Tomorrow, I start my new job. A lot of waiting has happened since January when my friend first told me about this company she works for and asked if I would be interested. I wasn’t sure I was interested. Honestly, I’m not sure I was interested in January. I was a little more interested in March when she told me they’d be hiring again in June. If I am being completely truthful, which I strive to be anyway, but especially in this blog with you, I needed this past year a little more than I realized. I would never have admitted it last year, but my mental health needed this time off from the responsibility of working for someone else, and from “managing” other people. I have grown and healed and learned in ways beyond what I would have ever imagined. I had struggled with some depression again in the last couple years, but I am in a great spot. And I owe a lot of that to my patient husband and family who are always there to support me. I sort of closed myself off from a lot of people in the last year. I just needed to take some time for myself. Lately, I have thought about how guilty I felt for leaving my job last year. My family sacrificed for that to happen. I was working my NEWYOU CBD business but still not making close to what I had at my last job. And that was okay with me. It has never been about the money. It has been about my journey to being healed and whole. In whatever form it would take on to happen. But I remembered as I was thinking about all this how guilty I felt for starting work when I did back in 2008. I remember leaving the house after my mom came to watch my boys, and my nephew Kelton, as Carly, my sister, was still living here in Brush and I was actually taking her position at the dental office. I remembered feeling so guilty because I wasn’t going to be there to take care of them all day. Now, I know I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to watch my boys. Not ever. But I have been thinking about all that guilt and how I think I am feeling a twinge of guilt even now as I start this new venture. My boys are far more independent than they were thirteen years ago but they do still need me. Franklin even more so as he is still in High School. But I started wondering today about what makes us feel guilty for this sort of thing in the first place.
I am no expert. I just wanna make sure you know that I know you KNOW that about me. Haha. But I do know about mom/wife/friend/employee/human guilt. And there have been times in my life when guilt was fully warranted. But more often than not, guilt isn’t a healthy emotion. We do so much for other people and it doesn’t always turn out right, or how we expected. I have heard many times (and used a lot) that disappointment is what happens when our expectations don’t meet reality. We have such high hopes for almost everything in our lives. From our relationships, to our careers, to what we think this world should look like. Rarely, if ever, do things turn out the way we had thought they would. Now, that’s not to say we should stop hoping for things. But when our hopes are tied up in outcomes we can’t control, we need to make sure we temper it with a small dose of reality or we will be disappointed. I am a pretty big optimist. I don’t have a hard time picking out the positive in nearly every situation, and imagining the best possible outcome in new things. But there are times. We can’t control anything around us. We can only control how we react/respond to everything around us. I think this is where some of the guilt I tend to feel comes from. I can’t control everything. But I would really like to. And my personality is the type that when something doesn’t go right, I will always blame myself. I want to make people happy. I don’t like it when people are upset and I especially don’t like it when I am the reason they are upset. It’s easier for me to place the blame, responsibility and guilt on myself than to think about having to have a tough conversation with someone else. I will do it, mind you. But it’s something I’d rather avoid.
There is nothing in the world that really compares to mom-guilt. I don’t know any mother on the planet who doesn’t feel it at one point or another. Am I spending enough time with my kids? Am I spending too much time with my kids? Should I go back with them to the exam room at their doctor/dentist appointment or wait in the waiting room or car? Do I need to go at all? Did I read enough to them when they were little? Did I discipline them too much? Not enough? If I don’t go to every event under the sun will they end up hating me? If I raise my voice, take away their phone and ground them for a week will they eventually become a serial killer with a really bad “Mom-complex” and end up on the FBI Most Wanted list? The thing about parenting that no one really can explain, even though they try, is that it is really difficult to navigate. There are no manuals. They don’t have a trial “dispose-of-when-done” version of kids to practice parenting on. No, they don’t exist. You give birth to a tiny human who INSTANTLY becomes the most important and scary thing you’ve ever dealt with and then you are expected to take care of them on your own. If it doesn’t terrify you a little, are you even doing it right? And all the advice in the world doesn’t help. Oh, sure. There are things you hear from your Mom or your Dad that really do come in handy. But the right answer to all those questions I asked above is simple: It depends. It depends on the child and the parent and at least a dozen other factors. But I know I am not alone when I say there are things I feel guilty about all the time. We have joked with the boys that we have money set aside for college. They can either use it for college or for the therapy they need to help them get through all the terrible things *wink wink* we did to them while raising them. *only half joking*
Guilt and regret can pour over every aspect of our lives if we let it. And I’m pretty good at letting it. I had a conversation with a friend recently and they said something that I know I have heard from others but I HEARD it . . . like actually HEARD it . . . this time. I was talking about feeling bad about going back to work (even if it is from home and even if I can set my own hours). I had said that I know my first job is as a Mom. They said, “Lacy, you have to stop being so hard on yourself. What would you say to me if I shared with you what you just shared with me?” I nodded, speechless. I don’t know how much of the guilt in my life I have been needlessly carrying along, as if it’s my penance for not being perfect or something.
Newsflash: NO ONE’S PERFECT.
But why are we so dang hard on ourselves? I have criticized myself for things that I would have never even thought twice about in another person. Why? In a way, is it prideful? Do I somehow think I am better and need to be held to a higher standard? No, I sure hope not. But it has me thinking now! It was amazing how after my friend extended a little grace to me, I felt like I could extend a little grace to myself. I have always tried to stay humble. I haven’t always succeeded. But, especially, the older I get the less I feel like everything is always all about me. I don’t need recognition, praise, or even to hear “Attagirl” with a pat on my back! I am trying, really working hard, to let the guilt of things I can’t control, should have done, or could have done better, go. Like, steppin’-on-down-the-road, go. Like, don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out, go. I am human. And I take care of humans. (Well, and a dog . . . but she is another story). But as an imperfect human taking care of imperfect humans, I need to remember that things will never be perfect. They will be just right. They will turn out just as they are supposed to turn out. Or they won’t. And you know what. ALL OF IT IS OKAY! It will be okay and tomorrow is another day to try something different if that’s what is needed.
I am starting a new chapter. A new, exciting chapter where I am going to have a good job without the stress of managing people or things and worrying about controlling outcomes with other people in an office setting. I am excited for the gift I feel like I have been handed. And I don’t think God wants me to feel guilty when I fully believe that He brought this opportunity to me. I get a chance to make a little more money to help our family.
Another Newsflash: College is expensive.
I am excited to take on a new challenge. I am a little intimidated as I have never done anything like this and I am in the “middle-aged” tier of the workforce now. Ouch. That hurt a little to type out. But I do believe that I am capable and semi-talented in some areas. I believe that I learn fast and will catch on just fine. And when it is all said and done, I will have learned a thing or two. And nothing is ever a waste of time that adds to the person you are. I will let go of the guilt, as best I know how, and move onto bigger and better things. I am worth it.
#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou
2 thoughts on “Mea Culpa”
Lots of wisdom! You sure nail it well Lacy. Could you send me last week’s blog, I accidentally deleted it. Thinking of you today as you start your new venture. You will do great. Received the article, it is awesome. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments. Love you!
Thank you. Good luck on your venture. Prayers for you and your family.