I am a firm believer in the necessity of “Should-less Days.” Should-less days are free days in which nothing you do is allowed to start with the words “I should.” I should get my laundry done. I should email so-and-so. I should clean out the closet in the back room. On Should-less Day, you are only allowed to do things that you want to do; trying that new taco place, eating froyo for breakfast, going to the Met because it’s been ages since you’ve seen it. Taking these days is necessary because they force us to hit "pause" on the continuous drive, force, and push towards our goals and create a calm and an ease that opens us up for the good things we’ve been working towards to come naturally to us. Something else these days can do in the stillness that they create is teach us one or two valuable lessons that we may have been needing to hear. Case in point…
This past Should-less day was an excursion to Kykuit, the Rockerfeller estate in Tarrytown, with my friend JB. I took the train up enjoying the grand view of the Hudson and Palisades, and she drove over from across the water to meet me. No spa day for us; we nerded it up for a historical landmark J We got there with enough time for an hour’s worth of catch-up and coffee before getting on the bus to head up the hill. Less than five minutes before the bus was supposed to arrive, JB’s husband called to say he needed her car because his was dead and he was going to be late for a show he was performing in at the Fringe that afternoon. “Of course, I’m on my way!” When she got off the phone, we had a brief moment of Oh crap, but what about Should-less day? “You should still take the tour. You go ahead, I feel bad.” she said. (She used the word should. Faux pas!) “Well yeah, I want to do the tour, but the point was to see it together.” We went back and forth like this for a bit, knowing that there was very little time to be going back and forth because she had to leave. Finally the image popped into my head of me up at an estate with a bunch of people I didn’t know and JB stranded at her house by herself - - no girl talk, no shared adventure, no recap over a great meal afterwards. “You know what,” I said, “let's stick together and just figure something else out.”
Before we were back over the bridge, Plan B was in place – “Trainwreck” and our favorite Italian place in the city. #boom It wasn’t Rockerfeller, but there would be laughter and wine. We were content.
Upon arrival, the hubs had discovered within the last 60 seconds that his car was, in fact, drivable and suggested that we go back to take the tour. We were officially in a farce. After a brief contemplation, JB turned to me and asked “Do you think we can make it?” We had 35 mintues until the last tour of the day. I said “You drive, and I’ll call to switch our tickets.” (No refunds or exchanges policy, you say? Pardon me while I whip out a little Ruttle Charm, upstate New York.) The tickets got switched, we made it in time to use the poddy, and had an absolutely marvelous time.
I’m in the habit of asking myself now, What, if anything, am I supposed to be learning from this moment? I find it eases worry, disappointment, and stress in general if I believe that I’m in the right place at the right time and everything happens at the right moment and with good reason. So, why the hiccup with the husband’s car? Especially if we wound up doing the tour anyway! What lesson(s) could be taken away from that experience? And here’s what I came up with…
1) When a hiccup happens, and you have the choice between going it alone or sticking together, stick together.
2) Try not to be bummed for too long. Maybe Plan B was what you were supposed to be doing anyway. And it can be just as fun.
3) Sometimes hiccups are what they are – very brief, and not as serious as you originally thought.
And now the big one!.....
4) There may be a moment or period of time where you think that something you’ve been looking forward to isn’t going to happen. But when/if the opportunity presents itself again, and you’ve managed to remain positive and open, you can work with the society around you to make what you’ve been looking forward to happen afterall.
Thank goodness for Should-less Day J