Excerpt from “You Aren’t Obliged to do Anything” by Debra Smouse August 3, 2016
“The belief that life is full of ‘shoulds’ and ‘have-tos’ stands in the way of your happiness. Seeing everything you do as an obligation blocks you from loving your life.
“I know intimately how agonizing it feels to be in a relationship that is in no way loving, yet feel that we don’t have a choice to leave. I understand how frustrating it is to be in a job that feels like a dead-end. I know that these are the kinds of situations that make us feel as if we don’t have a choice.
Yet, the truth is, we do have a choice; albeit a very painful and complicated choice to make.….choosing to act from a place of service and love rather than from a place of obligation is a way to actively love the people in our lives.” https://thoughtcatalog.com/debra-smouse/2016/08/you-arent-obligated-to-do-anything
My ex-husband, a perfectionist extraordinaire, hated to be ‘obliged’ to anyone. When I hear “Much obliged” I think of his resentment at owing anyone a favour. He kept ‘short accounts’, didn’t borrow from others, hated his birthdays and presents, and could be stingy, emotionally and materially. The Urban Dictionary says the term “much obliged” could mean the speaker “is now under an obligation to pay back [or perhaps forward] a favour.”
Freed from obligation during the pandemic, I am no longer compelled. I’ve gone from being alone about 80% of my waking hours to 95% and I like my new routine. I have my internet connections, meetups, webinars and house concerts if I need to engage. I openly acknowledge the privilege of having a safe home that I own (after many financial sacrifices.)
LIFE UNDER LOCKDOWN by Little Orphan Aspie, copyright 2020
I like not being in a hurry
With few deadlines
I like not being obligated
I don’t have to show up
And (sometimes, sadly) no one shows up for me.
Tika gives me routine (two mealtimes a day)
Woe to me dare I forget!
The solitude is usually fine
Like a trial run at a convent
Without the nuns and habits
The comfort of my weighted blanket
Without the load to bear
I snuggle into the silence
And ration my news and views
To create my peace again
I’m “always beginning the world”
My husband never ‘got’ Innocence Mission and hated the singer—his loss and my eternal gain! You have now met the ethereal Karen Peris with her childlike sense of wonder:
” though your mind is an old thing,..I mean, don’t you ever sigh?” Doesn’t she give you butterflies like you see in the photo above? So I’m making peace with being alone at this time, a strange way of starting my seventh decade.