Does anybody look into the future and picture a time when 45 minutes spent sitting in the Albertson’s parking lot before daycare pickup would become a semi-regular highlight of the day? In this space between work and daycare pickup I can breath in a way that I struggle to during the rest of my days and nights. Most of the time I walk around feeling half-drowned in a sea of shoulds. In that most of the time landscape I can work and work and wonder what I have accomplished. I can make time to meet a new person and go on a hike knowing that I will be working half the night later, and still be told, “There is no such thing as someday,” by a nice man who has no children, when I admit to him that I have not made it out with the running meetup group in a long time. But I invite this attitude from others when I shrug first and say, “I really have no excuse for not doing better.” It isn’t that there are no excuses; it’s just that the shoulds are so much bigger.
In my office there is a sheet of paper my predecessor left that says, “I am a nonprofit unicorn. Every day I try to make the world a better place. I am good at some things and I suck at some things. I can’t make everybody happy. Every day I do what I can.” I like that paper. It looks like the parking lot at Albertson’s – there are no shoulds in it.