The “Should-less” Day

I recently completed The Creative’s Workshop and have hung around a bit after the 100 days to follow up with some of the other people in the course and check in on their projects and insights. The other day, one of the other participants wrote about having a “should-less” day. She got that term from the Oscar-winning actress, Ellen Burstyn, who said, in an interview with WNYC host Anna Sale on her podcast, Death, Sex, & Money:

I have what I call should-less days. Today is a day where there’s nothing I should do. So I only do what I want to do. And if it’s nap in the afternoon or watch TV and eat ice cream, I get to do it. I had that kind of day yesterday.

Should-less days, I recommend them. Because what I figured out, is we have wiring, I have wiring in my brain that calls me lazy if I’m not doing something. God, you’re so lazy. … And that wiring is there. I haven’t been able to get rid of it.

But what I can do is I can put in another wiring. I can put in should-less days. So when that voice goes off and says, You’re being lazy, I turn to the other wiring in my brain that says, No, this is a should-less day, and I’m doing what I want.

Death, Sex, & Money – October 4 2017

I don’t have a lot of should-less days. Especially at this time of year. There are always a ton of things I should do:

  1. Practice
  2. Write a blogpost (which I realized at 8pm on Saturday…. I should’ve done it earlier)
  3. Studio marketing
  4. Studio communications
  5. Did I mention practice?
  6. Social media updates
  7. Prepare for some class or workshop that I’m planning
  8. Walk the dog
  9. Work out
  10. Oh, yeah, practice

There’s one week of lessons left before the end of the calendar year. And I have a lot of “shoulds” planned for my two weeks off. But there will be at least one day – or at least a morning – that I intend to be totally should-less. I don’t know if I ought to schedule it because then it’d become a should.

How do you feel about should-less days? Is the idea of one appealing or is it like eating an extra-value meal – great going down but you feel awful later?


If you’d like to explore voice lessons in the New Year, contact MVS to set up a Vocal Discovery Session. But only if you want to, not because you feel like you should. 🙂

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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