Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda



Shel Silverstein

All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas

Layin’ in the sun,

Talkin’ ’bout the things

They woulda coulda shoulda done…

But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas

All ran away and hid

From one little Did.

Of all the words to be tired of in 2020, “should” has become my biggest pet peeve. Not new normal, in these challenging times, COVID-19, or even flatten the curve. No. My pet peeve word of 2020 is SHOULD.

  • You should clean your room.
  • You should go to the store.
  • You should exercise.

You get the drift. I am trying REALLY hard to eliminate should from my vocabulary. It is NOT easy, but nothing worth doing is ever easy.

Why eliminate it? It is a passive word. Shel Silverstein summed it up best. All of those woulda, coulda, shoulda people will run away and hide from the one “did”. You know… the one actually completing the work.

  • My son – should go clean his room. He won’t.
  • My husband should go to the store. He will. Eventually.
  • I should exercise. (I’ve been saying this for years. Did you know the fitbit I wear is really used as a smartwatch – one with a few extra features.)

But, if you make it a “do” statement, it indicates action. Action is what propels us forward. Action is what we need.

  • My son needs to clean his room. New phrase: “Clean your room if you want to see your girlfriend.” (Yes, I added an extra incentive……)
  • My husband needs to go to the store. New phrase, “Next time you go to the store, get garlic powder. I put it on the list.”

As for me and exercise. Well, I actually started during Lent. Then COVID-19 hit, and I kept going. Whew. Good thing, as I started to eat my sorrows away. Calories in were now also calories out. Lent ended, and instead of saying I could stop. I should continue. I DID continue. (I still don’t wear my fitbit during exercise. My rose gold is just too pretty to get all sweaty.)

So, as we move forward through the year, I challenge you to eliminate “should” from your vocabulary. I actually told my family about it last night. Now I am writing this blog. Why? Because now I have people that will hold me accountable and I can get them looking at how they use passive words. In fact, the 9 year old told his oldest sister today that they needed to have another sleepover. Ha. Not that they should, but they NEEDED to. I laughed. It’s happening.

So, try it. Watch how accomplished you feel when you get things DONE. You know, the little things you “could” do later. Take care of yourself and transform yourself into a DID.

Kim Grzywacz

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