The older I get the more able I am to take a step back and analyse my reactions to the people around me and the situations I find myself in. I won’t go as far as to say my angry outbursts and moodiness have been conquered but 5 minutes after the meltdown I have the peace of mind to realise what’s just gone down. Realising you’re a nut job is a step in the right direction, right?
Mood swings aside (if only they didn’t lurk around 3 weeks out of the month) my initial reaction to anything unexpected or stressful is to get angry and flustered. When the flood of anger passes the depressed over-analysis begins and the guilt begins to settle.
Honestly if there were a pill you could take to relieve guilt I’d pay a small fortune for the release. I’m sure guilt is just a part of being an adult but sometimes I wonder if I embrace the guilt a little more than is normal.
(Skip my “guilty list” and scroll down if you like, it’s definitely yawn-worthy)
Just off the top of my head right now I am feeling guilty about:
- Being mean to Master 10 this morning when he spent 20 minutes searching for his reading journal (that ended up being in his back pack already) and we were all waiting at the front door for him so we could leave for school. I had already growled at him to just leave it several times and when he finally gave up I thought we were going to be late (yet again) for school and growled meanly that it was all his fault his brothers were late and he’d have to deal with his father tonight and explain himself. We ended up being on time to school anyways and either way…the kid is 10 and I was offloading on him
- Guilt for offloading on Master 10 so many times over the years
- Guilt that I didn’t read with Master 5 and Master 7 last night and fill in their reading journals (Master 7 will miss out on play time if his teacher checks it and there isn’t an entry for every day)
- Guilt that my poor time management meant that Master 10 and I didn’t make it to a Secondary School Open Day in time last night
- Guilt that I’m a pussy and didn’t want to go into the school at 7:30 last night to ask if we were too late and instead just kept walking and got the bus back home
- Guilt that I haven’t attended enough Open Days to check out our Secondary school options because I’m lazy and didn’t want to drag all the kids to yet another one (we’ve been to 3)
- Guilt that the kids have to move house again (our landlord wants to move back into her house in later November)
- Guilt that I don’t want to talk to my parents or hubby’s parents and don’t keep in contact with them
- Guilt that I didn’t iron the kid’s school clothes last night or the night before and instead just tumbled dried them and flattened them with my hand
- Guilt that I haven’t organised any of the play dates I promised the kids because I’m a wimp and don’t want to have to talk to these strange parents
- Guilt that the house is a mess (albeit mostly clean, just cluttered) and I’m forever losing things
- Guilt that I couldn’t find hubby’s reflective vest this morning and he’ll be riding home in the dark tonight and if he gets hit by a car it’s all my fault
- Guilt that we’re eating crappy food this month and next month because we need to save £4000 for our deposit and one month’s rent on another house and I haven’t been putting any money aside each month
- Guilt that we had to tell the kids they aren’t getting new Halloween costumes this year because every spare penny has to go towards the new rental
- Guilt that they were very understanding and said that was okay, they’ll just wear their costumes from last year
- Guilt that Christmas is going to be a last-minute rush when we get our bond back from our current house hopefully in early December and the kids probably aren’t going to get anything they want
- Guilt that I’m forever growling at the kids. In the mornings to get them out the door to school on time and in the afternoons berating them trying to get them to do their jobs and homework…
- Guilt that there’s never any time for anything else but the nagging and shouting
- Guilt that Master 10’s “stories” bore the living daylights out of me
- Guilt that his inability to get to the point and think about what he’s going to say and then saying it is probably because I didn’t talk to him enough when he was younger (and even now)
- Guilt that all his learning difficulties are probably because I didn’t talk to him or read with him enough when he was little
- Guilt that bedtime stories became non-existent 2 years ago and it was because I stopped wanting to make the time not because the kids didn’t keep asking
- Guilt that I’ve just realised they don’t even ask for a bedtime story any more…they already know the answer will be “no”
- Guilt that I’m in the “obese” category for my BMI again and I’m letting the whole family down
- Guilt that hubby works long hours and still manages to lose weight, talk to the kids without snapping and put in an effort to spend time with me
- Guilt that I fail at all those things and I don’t work outside the home even though my mother-in-law and hubby both want me to
- Guilt that I’m so useless that I honestly don’t know how I could fit all the things I do now, plus a proper job into my days. Every one else can do it, why not me?
