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During this pandemic, there are a limited number of shoulds that are useful, such as washing your hands and keeping your distance from others.

But most other shoulds aren't going to be helpful for us.

When we see other people out there doing (apparently) impressive things, it can start an inner dialogue of "Oh, I really should be doing more, just like those people". And that's setting an expectation that's almost impossible to meet.

Extending that line of thinking means we should be doing our day job superbly, supervising home schooling, exercising inside and outside, journaling, reading, painting, baking, meditating, checking in on neighbours and relatives, eating well, preplanning grocery shopping, joining in on Zoom drinking parties and watching Netflix. Of course, there's also the longer-term stuff we should be doing like major gardening, clearing out attics, painting rooms, Maire Kondo-ing the s*** out of everything, etc. etc.

See the problem? If we don't carefully manage our expectations and align them with both our values and the reality of what's possible now, then we're just accumulating more ways to suffer.

A more helpful approach is to focus on the trajectories of the activities that are most important to you. 

Just ask, "Is this going in the direction I want, or away from what I want?" By doing this for a small number of key things, you can build up a more useful picture of how things are.

And then, the option to adjust accordingly is waiting for you.

Aodan

PS I wrote about trajectories previously in this weekly mail

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