Archive for the ‘guilt’ Category

Guilt Reigns

I had been struggling with the decision of whether or not to leave my current job for the past month or so. There are many reasons why I have been considering this. Some are personal, others are job-related, but mostly because other opportunities have presented themselves.

I have signed on to teach at both the university (first-year astronomy course) and the college (first-year math), and both start in January. I will also be volunteering¬†with a high-school physics teacher. These are great opportunities to investigate more options in the field of education, and I just couldn’t pass them up.

So, even though I have many, MANY, good (even excellent!) reasons to leave my current job, I still feel THE GUILT!

“But I’m leaving right in the MIDDLE of the term!”

“Are they going to be able to find a replacement for me?”

“Is the student going to be negatively impacted because of me?”

and don’t forget the favourite:

“Everyone is going to think I’m AWFUL!”

I spoke to numerous people about this decision, both inside and outside education, at different points in their careers, and asked their advice. One central theme was that the only person who will look out for me is myself. ¬†And if there’s one thing in the time since my stroke is I need to look out for myself.

So, yes, the guilt is there, but it will lesson with time (isn’t time amazing for things like that?). And, come January with all of its new starts, the excitement will overtake those feelings. I’m already getting excited!



We were at Evan’s doctor earlier this week, and they have this awesome train set. He was the only kid playing with it, so of course he was playing with all the trains (there were 4 or 5 of them). Another kid about the same age came over a few minutes later. We gave the kid 2 of the trains, but of course Evan wanted to take them back. The other kid let him and didn’t complain.

I know this is how kids this age play, but I couldn’t help feeling bad about Evan taking the kid’s trains away. So, I pulled out the “Evan, we should share” card, knowing damn well he doesn’t know what this means. We kept giving the other kid a train or two, but Evan kept trying to take them back.

Eventually, we took him away from the table because I didn’t want the other kid (and mom) to get upset. Unfortunately, but expectantly, Evan did get upset. Of course he did! He was happily playing and did not get why we were taking him away from the toys.

I know that we did this because we were embarrassed, even though we know it’s normal. We didn’t want to be the parents of the “bully” or the “selfish one” – that we had to show the other parents we’re trying to mold Evan into a perfect child with perfect manners.

I hate doing that – just hate it. I mean, every parent knows (or should know) that kids this age don’t get sharing, so why can’t we just let them play the way they want to without trying to shove our ideals of how to play “properly” down their throats (as long as no one is getting really upset or physically hurt)?

Interestingly enough, about 10 minutes later a group of four older kids were playing with the train set (Evan was playing with it again at this time because the other kid left). They came, took trains from Evan, and it was all fine. Evan just played in his own corner, and so did the other kids.

The mom of those kids didn’t say a thing about “sharing” or anything – she just let them play, so did we, and everyone was happy. Perhaps being a mother of 4, she knew there was no point saying anything, or perhaps she was just tired – either way, I think I have a thing or two to learn from someone like her!

A Lot Of Guilt

There have been a lot of posts in the blogosphere about guilt lately. Here is a quote from Ask Moxie that I think would benefit a lot of us:

I feel like there’s always something to feel guilty about if you let yourself. I also feel like sometimes feeling guilt is a way of compensating for feeling like we’re not doing enough. As if immersing ourselves in guilt makes up for the stuff we think we should be doing. Which is twisted and ultimately super-destructive to ourselves.

I do believe guilt is a choice, so let’s stop the insanity, people! We would be so much happier without it.

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