- Guilt that at almost every moment of every day (and night) all I want is to be by myself
- Guilt that “alone time” is never long enough and that at the end of it I just feel guilty and wish I’d spent more time with my family
- Guilt that I’ve amounted to nothing and set a bad example to my kids
- Guilt that I live up to no one’s expectations
- Guilt that my expectations of myself got lower and lower over the years until I’m just happy if I get the kids out the door in the morning and the kitchen and bathroom are both clean each day
- Guilt that I have started 3 blog posts in the past week and finished none of them
- Guilt at all the things I do and all the things I don’t do
- Guilt that I’m a ridiculously unhappy person and must be such a burden to every one around me
…so…suffice to say, guilt plays a huge role in my day-to-day life.
Back to the processing bit (apologies if you actually read my “guilt list” consider it a cleansing process and let’s move on). Whenever hubby suggests I do something or wants to change the plans my initial reaction is to get on the defensive like a kitty cat in a fight.
I hiss (I grumble under my breath), I raise my hackles (my back stiffens and I don’t want to be touched), I sharpen my nails (I thrown a few jabs out there) and then I strike (“I’m so sick of this crap”, “You’re the unreasonable one”, “…and what if I say NO!”, “I hate you!”).
I’m not a pleasant person to talk to, nope…not one bit. Then he walks away. The guilt begins…
…and then I start to process. Depending on how dramatic this change or suggestion is this processing and coming around to sanity can take a few minutes or a few days.
Eventually I see the light and concede its a good idea and/or “yes I should be doing that”.
If only I could process like a normal person. Without the anger and/or passive aggressive crap life would be so much smoother and simpler.
How do I qualm the crazy and speed up the processing time?
Moving out of our current house sent me into a spin of sadness, anger and disappointment. If you could have been inside my head you’d have thought I’d received news of World War III erupting. I was a bit of a basket case.
Packing seemed like it was going to ruin me (more packing? noooo!). Not being the perfect distance from school any more (far enough away to give me a bit of exercise each day but close enough that the kids can run to school in 5 minutes if pressed for time). Not being in a house that backs onto the woodland. I envisaged the snow-covered trees and fields behind our house that we explored last winter and it seemed like a cruel injustice that it’s just been ripped out of my grasp for all the future winter’s we spend in London. I complained of how we’re never going to get another house like this one. It’s all useless, we might as well accept we’re going to be moving somewhere even smaller with crappier furniture, a tiny worthless kitchen, horrible central heating and even worse I’m going to lose the first home I’ve ever had with a dishwasher.
In my mind we were moving to a slum. A dirty, smelly, dilapidated hell hole with no garden and probably criminals lurking outside our front door.
Ever the optimist, hey?
…but eventually…I processed it.
Over a week later and I can almost get myself excited at the prospect of a new location. All the possibilities: Maybe a flat overlooking the Thames or one of the royal docks? Maybe a house with a bigger garden and somewhere to store the bikes. Maybe a bigger kitchen or just a better designed one? Maybe we’ll have kids on our street the kids can play with? Maybe we’ll have two bathrooms (almost as sought after as a dishwasher)? Maybe we’ll have nice neighbours again (who don’t come knocking on our door when the kids climb the staircase too loudly)?
I wish I was an optimist. I wish change didn’t throw me into fits of tears, anger and depression that keeps me in bed for 12 hours a day, but what can I do? At least I acknowledge that it’s not okay and I have a desire to change. At least I can be grateful that at least one adult in this household doesn’t behave like an oversized 2-year-old throwing a tantrum when things don’t go her way.
So dear readers, how are your processing skills? Do you take it all in your stride? Are you an optimist that can see the bright side BEFORE or in line with the negative? Did you learn to stop throwing tantrums when you were a kid like most people or did you have to learn to over come them as an adult?
How’s your guilt quota today?