Should vs. Want

This will probably not be the last time I talk about Ali on the Run and her podcast, so sorry in advance? As I mentioned in my earlier post, during a recent podcast episode hosted by her husband, Ali talked about a solo trip to California. Another thing she said that really struck me was that she only did things she actually wanted to do, and not that she thought she “should” do or that she “would want” to do.

This is important for so many reasons. Yes, in life we have to do things we don’t want to do but we should do. However, we do far more things we think we should or would want to do instead of truly asking ourselves “is this want I want to do?” Sadly, going to work every day is probably not negotiable, but you can ask yourself “is this the work I want to be doing, or is it work I think I should want to be doing?” Getting to the heart of that question made a little light go off in my brain.

How many things do I agree to do, or do just because I think it’s expected of me, or because it’s something I think that I *should* want to do? There’s a difference between trying something new, and continuing to do something even though you really don’t enjoy it. For example, every year, for many years ,I stayed up until midnight or longer on New Year’s Eve, and watched all the network coverage, and watched the ball drop in Times Square. Then, I’d wake up early enough to watch the Rose Parade on TV in its first, live airing. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve done this, but this year was the very first that, in telling people my boyfriend and I went to a nice dinner, came home, and went to bed by 11 that I didn’t feel guilty, or that I had to explain anything. No, we weren’t sick. Yes, we could have gone to any number of parties or events. We could have stayed up another hour and watched the ball drop on TV. Honestly? We didn’t care enough to want to watch it. The next day I slept in and wasn’t the least bit sad about not seeing a parade. The floats are beautiful and incredibly impressive, but I’m at a point in my life where parades don’t excite me.

2018 is the year I want to truly embrace the idea of things I WANT to do, and not things I think I should do, or think I would want to do. This also goes along with the idea of learning to say no, and that no is a complete sentence. I often feel obligated to explain away my no responses, or I feel guilty about saying no to something or someone. Ultimately, the things that are truly important are always a yes for me, anything that does not serve me in a positive way is a no. No explanation, no apologies, no guilt.

Here’s to truly wanting, and saying no!

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