I did some thinking about guilt a little bit over the long Labor Day weekend.
I came to the realization that there are different kinds of guilt. There is the guilt you feel that someone puts upon you. Maybe your mother will make you feel guilty for not going to church or for not visiting Uncle Hank when he was in the hospital. Then there is the self-inflicted guilt you feel when you lie to your husband about the price of the new shoes you just bought or when you are on a diet and you eat a slice of chocolate cake late at night.* Then, of course, there is the guilt of being found that you committed a crime. Hopefully, most of you reading this blog will never experience that kind of guilt!
I experience the self-inflicted guilt almost daily. It's a horrible existence and one of my own making. Over the weekend, I commented to Kevin, more than once, about some guilt I was feeling. His response? "Just get over it, already." Ugh. So much for that. Just for the record...the thing I was feeling guilty over? No regrets. I would do it all over again if given the chance. So what does that say about me?
Then it happened again. Yesterday afternoon, we loaded up our bikes and went to the park. Earlier in the day, Kevin had said he would take the kids himself and I was so looking forward to a couple of hours here at home by myself - something that never happens. Then one of the kids asked if I was coming too and I started to feel...you guessed it...GUILTY! It was a beautiful day, we rarely get opportunities to do this, I really should go. But will I resent that I didn't stay home and take advantage of the peace and quiet? The torment I put myself through sometimes is ridiculous. So I went. And as I was riding along, enjoying the warmth of the sun, the quiet of the outdoors, and enjoyment of the exercise, the word guilt crept into my mind.
"I could be home taking a nap right now," I thought to myself. Who was I kidding?! I don't take naps! I am not a napper. Though there are times I crave a nap, I do not take them. There are always things I need to or should be doing. So I pushed the guilt aside and knew that I made the right choice to join my family. And those things I could have or should have been doing instead? (not napping) They can wait. Most things can always wait.
No regrets and no guilt.
*Disclaimer: I go to church regularly, I do not have an Uncle Hank, and I don't lie about the price of shoes (really!). I might, however, sneak some chocolate cake late at night. And, yes, I do feel guilt over that.