Facebook just told me I’m 56 days away from Christmas.

1390558_10152046078923804_21486342_nI should be happy about that — I love Christmas and now that I’m not working in a public school, I’m free to wear every freakin’ piece of tacky Christmas clothing and jewelry that I own.

Yet between now and then, I have eight more days to worry incessantly about whether I did the right thing in choosing to have a knee replacement before I was desperate. I have eight more days to clean my house so that people can come to help me after I come home from rehab and I won’t be embarrased by all my clutter. I have eight more days to make all of the phone calls for pre-certification and to find all the medical supplies I’m supposed to have. Like raised toilet seats for our three toilets. Like a bath chair. (I already have a walker!)

Like elastic shoe laces. OMG. Where does one find such a thing?


I should be doing my laundry and putting it all away. I should be cleaning out my file drawer so that I can file away the current set of insurance nightmares before I start on the next set from my surgery. I should be cleaning the bedroom with the low bed in it so that I can get in and out of bed when I come home from rehab.

I should be going to the gym.

Should. Should. Should. It’s drumming in my head.

And then I open Shauna Niequist’s blog post for today entitled SHOULD is a warning.

Should is not good for my spirit. Should is making me unhappy and fearful — and a little angry with myself.

Unfortunately, I still have to do these things but I have to figure out a way to make them happy rather than sad. Make them want tos and not shoulds.

Like Shauna, I decided that it was important to say it out loud that I’m scared of shoulds. I want them to become wants.

I need to change my perspective on my next fifty-six days; by Christmas this will all be behind me and I will be ready to do things I haven’t been able to do in years.


I want to be able to climb down a hill without hanging on to someone’s arm.

I want to be able to climb to the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral and know that I can get back down.

want to do the Halloween tablescape I’ve been planning for months.

want to get my books in order so that I have plenty to read while incarcerated in rehab.

want to start to plan Christmas decorations and meals.

And I want to go do my laundry. Thanks for listening!

Postscript on October 30: Big thanks go out to Kim from Curtain Queen Creates who sent me to a local big box shoe store where I found PINK elastic springy shoelaces. I never shop there because I’ve been wearing the cutest orthopedic shoes I can find for years and they don’t carry such a thing. And yes, I know that’s an oxymoron, but hope springs eternal!



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7 thoughts on “Should

  1. I understand completely! Thank you for this thought-provoking post. I hope your surgery goes well and you recover quickly. I’ll pray for that – for you. Congratulations on taking this step to invest in your future mobility. The shoulds will drive us crazy if we let them. I’ve seen elastic shoestrings at several shoe stores, like Rack Room Shoes and other chain retailers. Good luck getting all your want to’s taken care of in the 8 days ahead.

  2. It sounds like you have all the right plans in place! I really wish I had thought about how hard it would be to get UP from the toilet after my foot surgery. I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible and your healing process is swift — but don’t rush things! And thank goodness you can Christmas shop online!

  3. Jennie, I know there’ a lot to handle between now and your surgery, but you can do it… and “happily” knowing your improved mobility will be a blessing! I’m praying all goes well and that your recovery is complete.

  4. Worrying is normal, but you probably know what a great success rate these replacements have! One of my best friends had knee replacement and she now goes cross country skiing. Only worry about the cleaning if it will bug you. Your friends won’t mind the condition of your house. Truly! You’ll be in my thoughts!

  5. I <3 Shauna Niequist. Have you read Bread and Wine? It is the most Aunt Jennie book ever and I bought a copy for you to read while you rest if you don't already have it on your Kindle.

    Niece Jessie

  6. I always tell myself when I am confronted with a difficult situation that a year from now this will only be a memory. Sure enough time passes and I look back and wonder how I made it through the situation, but I do make it through and so will you. Do not worry about how your house looks! The people that love you and care about you only want to see to your well being not critique your house keeping. I will be praying for a speedy recovery for you so that you can get back out into the world and enjoy all of the things you want to do free of pain and with confidence that you have made all of the right decisions.

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