Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tough Choices

Saturday was filled with choices.  Unexpected choices.  And one really tough one.

You see, I am one of those people who are riddled with guilt when choosing between duty and self.  Whether it's duty to an employer, duty to church, duty to friends, duty to strangers on the street.  Whenever I choose something for myself, even though it is clearly the best thing, I am riddled with guilt about who I might be letting down.

It's the worst at work.  I have on occasion run myself into the ground before realizing "Hey!  You might want to start taking care of our own well-being sister!"  And then I back off, take a little time for myself, and get my life back in order.  Unfortunately these things are also accompanied by guilt guilt and more guilt for at least half of the day off being taken.  Long vacations are the worst.  If we are gone for 5 days I finally start to really relax on day 3.5.  It's really obnoxious, just ask my husband.

Which brings us to Saturday.  It was our ward Christmas party.  We had missed the last two weeks of church and had missed the announcement and I had made tentative but un-voiced plans for David and I.  I wanted to go to A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Morgan Theatre on campus.  My friend's son was in it and all reports were good and it was the last night it was showing.  I wanted a date night.  (It's amazing how even though it's just us, we rarely make time for dates... pathetic huh.)  Anyway, my automatic response at finding out about the Christmas party was "well, guess we won't be going to the play after all."  But I was a little, okay a lot, frustrated with that choice.  Like my plans didn't count because I had this duty.   

In fact I was so frustrated that I was completely ornery for a good portion of the day.  Finally I talked to David about it.  We went to dinner and the play, and had a wonderful time.  We laughed so much at parts of the play that my stomach hurt and I was crying.  Hilarious!  So good for the soul.  But I did have to ask David at least three times whether this was really okay. In fact 3 times during dinner alone my guilt was brought into play.  Do you know what he finally said?  "You need to be here with me more than they need you at the ward Christmas party."  And you know what, he was right!

That's why my husband is awesome.  So good and putting things in perspective.  Sad I missed the party, but oh so glad for date night with David and a night on the town. So glad to make decisions instead of letting everyone and everything else make them for me.

The moral of the story you ask?

Stand up and take control!  Act rather than be acted upon!  Don't let guilt rule your life! 

Or at least keep it to a minimum cause let's face it, old habits die hard.

May this coming weekend be guilt free for you all!


  1. Oh, I wanted to see that! I'm glad it was good. I think date nights are EASIER for us, now, that we have to do that whole babysitter thing.

    And I hear you on the guilt. Have it in spades. Glad we can be part of your upcoming guilt free weekend! (wait...we are guilt free and not obligatory, right? RIGHT? :)

  2. SOOO guilt free! Not even funny how guilt free!

  3. Thank you! I had already decided not to attend my neighbor's daughters bridal shower tomorrow night (I have ABSOLUTELY no relationship with this girl...the mom yes, but the daughter no. zippo) because it is the first night I will be home in almost a month, but I am feeling guilty about it. I finally decided that the guilt I feel about not going is dwarfed by the anger and resentment I felt about "having" to go.

  4. Just feel guilty. Swim in it
    till your fingers get all pruny....

    just kidding... We missed you of course, but seriously, if I could go on a date with my husband, just him. There is no question what I would choose! :)