Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Verdict: Not Guilty

Wow, there are some mighty guilty folks out there. Reading the comments on my last post really helped, and I think I am developing a mantra collection:
  • My first reaction: Good grief, you people should not be feeling so guilty! Which led me to: hmmm … maybe I shouldn’t either? So I like Ozma’s “compassion” mantra.
  • Reading about all these ridiculous things others feel guilty about makes me realize that there are a lot of things I could feel guilty about, but don’t. Daycare, for instance. I know that this is the best choice for us, and I don’t sweat it … so maybe another mantra I can use when I’m feeling guilt-ridden is “It’s no different from daycare!”
  • I realize I have a fear that if I’m not feeling guilty, then I’m being a bitch (as Orange brought up). New mantra: “Embrace your inner Bitch.” (Not that feeling guilty is the opposite of being a bitch. But it’s hard to imagine a guilty bitch.) (Though Orange, I think you should feel guilty about misspelling “wracked.”)
  • A mantra that is a paraphrase of what Artemis said: “I’ve been wearing guilt like underwear, and it’s time to go commando!”
  • Virginia’s mantra (“At least I'm not Bush, At least I'm not Bush”), while certainly true and quite funny, is almost too extreme for the circumstances. Perhaps “At least I’m not Britney”?
  • NotMisery’s point that feeling guilty is a choice speaks to me. I’m all about making conscious choices to feel a certain way: I choose to be happy rather than sad (when I’m on the right meds, that is); I choose to be cheerful rather than bitter; I choose to be grateful rather than whiny (usually). I can certainly try choosing to not feel guilty. (I’m having trouble coming up with the opposite of guilty again, though. Innocent? No. Bitchy? Sort of. Well-meaning? Wishy-washy. Peaceful? Eh.)
  • I like Ariella’s question, "What does this guilt really MEAN?" I think in some circumstances that could work as a mantra.
  • Kungfukitten’s wand-waving and ass-shaking, though not a mantra, is a cheering mental image.
And so far, it’s working. I spent the first part of this past week visiting my parents. We got back Thursday, but I had scheduled Friday off from work as well. I had a brief thought that perhaps I should go in anyway, but armed with my new mantras, I resisted. Instead, I dropped HellBoy off at daycare, then went back home, ate ice cream for breakfast, gave myself a pedicure, read some blogs, ate peanut butter and ice cream for lunch, cleaned out my car, washed the shower curtain (I know those last two sound like chores, but they thrilled me), went out and had second lunch at a café, then bought myself new running shoes. Then I went to another café and read more blogs, while my in-laws picked HellBoy up from daycare. When I got home, I had them take him off to the park while I went out in the glorious weather and broke in my new shoes. All with nary a guilty twinge. Not bad, eh?

Today I came down with a virus that’s been going around — high fever and a weird rash — but I refuse to believe that this is punishment for my self-centered, guilt-free day. (I am deeply grateful that I was raised as a heathen rather than Catholic or Jewish or Southern Baptist.)

7 comments:

bihari said...

What a wonderful day! Do it more often.

Orange said...

Oh, girl, it's on. Here are a few references supporting the use of the no-W "rack," in phrases like "racked with guilt," "rack my brains," and "nerve-racked." Wrack pertains to wreckage, destruction, and ruin. Rack derives from the stretching rack and connotes torture, pain, and strain. Have you been utterly destroyed by guilt, or merely pained by it? You seem fairly intact to me, so I'll vote for the latter.

You should feel guilty about publicly impugning my spelling and usage skills. Do I tell you how to run your medical practice? (Harrumph.)

E. said...

Hm. The wrack/rack choice is an interesting one. I can't imagine racking my brains, though. I think the idea there is that you destroy your brain in an attempt to find the thing you're looking for (much like the cops might destroy your apartment looking for your huge stash of superpure cocaine.)

Sounds like a great day, DoctorMama. Congratulations on not feeling guilty about it. My mantra is "a happy mama is a better mama."

DoctorMama said...

orange — I don't know, sounds kind of like one of those crossword-puzzle (var.) spelling things to me. Or maybe you like that spelling because you've got a nice rack?

Amy said...

I think the opposite of "guilt" is "free."

Also, I think guilt is not an adult emotion and therefore I did make a choice a number of years ago not to feel it any more. It was a great choice. It's nice to be free.

DoctorMama said...

Free — I like that.

Midwestern Deadbeat said...

Damn. I like that, too. Free.

I hereby liberate myself from the yoke of guilt, or at least I'll try it for a day. I bet I'll get an astonishing amount done.