Sunday, June 7, 2009

Let's talk about guilt

This week I'd love to have an open and frank discussion about guilt.

Because I just realized I was feeling guilty that I was exercising.

Exercising is supposed to be one of those things you feel guilty for NOT doing. But there I was, working out on Saturday night (as you can tell, my life is pretty wild and crazy) and feeling terribly guilty about all the other stuff I wasn't doing.

I have felt guilty while throwing laundry into the dryer. I have felt guilty while reading a book to my child. I have even (and I swear this is the truth) felt guilty while cleaning a toilet. Because doing these very worthwhile tasks meant that I was not doing other, possibly more worthwhile tasks.

You can just imagine how I feel when I sit down with a cup of tea and a good book.

What the heck is wrong with me?

The only answer I can really come up with is, I am a mother. Mothers, it seems, have taken guilt and turned it into an art form.

But surely not all moms feel this way, right?

How about you? Do you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders? Do you think it is a "mom thing" or perhaps a "woman thing"? Is guilt ever productive? How do you deal with your own feelings of guilt? Or do you generally not feel much guilt? Is there any hope for someone who feels guilty while cleaning a toilet?

Please join in the discussion and leave a comment. If you don't, I'll feel sad and it will be all your fault!

At least take my quiz, located on the right-hand side of your screen.

Hey, c'mon, it's the least you can do! After all I've done for you...


Angela said...

right now i'm feeling guilty b/c i want to get my ruth fix, so i am reading your blog and i should be doing a gazillion loads of laundry. :) maybe i should just call you and then i could be doing both! :)

Cristina said...

Guilt is counterproductive. I think it's a woman thing, maybe it's more pronounced when you're a mom. Taking care of yourself should not make you feel guilty. You're worth it! And you can be wild and crazy on a Saturday night. (I witnessed it recently, actually!)

Meaghan said...

Oh jeez, I feel awful that I missed the guilt poll...Totally blew it!

Um, yeah, I have spent what seems to me a disproportionate amount of my life feeling guilty. For me, it is a reflexive, automatic, almost omnipresent feeling. I should be doing this, I shouldn't be doing that. If only I were more or less fill-in-the-blank.

I think it is a mommy thing. I don't remember being so wracked with guilt prior to giving birth. I supposed that's what being responsible for another human being's existance and development into a morally responsible, productive member of society does to you.

But the worst part about guilt is, once you realize how much time you spend feeling guilty about stuff, you kind of feel guilty for wasting all that time.

I'm practising letting go of my guilt...I'll let you know how that goes.