Replacing “Shoulds” with “Coulds”

15 Oct

I hate body bashing, yet like so many other women on this planet, I can’t seem to stop. It’s such a WASTE OF MY TIME… While I spend hours thinking about thinner thighs and agonizing over that chocolate chip cookie I ate, precious time slips away and I’m no thinner, no happier, no more at peace with myself than before. And then I feel guilty… for buying into the body bashing trap and wasting so much time! What a vicious cycle!

Instead of berating yourself and thinking of what you SHOULD NOT be doing, think of how many wonderful things you COULD be doing.

You could be shimmying to music blaring from the radio when no one’s home.

You could be cuddled up on the couch with a mug of steaming tea, a good novel, and the company of the patter of rain outside the fogged up window.

You could be calling one of those friends you never seem to have time to call.

You could be singing, laughing, basking in the delight of living.

You could be outside, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin. You could be out digging in the dirt, planting new seeds, and starting new life. You could be smelling the sweetness of flowers and admiring the beauty of nature.

You could be hiking, breathing in the crisp morning air, so fresh it’s better than Pine-Sol.

You could be writing, pouring your soul out onto paper, leaving a tangible mark that yes, you were there.

You could be walking in your favorite clothes store, feeling the vast myriad of soft fabrics and wistfully creating a wishlist in your mind. You could be having an retro adventure in a vintage store, trying on the gaudiest 80’s dresses available. You could be testing in the shoe department of Macy’s, seeing what it’s like to strut in the highest stilettos they sell. *

You could be buried in the stacks at your local library, seeking out the classics and feeling smarter for just being amongst all the works of such great authors. You could be spending an afternoon at Barnes and Nobles, losing yourself in the allure of crisp, new books, full of such potential, waiting to be read. You could be browsing the nearest used bookstore, selecting the bindings that look most broken, because truly, that is the sign of a book well loved.

You could be lounging in your PJs on Saturday morning, doing nothing but enjoying doing nothing…

You could be baking cookies, brownies, cupcakes as sweet little reminders to give to others that you think about them often. That you care.

You could be walking in the park, admiring the leaves changing colors and cascading back down to the earth in fall. You could be rolling a snowman with friends or your kids, lost in the moment, not minding how frosty your fingers are because really, it’s all about fun. You could be laying at the beach, allowing the warm months to soak over you. Or in my case, you could be slathered in sunscreen at the beach, trying to stay under the umbrella with a good magazine for fear of looking like a lobster.

You could be flying a kite, allowing the breeze to blow away your worries.

You could be declaring it movie night, picking out your favorite, or a new one from the Redbox, letting yourself get lost in the fantasy, romance, or action of filmed fiction.

You could be plopped in one of those comfy armchairs little coffee shops always seem to have, whittling away the number of emails you have left to build up while sipping a fragrant vanilla latte. Ahh…

You could be getting a pedicure, allowing yourself a small luxury. You could be giving your friends pedicures, in hope that they will return the favor. You could be hosting a spa day… how fun would that be?

You could be napping, restoring your body and resting for the many, many things you will have to do in the times that will come.

You could be playing a long board game with family on the weekends, complete with rivalry and the little ones inevitably cheating. You could pretend to not notice, it’d be the right thing to do…

You could be feeding your soul, building yourself up, and tearing down the negativity. You could be creating a new path for yourself, moment by moment. You could be making memories with loved ones, so that down the line, you won’t regret all that time you wasted. You could be enjoying the finite moments you are given.

 You could be doing so much in the same time you would have spent wallowing, worrying, obsessing

You could be living.







10 Responses to “Replacing “Shoulds” with “Coulds””

  1. LeRoy Dean October 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM #

    Very good post. Inspiring.

    • eodwyer October 15, 2011 at 4:02 PM #

      Thanks! Glad you liked it!

  2. Marissa October 15, 2011 at 3:50 PM #

    I am sorry but does anyone else feel that this chick is fake, fake, FAKE?! If anyone believes she is not either delusional or crazy, please let me know. All I read from her blogs are unrealistic emotions and lame “anything is possible” bullshit schools and parents ram down our throats. Get real eodwyer!!! Sorry but I can’t stand to read another fake blog, I wish you best of luck in your recovery though.

    • eodwyer October 15, 2011 at 4:05 PM #

      Hi Marissa,
      You know, I have a lot of compassion for you. I know what it’s like to feel full of anger and want others to feel that way too. You really remind me of someone that I knew in person. And I’ve learned that not everyone is going to love me, I can’t be perfect in everyone’s eyes. So I’d suggest you stop reading my blog if you don’t like it… really, why should you make yourself suffer like that? And I’ll tell you the same thing I told the woman I knew… I hope you find the same peace I’ve found because really, it’s wonderful to stop being sooo angry.

      • marissa October 15, 2011 at 9:39 PM #

        Thanks for the advice, we are just at different places in life.

  3. Melissa Della Femina October 16, 2011 at 11:48 AM #

    Hi Erin, I love this post! These are such great, do-able ideas…and so poetically written! Definitely going to try some of them out. Thanks!

    • eodwyer October 19, 2011 at 6:04 AM #

      So glad you like it! Hope you get to try some of the ideas and replace a “should” with a “could” soon!

  4. chloe` October 20, 2011 at 8:41 PM #

    this makes me want to do every single on of these “coulds” all at once! What a wonderful reminder of life…

    • eodwyer October 21, 2011 at 2:32 PM #

      hey chloe! Thanks for reading! BTW, I’m in NY! I’m sorry, things have been crazy, but we should try to meet if you have time in the next few days! ❤

      • chloe` October 21, 2011 at 8:33 PM #

        YES PLEASE! I emailed you my number awhile back, just text me or call me when you have a free afternoon and I would love to meet for coffee!! 🙂

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