“I should.” by Kathy Francis

Kathy Francis is an author whose next book, Grace Notes, will be launched March 24th at McNally Robinson Bookstore.

© Kathy Francis


“I should . . .” “I shouldn’t . . .” Fill in the blank. Do you ever use the word “should”?

Whenever that word pops up in my world, I pay attention. To me, it means that something is out of whack, that there is a better way of living than I’m currently choosing. If I really believe that there is something I should be doing, why am I not doing it? If there is something I shouldn’t be doing, why am I choosing to do it?

When I hear myself using the word should or shouldn’t, it gives me a heads up that there’s something that requires attention, adjusting or thinking through. When how I live is not in synch with how I think I should live, it causes an internal tension. I need to determine then if that something is good for me. If it is, then in that process of thinking about how good it is, I hope that the should changes to desire. If so, then I’ll want to do that rather than merely feel an obligation or duty.

Try paying attention to how you use that word today.

As for me, I just turned a should into an “I want to run up the stairs today.” Yes, I really do. And I did.

Balance 2


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