Saturday, February 4, 2012

Part guilt, part relief

I finished my report cards.  I'm sure that is exciting news for everyone out in blog world.  It certainly is for my family!  I made it to yoga last night, and feel so much better for it.  We did ALOT of twists, my internal organs must be nice and wrung out.  Definitely a good thing!

Ok, so that's the relief part.  Here's the guilt part.  My township has in their infinite wisdom decided to bring a human waste refinement facility to our lovely rural town.  To turn Toronto's waste into something benign.  Bringing huge truckloads of untreated waste down our main street, right through town to the facility.  Which will sit in our "Eco Park", coincidentally located 350 metres behind our JK to Gr. 3 school.  And will potentially greatly lower my property value, as well as that of my neighbours and friends.  And all of this has been done in an underhanded secretive way by our elected officials.  I have heard rumours of collusion and possible bribery (I repeat--these are RUMOURS, I in no way know what has happened).  Township employees who publically oppose the facility have been fired (or so the story goes).  I am opposed to this.  Of course.  Here's where the guilt comes in.  I have not gone to the meetings, I have not picketed the offices of either the company or the township.  I have allowed others to dirty their hands, for my potential benefit.  And I feel guilty.  And I'm rationalizing it by telling myself that I can't take on anything else.  I am not finding time to workout, let alone spend hours and hours in meetings, etc.  I feel like I'm barely hanging on at work some days, it is busy.  And the next few months will be busier.  So now I feel  guilt.  'Cause who I am.  I don't know where the truth lies in the whole mess, but I do know that it has divided a town.  There are hard feelings.  It is an issue that I don't know if our little town will recover from.  Accusations are flying.  The word LIBEL springs to mind.  I don't want to be involved in that.  But I don't want this horrible facility either.  I have read some of what the company has put out there, and I don't care what their lagoons are lined with, there is a threat to our groundwater if there is a leak.

Guilt raises its dirty head.  How is it that women are always so laden with guilt?  Or are we?  Is it just me?  I don't think it is.  I hear my friends and colleagues saying they just aren't doing enough, yet when I look at their lives I don't know how they could possibly take on anything else.

There is a spring musical being produced at my school.  Another source of guilt.  I have made the decision to not be involved for the following reasons:  1.  It doesn't involve my students.  2.  I have enough on my plate now, and I need to worry about taking care of myself.  3.  I do not wish to work with the individual who has decided to do this project (sssshhhhhh, to all of my school peeps who might read this!).  4.  I used to teach at a school with a performing arts focus.  I left that school for a reason.  I am not getting into that sh** again.
Even though I feel that these are perfectly reasonable reasons for not getting involved, I feel guilt.  Hmmmmm.  That part about taking care of myself?!  Why should this induce guilt?

As I've mentioned before, I enjoy reading blogs of women who homestead, homeschool (no  friggin' thanks!), craft, have beautifully decorated  homes, and live these seemingly beautiful lives.  Which causes angst, if I'm honest (and I usually am!).  Lately, having a desire to do some of these things, I have taken a hard look at why I am not able, if history is any indication.  Most of these wonderful women work at home.  These are their jobs, and their blogs are their outlet into the world.  I, by choice, have career that takes me outside of the home, and there's no freakin' way anyone could possibly do it all.  I did many of these things years ago when I was at home with my children.  And it wasn't enough, I got out and jump started my lagging career (stalled, dying, the descriptors are endless!).  It was the best decision I could have made.  While I loved all of those things listed above, it is not my calling in life.  So I am working towards cutting myself some slack.  Their beautiful lives have some difficult parts, just like mine does.  They are fulfilled by what they do, and I am fulfilled by what I do.  They are not likely at home wishing there were more hours in the day so that they could live my life part-time.  It's just silly for me to want to live theirs.

And that my friends brings me back to relief.  It really is a full circle.  I do need to work in more exercise.  I might do a little crafting, a little decorating.  Or I might not get to it.  I will prioritize my desires and obligations.  And to be honest, at this point in my busy, busy life, perhaps raising my own chickens isn't near the top of the list.  But my kids, my husband, my career, those are.

How are your priorities lining up?  Are you crippled by unnecessary and unproductive guilt?  Or are you able to cut yourself a break?  Interestingly, I find that once your priorities are in order, you find more time to fit in the very things that cause you guilt.  Now to live that ideal.....

Have a wonderful Saturday friends.


cargillwitch said...

I read a great book once about sequencing. It suggested that we as women have many options available to have many experiences in our lives- just not all at the same time to really enjoy them.If we rush activity to activity we just remember the rush -not the activity. It has helped remind me that some things are finished now in my life ( staying at home to raise children, homeschooling etc. ) and although at times I mourn that this is behind me , I am happy now to have some wonderful memories of those years more time to give to other activities.BUT even now I have to really ask myself what do I value? will it nourish me or drain me? do I like the IDEA of it or the actual reality of it? It is a constant re-evaluation.I still work 30 hours off the farm and commute two hours daily. We still have four kids living under our roof( one always will!) And I'm not getting any younger! lol.
I am really learning to let the guilt part of it go. I can only do so much.What do I really want to spend my time and energy on?

Nicole said...

So true! I feel like maybe I'm experiencing some middle-aged growing pains (although I plan on living past 84, so not I'm not really middle-aged yet!). I'm stretched by work and family, yet feel like I'm not doing enough? That's just insane. You're right about priorities--what do I want to spend my time and energy on? I just need to figure that out...