Summertime Shoulding

These days are tricky, although they don’t need to be. After all, it is summer, and I am a teacher. I have all the time. I can go to the beach, read the Narnia series, make occasional coffee dates (the non-teachers have to work), clean paint the bathroom, sweat my body off doing yard work, pray, swallow all my pride and ROLLERBLADE like it’s 1996, write the book that’s tugging at my soul. I can love on others: I can send a care package to my sis, minister to my Young Life or Restored Church family, I can help my hubby extra. I can call my bff; I can take my dog swimming. I can adult: take care of ancient paperwork, learn to meal prep like a boss, organize all the things. Or I could search for another job, since last year’s employer makes me no promises until the week before school starts. (I’m officially unemployed.)

Thank God for the therapist He hooked me up with nearly a decade ago: she taught me strategies for dealing with that ovewhelming mess of options.

Say what? Overwhelming mess of options? Don’t you mean glorious freedom??!

I’m aware that you’re probably drooling streams of jealousy as your imagination runs wild at the thought of an open summer. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my profession’s greatest perk.

But the problem is that I’m not entirely free–not these days. I struggle with the restratints of perfectionism–at a clinical level (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). So if I decide to wade through the ocean at low tide, I might get triggered out of the blue and *should* all over myself: I *should* be cleaning the disasterous kitchen right now. OR I *should* be feeling closer to God right now. If I can’t praise Him in a peaceful setting like this, I never will! UGH I’m a failure to my God and this distance from Him is all my fault.

Now, there is hope in escaping those sorts of thoughts. But it’s rarely easy and may not resolve until collapsing in desperate tears at Jesus’s feet.

And then the next *should* might barge into my body 30 minutes later. And maybe nothing but a nap will cure it.
Those days are hard, and they’re normally on Sundays.

This Sunday was one of those days. I broke down before Jesus. And as I processed wtf happened afterward, I landed at some sort of epiphany that I’ll post next.


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