Divorcing “Should”

Various facebook blogs and articles as well as a good conversation with my sister a while ago has left me thinking about the word “should”. My sister, N, was talking about how she loves to come home from work and veg out with her computer and a healthy dinner but all the while is thinking about her Shoulds. “I should be doing yoga”, “I should hang those posters”, “I should be more productive.”

Of course, “should” has its place.
“I should make that doctor’s appointment today.”
“I should put the leftovers away so they don’t spoil.”
“I should call my friend back, she’s waiting for me.”

Dogs don’t “should”. They either do or they don’t. We can learn so much from our fur-babies!

I think, though, that in general we “should” ourselves too much. We don’t allow ourselves to sit in the joy of a moment because we’re always thinking about the “shoulds”.

Instead of allowing ourselves to watch Netflix all night we tell ourselves, “I should put that laundry away”. Maybe instead, we could think, “I’ve been solo parenting all day and I kicked out more “To Do” list items before lunch than usual. I am going to completely relax tonight so I’m rested for another full day tomorrow.”

Instead of really enjoying a third (or fourth, or…whatever’th) cup of coffee we think, “I really should drink more water”. While that might be true, why don’t we rephrase it to, “I’m going to have this bottle of water and then I’ll have another coffee”. Instead of saying, “I should go to bed early” we could say, “I might go to bed early”.

I’ve been experimenting with this concept since it first occurred to me a few months ago and I have found that it really takes a lot of pressure off and makes me feel less guilty for doing what I want to do or NOT doing what I had planned to do. As much as it’s just the swapping out of one word, it’s the whole mindset behind it that makes it powerful.

This is being published on a Monday. I love Mondays: a new week, a fresh start. This week I challenge you to catch yourself whenever you think or say the word “should” and replace it with something else to change the tone.  Leave “Should”. Walk out on it. Divorce it. BE GONE!

I’d love to hear back if you think it made any difference!

Take care of yourself!
<3 Mel

Where IS home: Hearts or Hats?

Some people say, “home is where you hang your hat”.
Others say, “home is where the heart is”.

So what if your hats are in one place but your heart is in another? Where is home?

Hearts & Hats

We’ve lived in New Town for 7 months now and have been all settled in for a while. We’ve had time to unpack, arrange our furniture, rearrange our furniture, and rearrange it again (because that’s how I roll). We’ve done some painting and organizing. And we really love this house – it suits us perfectly. We have space to relax and play but not so much that cleaning is impossible. The bedrooms are a good size and I love the way you have to take one step down into the living room and the way the hardwood creaks in the dining room. I love the windows and the trees that surround us and even the big black crow that visits our bird feeder every day. And certainly we have many hats hanging here.


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Packing It All Up…

As the dark clouds move swiftly through the sky out my living room window and the rain falls with increasing volume on the gazebo on the deck, I can’t help but notice a sense of pathetic fallacy. I’ve been a little storm clouds and rain myself lately.

The sky/my moods…same thing…

It’s the last night in this house. The kids and dogs are all asleep, the fridge is nearly bare, the walls naked, and boxes are in every room. Tomorrow morning the packers will arrive to finish what they began today, packing each of our possessions into a labeled brown box:

Load date: July 4, 2017
Name: Perry
Origin: Kingston
Destination: Halifax

Everything we own will soon be in our minivan or on a truck bound for Eastern Canada.

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Trillium & Lighthouses

From Ontario…

Never do I feel more like a military spouse than when I have to sell my house, the one in which I’ve lived for less than 2 years, and look for a new one in a new city, so that I can live in that one for less than 2 years.

The coming and going, the ups and downs, the adjusting and readjusting, the moving, the moving, the moving, the moving…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this life is not for the faint of heart. It’s not for the weak, it’s not for those who don’t want to change and grow and it’s not for those who think they’ve got it all figured out. Because if there’s one thing I have figured out, it’s that I’ll never have this all figured out.

Let’s just look at what we, and countless others, have been dealing with the past six months:

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A Different Kind of Baby Blues

Jellybean. Look at those rolls!

I always knew I wanted to be a mother. From the days of Cabbage Patch Dolls and onward, I tend to be a nurturer and knew I wanted my very own tiny Mels when I grew up. I figured I would have three since I am the youngest of three kids myself and loved having a “buffer” sibling if one of them couldn’t be at a family function.

When Hubby and I married we knew we wanted a baby right away. Five months later we got pregnant with Monkey and in December of that year he came earthside and turned us into a family of three. 

Most of my friends who had their first babies around the same time I did waited a little more or a little less than a year before trying to bake bun #2. I waited to feel that twinge of wanting a second, of feeling that we needed another child, but it didn’t come as fast as I thought. We even talked about stopping at one and just having Monkey. After all, we couldn’t ask for a better, cuter kiddo.


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The Elephant


There is an elephant in our marriage.

Sometimes we talk about it.
Sometimes we don’t.
Sometimes I am fond of the elephant. Having one makes me feel special, important, part of this sub-culture of elephant owners. It’s unique and not every marriage has one, that’s for sure. I am certainly proud to have one. People say, “Oh! You have an elephant! Good for you. I would never be able to have one”. They say it like having an elephant requires super powers. It doesn’t. It just requires love and work and determination. Every marriage requires those things, but especially those with elephants.

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Type A’s Don’t Like Deployment

I’m a planner.
I like to know where I’m going and when and for how long I’ll be gone and what I’ll do while I’m there.
I like to plan a weekly menu so I know what we’re eating each night and can make sure we have all the groceries we will need for those meals.
I lay my kids’ clothes out the night before so we’re ready for the morning and I make Monkey’s school lunch the night before. 
I have two calendars – one on my phone and one on my wall. I reference each one daily to make sure I haven’t missed anything.
I start buying Christmas gifts in August.
We found out the sex of both of our kids at 18/20 weeks so I could get ready for our boys.


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My Pink Spectacles

If you’ve read my blogs before, you know that I’m the first to acknowledge the adversities of being a military family and, more specifically, a military spouse. Sometimes it seems like it’s just one thing after the next after the next. It can feel like the hits just keep on coming and we can’t stay afloat.

It’s so easy to say “This was a terrible day/week/month/deployment/etc.” There really often are big stretches of time, hours or days, that feel that way. But as I was reminded recently, not always, but most often, we have a few bad moments in a day/week/month/deployment/etc that cloud the rest of the time and make it all feel terrible. It’s like when you get a work performance review. Most of us could receive nine amazingly complimentary comments and just one negative one, and what do we focus on the most? The one, of course.


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The Tree

There is a tree. On an ordinary day in an ordinary season the tree goes about her tree-like business. It rains, it snows, the sun shines upon her. She has everything she needs to continue growing into the sturdy tree she was planted to become.

One day, the tree’s roots left. Her roots, which had, for the past 11 years, held her down. And while a literal tree never moves, this one does (about every 2-4 years). But taking her roots with her, she quickly began to thrive wherever she was blown, wherever she was planted. When the wind began to blow, the roots held her down. Reminding her to be strong, be the sturdy tree she was planted to become.


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Dirty Shorts & Dog Poo

When preparing for deployment, it was so easy to get caught up in the whole “However will I do this?” mentality. How will I solo parent? How will I keep the house clean? How will I take care of myself? How will I _______? For a while there I felt really bad for myself. There came a time, however, when I dropped the word “how” and the questions became statements to me: I will solo parent. I will keep the house clean. I will take care of myself. I will ______. Don’t get me wrong, I still had some serious doubts, but there did come a point not too long before Hubby left that I became confident that my biggest hurdle wouldn’t be the daily things as I had thought, but would actually just be the *missing him* part.


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