Psychology | Rules | Lifestyle | Writing

Shoulds, Musts, Oughts

Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.; J.D.
4 min readDec 20, 2022


mostly do not work for me

signs — pointing all over
image by PresenterMedia — used with permission

At one point in my life I realized that even in my childhood telling me to not do something just turned around in my brain to: OK that's the thing for me to do.

Yes — it is learning from negatives or whatever psychological concept one wants to use to label this — but I grew up in a family where I was not “supposed” to get educated past high school — so I did. In fact I was told not to take the academic track in high school — so I did. I was told I was not allowed to go horseback riding — so I did.

And typically as the way my brain works as I'm writing this and making the image about the signs — this song ran through my head — so here it is for your enjoyment.

I was expected to finish high school, get a job, get married, and have children. [I did have a child but it was well after I got my Ph.D.]

Today I am sort of still the same. If you tell me I am supposed to do something — chances are it may not happen — or it may — one never knows.

Getting back to writing. I've mentioned before that I've signed up for challenges and events to try to get me to write a lot — and they don't work.

But hope springs eternal and I still occasionally sign up for a writing challenge thinking that I would get some stuff written — knowing full well that it would not be every day.

Since I have a lot of PLR material on my computer I think: well I could go through that and use those on different topics and sort of post random things on my blog and here — that was thought number one.

The other thought number two — to do a kind of running commentary about what it's like to be moving, or aging, or some other happening in my life.

None of those thoughts become regular writings.

I did write about the move and I have jotted lots of notes about the aging process and decided that I want…



Lynn Dorman, Ph.D.; J.D.

NYC native, snarky, happily aging, educated [with PhD and JD]- I write, I talk, I think, I opine, I teach — and will do so until I can’t.