beautiful day, free of "shoulds." have some tea. Be yourself.
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