On Guilt and Letting Go… or at Least Trying To

Guilt is a seriously powerful thing. It grabs you by the balls (whether you have them or not) and settles in for the long haul. Once it’s got you, it never wants to let you go.

Lately I’ve found myself in an endless guilt cycle. I feel guilty that I’m spending too much time on freelance work and not enough time playing with the kids. Then I feel guilty that I’m spending too much time on moving and everything wrapped up in it and not enough time with the kids or working. Then I throw myself into spending as much time as I can with the kids and feel guilty that I’m not doing more work and making more money so that we can feed and clothe and shelter the kids. When will it stop?!

let it all goSource: Merci Merci

The thing is, all of this guilt accomplishes nothing. Instead, it gets in the way of accomplishing anything. And more importantly, it gets in the way of enjoying anything. How are you supposed to enjoy a good tea party or a walk around the block when all you’re thinking about is the 8 trillion things you could be doing?

You can’t.

Somehow I need to train myself to turn off my brain and focus on one thing at a time. It’s fine to have elaborate to-do lists and to work towards major goals. It’s fine to schedule out your day (or at least loosely attempt to) to make sure that everything gets done. But it’s not fine to let all of these goals and wants and needs bleed together and drown you in a thick, gooey pool of worry.

So what am I going to do?

I’m going to promise myself that I’ll make to-do lists and not beat myself up if all of the tasks don’t get ticked off by the end of the day. Sometimes certain areas in your life require more attention and energy than others—and that’s ok. Plus, the world isn’t going to stop revolving just because I didn’t make it to the grocery store.

I’m going to organize different areas of my life separately so their potential to overlap is at least slightly less. If I have a calendar dedicated solely to work-related stuff, I’ll only have that in my face when I sit down to do work. I won’t see all of the other things I need to get done and get distracted and overwhelmed by them while I’m trying to work. The same goes for everyday life stuff. If I make myself a list (do the laundry, go school supply shopping, weed through the girls’ clothes), I won’t include work-related items so that I’m reminded that they’re hanging over my head. And when I’m spending time with my ladies, all of the lists are going away.

I’m also going to carve out more time for myself. I can’t give my all to the things I need to accomplish when I’m completely burnt out. Whether it’s working out or sitting down to read even just a chapter of a book without interruption, I need to make sure I take care of myself. After all, what good am I as a zombie?

worrying will never change the outcomevia Wedding Chicks

Part of me didn’t want to unleash a “work it all out” kind of post out there, but another part of me needed to… well, work it all out. Plus, I think a lot of people (especially the ladies out there) struggle with the same thing. And I don’t know about you, but I find it comforting to read posts where people admit they don’t have it all figured out. It makes us more real, doesn’t it?

My life is not a glossy magazine and I don’t think yours is either. But if we’re honest about it, we can at least try to figure it out together, right?

How do you deal with guilt?

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