Guilt: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
By Mary Barnett
Every night when I come home from work, I face two choices: One, wash up, read for about 5 minutes before I get completely drowsy, then fall asleep for a solid 6 hours. Or two, wash up, have a glass of wine, check Facebook, have another glass of wine. Have a snack that I promised myself I wouldn’t have when I poured the first glass. Get a solid 5 hours of sleep – or less if Facebook is particularly interesting that evening.
Clearly, choice one is the wiser choice for a multitude of reasons. More sleep, fewer calories, and a better disposition the next morning. But here’s why choice two almost always wins out – “Me” time. And wine. And the only Me time I get all day. And wine. One of the most important things I’ve learned about myself since becoming a parent is, I am a very selfish person.
I wish I had more time to myself to do the things I want to do.
I have no doubt every person (not just parents) feel that way, so I realize it’s normal. But I still feel guilty about it every damn day.
Many days, I get to choose between spending an hour in the morning on either exercise or on doing household chores. No matter what I choose, I will inevitably feel guilty about not choosing the other. And let’s face it – both choices are losing battles.
And then I feel guilty about the 5-hour-energy drinks I consume to get me through the day. I’m certain that I have built up a tolerance to the toxic crap and they don’t actually do anything for me. I feel guilty if I drink them for a little energy boost. I feel guilty if I don’t drink them and have no energy for upcoming activities.
And then I feel guilty about the money I spend on energy drinks. So then I do things like switch to the Costco brand of 5-Hour-Energy to save money on something I shouldn’t be consuming in the first place.
Then I feel guilty for not saving the money I’m spending on energy drinks, so we can do something fun as a family. Like travel back east to visit family and friends we haven’t seen in years. Or more selfishly, so I can travel to Europe for the first time. Something my husband has promised me we will do by the time we’re 65. Only 29 more years to wait!
If I stop buying energy drink poison now and put the money in a savings account, our retirement-age trip to Europe will be fully funded.
And I’ll probably have plenty of money left over to drink a crap-ton of European wine.
And then I feel guilty that I feel guilty about all of these things because they are the most trivial things to feel guilty about. This is a whole lot of guilt to deal with, and you know how I deal with it? Wine. Preferably late at night after a long day of work.