Today I said I'd do some gardening with my Mum.
So I ought to do it.
I also ought to do the laundry as it's piling up.
And I ought to have a shower.
The list goes on.
But when I got out of bed I found I was weak and wobbly with fatigue. Not 'feeling tired' but being physically too tired to actually make muscles do what they need to do. So a simple 'sit to stand' which I can usually do with ease has become a significant, wobbly, challenge. If I'm gentle with myself it will pass - lots of rest and gentle movement.
So I made a choice.
There is no 'ought'. Only decisions.
And I have decided to do what will be best in the long run - what will enable me to be most healthy, and to get most done in the long run.
I can choose whether to do the gardening or not.
I would love to do it. I was really looking forward to it. But I need to recover first. If I go, my fatigue will massively increase and recovery will take a lot longer, I 'll be too fatigued to actually help much, and there's a very high chance I'll injure myself.
So I have chosen not to go. I've messaged Mum to let her know. She's fine with that, and hopefully we'll rearrange some time.
Laundry? That can wait. There are still clothes in my wardrobe.
Shower? I'll see how things go.
Because 'ought to' clouds my judgement. It's so often based on other people's (or even my own) unrealistic expectations.
Of course, sometimes 'ought to' might seem a good thing.
Today I really ought to pace myself, and recharge.
But if I pace just because I 'ought to' my day becomes a drag. A burden of having to do things - and having to not do things that I really want to do.
So I still have no space for 'ought to' to rule my life. It can flag up where decisions need to be made, but then I can choose. I ought to pace - but what do I choose to do?
Yes, I choose to pace today.
So I will. Because I have decided to.
And that is empowering and positive.
That simple decision means today isn't about being restricted by obligations, but about being empowered and proactively living well.
Because I have made that choice.