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All may, some should, none must | Column

by | January 5, 2019 5:00 pm

Last Updated: January 2, 2019 at 9:12 am

Many of us are familiar with the phrase, “All may, some should, none must.” It pertains to confession in the Episcopal Church, but also applies when you’re blowing through life at warp speed and still don’t have your act together.

Thus, here are some New Year’s mandates to myself. Your mileage may vary.

I should keep my standards high. It’s too easy to believe that “pretty good” is good enough.

I should not hang on to the past. I used to enjoy partying and staying out late. Those days are dim memories, and that’s fine. I don’t think my neighbors would appreciate a 58-year-old woman singing “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” and tripping over their garbage cans at 3 a.m.

I should cook more. Hahahaha! Who am I kidding?

I should not complain so much. For someone who has excellent health, a job, plenty to eat, a great husband and a nice house, I sure find a lot to gripe about. “Those running socks gave me blisters,” “I didn’t sleep well last night,” “This movie is awful….” Somebody slap me.

I should let go of having to be right. It’s okay if someone thinks your view or your opinion or your preference is wrong. Unless the person has the power of life and death over you, just let it slide. It’s okay if your brilliance goes unrecognized sometimes. (That’s what I tell myself through gritted teeth, anyway.)

I shouldn’t be sad if I can’t wear the jeans I wore at 25. I need to accept that my changing body is perfectly normal, even if it feels like a betrayal after 40 years of exercise and eating broccoli. **** you, gravity!

I should be mindful of my thoughts. What you think is what you are.

I shouldn’t feel guilty for not wanting to run a marathon. To my marathoning friends: Go, you!

I shouldn’t regret never being crowned Miss **** Hole Swamp, although that dream died hard. It’s been my ambition since I drove to Summerville, via Jamestown, in 1990.

I should stop getting distracted and keep the house cleaner. (I totally blame Facebook for the dusty dining room table.)

I should work more at establishing friendships. My default setting is, “If I don’t know you by now, I probably don’t need to,” which is both ignorant and self-defeating. So, if I don’t know you, stop by soon.

I should actively practice patience. This is the hardest trait for me. I’m not a “let me speak to the manager” type, but if I have to ask a server twice for utensils in an un-busy restaurant, my foot will be tapping the second time. Isn’t that stupid? Will the world end if it takes all of two minutes for my fork to arrive? Nope, the only thing affected is my blood pressure. I need to be more mellow, right now!

I should go to bed earlier. Experience has taught me that 9 p.m. is the sweet spot. I crawl in bed, read for an hour, then pass out until 6 a.m. But my husband is a night owl and a 9 p.m. bedtime seems sad when I could stay up with him and bicker have fun.

I should stop gorging on what is basically ice cream topping. Mix peanut butter, honey, a little coconut oil and a splash of vanilla in a mug, microwave for 45 seconds, add a handful of pecans, stir and eat. It’s sticky and yummy and wildly fattening.

I should sponsor a pet at the local animal shelter. How many chances do we get to be heroes?

Julie R. Smith, who should also never forget deadlines, can be reached at

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