Lesson 5: It’s okay!

Through the breakdown.

Initially, this lesson was going to feature managing writing time, or finding it to be more precise.  However, I’ve talked about that several times over the last few weeks and honestly, I feel like I’ve run it to the ground for now.

Instead, I’ll discuss probably the hardest and most important lesson that I’m still struggling with.

My life is busy with the many different obligations that are present.  As a result of this, the battle I have to fight beyond finding those precious moments to write is with myself.

When I sneak away for my own desires, I have this overwhelming sense of guilt that accompanies it.  Several years ago, the feeling would come immediately and was always there.  Often times it would hit whenever I contemplated the idea and as a result I wouldn’t do it.  An example is going to get a massage a few years ago.  I wanted one, had the money for one, but I didn’t go because I felt that going would be wrong, would be unfair to the family.

I’m not sure why I felt/feel this way, nor do I remember when it started to become such a problem that it literally prevents me from doing something fun.

It honestly doesn’t make any intellectual sense to me.  As a person who relies more on logic than emotion, when I acknowledge this problem, I began to work on trying to change it.  That was about four years ago, when we moved to Texas.  My husband is a large part of why I came to realize this problem and helps me as much as he can.

For me, the concerns and feelings of guilt is not limited to going out or buying things for myself as opposed to the children or the family.  It also centers around writing when they are all awake.  I’ve lost count of how many times I fought against the desire and instinct to write.

Part of me still fights against writing with feelings of guilt when I run to my computer in the middle of the day to write and try to not hear the squirts when they want/need something, to tune out my husband.

In my head, the voice says: “It’s your job, your responsibility to take care of them.  Stop being so damn selfish and help them out with their issue.  The writing will be there when you’re done.”

Before, I had nothing to throw back at the voice.  Now, however, I try to remember to tell myself that it’s all right.  I’m allowed to write, to follow my dreams.  That I’m not being selfish and I’m not ignoring my family.  I’m being true to myself and honestly, I deserve as much attention as I give my family.

Let the Guilt Go
Let the Guilt Go (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At least, that’s what I try to say.  I’ve gotten to the point that now, seven times out of ten, I can convince the voice to shut up.  For the three times when I can’t, well, I’m working on it.  My husband is also working on it by trying to give me time to write after the squirts go to bed.  He’ll go to bed early or bury himself in his game so that he doesn’t keep asking me questions.

It has cut into our talking time when we’ll discuss the day’s events, the kids, a movie, a game, or whatever comes to mind, but we try to make up for it by talking about some of the topics while the kids are still up.  It could be while I’m cooking dinner or we’re driving somewhere, sometimes even during dinner.  Because the kids are starting to get old enough to participate in our more amusing discussions it has turned our dinner conversation into something more enjoyable.

My lesson here is this:  I am my own worst enemy.  My fight isn’t just against the voice of doubts and being overly critical.  It’s against self-recrimination and guilt.


6 thoughts on “Lesson 5: It’s okay!

  1. I hear you there … its a little inconvenient at times when that idea pops into the head … (says the person with the journal next to her bed for those 2:30 am moments) …. I just wish there were a way to control them.

    Spending time on myself … I too have a hard time … but then you know this. 🙂

  2. I totally, completely and utterly relate to your feelings in this post – I am exactly the same. I feel guilty for spending time tapping away on the laptop if the children are still up as I think that I should be doing things with them. I also feel guilty that my husband is the main breadwinner and although I work part time, financially I don’t contribute much and that is a huge weight of guilt for me. I have been round and round in circles so many times with this issue and I think that I have come to the same conclusion as you. I am definitely my worst enemy, no two ways about it, and sometimes, I have to cut myself some slack. Thank goodness for understanding husbands! 🙂

    • Definitely, without my husband I’d be lost in sooo many ways. He’s my balance and sanity in many ways. I was talking to my mother-in-law yesterday about needing to relax more often and take it easy. My husband, from behind his computer, called out. “Yep!” The good husbands know us best and make the effort to return our care of them back to us.

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