Friday, October 8, 2010

A Demon

I consider myself a relatively level-headed, well-grounded, stable individual.  Like most people, though, I have a demon or two that I struggle with every so often.  The demon of today is GUILT.   

Guilt - noun.  A feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime,
wrong, etc., whether real or imagined. 

Guilt comes in all forms and in all shapes and sizes - sometimes very recognizable, sometimes so hidden that it takes someone else to point it out to you.   Guilt can be very negative (like when it becomes all-consuming - I'll call this Bad Guilt.)  Guilt can also be very positive.  For me, Good Guilt is my reminder that I have a conscience.  When I start to have a guilty feeling, I know that it is an opportunity for my "second-look" or "double-check" about something, and it's like I am asking myself, "Self, did you do (or say) the right thing here?"   When I can answer, "Yes" to myself, then the guilty feeling passes.

So, my recent struggle with guilt is how I spend my days while my husband works.  I have been unemployed for longer than I ever thought imaginable (and the first time in my working life to experience unemployment).  While I diligently search for a job each and every day (which takes hours upon hours), I also do all the things that a Domestic Engineer (I hate that title) would do.  I cook, I clean, I run all the errands, I do the laundry, I handle all the paperwork/bills, I handle any and all service work that needs to be done for the house and cars, I help out family members when needed, etc., etc., etc.  Yes, I run our life and our household, and I truly do NOT have any complaints about this, because I am still really happy.  But what I do NOT do during the weekdays is my one enjoyable hobby - scrapbooking. 

I have a great set-up in my basement, which is affectionately known as The Scrapbook Cellar.

Me and the Cellar Chicks (Leanne, Peggy, and Cindi - all bloggers too, so click on their names to check out their blogs) gather here once a month and spend an entire day or evening to work on our various creative projects - talking, laughing, venting, singing to whatever music we have on the TV, and enjoying a little chocolate together.  In between these monthly gatherings, I try to spend a couple of hours a week in the Cellar.  Usually this time is spent in the very early morning hours on Saturdays or Sundays, before CT and I get our day started.

So while I have TIME during the week to spend in the Cellar, I never do.  There is something about being in the Cellar during the week and just doesn't feel right; it's like I have no business doing something FOR ME that I find so enjoyable and makes me happy, when I should be out in the working world, well, working.  

The first time I mentioned to the Cellar Chicks that I do not visit the Cellar during weekdays, I remember the confused look on their faces.  The general response was,  "Well, you're just feeling GUILTY about this, and you really should NOT feel guilty." 

Right now, I have no less than four different scrapbook projects in the works, and I'm battling the guilty feeling, because I have one project I really want to finish before October 23rd (which is our next Scrapbook Cellar gathering).  So, my goal next week is to NOT feel guilty, and just get downstairs and meet my goal of finishing this one project.  I'll let you know how I do.  In the meantime, I encourage you NOT to feel guilty about doing something that makes you happy, even though there are a gazillion other things you think you should be doing.  Because the most important thing of all, is that we are HAPPY.  Right?


  1. WOW. You pose a very interesting question and concept. I can say from the "outside" -absolutely - DO NOT feel guilty. However, if it were me, I would probably feel guilty and do the same thing..

    You can tell you are not used to NOT working. The guilt factor. ;-)

  2. Seems to me that you are feeling guilty about feeling guilty. That, my friend, is a double negative. Therefore you should feel that it is your responsibility to spend an appropriate amount of scrapbooking time whenever you have the time. That will make you happy and we all know how CT feels about you being happy!!

  3. Oohhhh!! Well put, Bill!!
    Okay, LT, you know how I feel about the word "should". But this really is something you should do. Because it will make you a more well-rounded, interesting person during your interviews. As the saying goes, "All work and no play makes Sally a dull girl." So this really is job search related! (How's that for justification!!)
    Seriously, get that project finished b/4 the 23rd.
    And besides, it's all about CT's happiness, no??

  4. Oh, dear sister. What am I going to do with you? Each time I think PK and I are rubbing off on you, that darn guilt creeps in. You already know how I feel about this one. So, get your bootie down there and scrap until you just can do it anymore! Then, keep yourself in bed during those early Saturday and Sunday mornings and have CT bring you breakfast in bed! ;) I hear those "jedi scones" are just delish!! ;)

  5. Seriously, LT, get done to that Cellar and enjoy! Guilt is friends with procrastination, in that it gives procrastination a (seemingly) good reason to not do something you enjoy. Despite the fact that you aren't working on the outside these days, you are not just slacking off, you're putting considerable effort into finding a job, you knock your socks off to keep a lovely (and I do mean LOVELY) house, you are a wonderful wife and parter to CT, and you are part of the village that supports the lovely Leanne. Sounds like you do a lot! I fully endorse you spending time in the Cellar during the week! (if that matters)


I'd love to hear what you're thinking - feel free to leave me a comment!