Growing up I would say my family was lower class. The circumstances at home were not great for a few reasons, money was minimal but both my parents worked full time. Yet, as a 49 year old woman I look back now and I had it so much better than a lot of people in the world – then and now.
The plaid pants were stylish right? I recall it feeling awesome when we got to go shopping for one outfit and school supplies at Kmart or TG&Y when school started! No name brands to be seen and you better take care of what you got!
What I can say about those times is there was always a roof over our heads and food on the table. We never went hungry. We didn’t go without a coat in the winter. Honestly, that’s what my parents were suppose to provide, I suppose the occasional nurturing and life lessons were bonuses. 🙂 I’m hoping I’m a parent that is a mixture of both teaching work ethic, compassion, and how to endure the hard stuff.
A couple weeks ago I was sitting with my best friend, doing what girlfriends do. Catching up on life events, laughing together, talking about our hair. Then I spent a good hour venting about all the injustices I was feeling that were being pushed into my world and I even cried a few tears.
Then I realized a short bit later, while she was still sitting across from me, a wave of guilt. I often feel guilt in my life after I’ve done something I feel is shameful or a bad choice. I think my parents instilled a moral compass along with work ethic. If you ask my spouse, he might say it’s a “larger than needed guilt meter” but we won’t go there today.
I actually mentioned to her I felt guilt as I sat on my beautiful deck looking out across the lovely yard, while the air conditioner hummed to cool my home that’s only 10 years old. My child wears clothes that have name brands written across them along with her Walmart shoes. We were heading on vacation soon and there’s a new item sitting in our driveway that I’ve felt super guilt over getting. I may not buy my clothes at high end stores but Kohls knows me by my first name probably and I’d have a hard time giving up the “best tennis shoes” ever for my high arches. We have food in our pantry and meat in our freezers to feed us for quite a while.
This isn’t a brag post it’s a “why do I think I have it so rough at times” post. I mean first of all, I live in a world that I’m free. No matter how political things are or if I agree or disagree with the Covid-19 executive orders, I’ve still got it GREAT! No matter how much anxiety I feel going into the store or out to eat or dislike putting a mask on to wait on a client – it’s still not as bad as many people in the world today have it.
Just on the home front alone, I may not have all the romantic gushy stuff I really long for from my husband. But what I do have is a husband that works hard and a lot of hours which allows me to work part time. I might add, it’s a job that I happen to enjoy and feel lucky to work for who I do. Health – it’s not 100% perfect but my working out and eating habits have a lot to do with that and it could be worse. Not to mention my big kids still visit and live close!
Guilt comes in a little sprinkles of rain or gushes like a dam just being opened after being closed for some time. It’s easy for me to get a negative mindset, it’s hard for me to get out of it. This year has been hard but nothing I should really be complaining about. The good outweighs the bad, even in these uncertain times. Anybody relate with this?
Let’s review for minute. I’ve been inconvenienced by what? My child having to do online school at home for a couple months, softball started late, I wasn’t able to see my big kids and grandchildren and I have to wear a mask in public. I can’t freely go and do as much as I used.
I often have the following thought cross my mind, “our ancestors endured much harder times” which brings me back to a place of appreciation and just deal with it Julie mindset! You do what you gotta do, plain and simple.
So I think I can handle wearing a mask while I shop in Kohls for socks or while I wait for my food to come to my table at Olive Garden. The other thing that crossed my mind – my daughter is watching me, I’m an example to her. Do I really want her growing up feeling entitled and not valuing the privileges she’s been given? Do I want her to see me standing on my “soapbox” every second of everyday – NO. Don’t get me wrong she sees her momma make lots of mistakes! (Which I think is also healthy but doesn’t need to be done daily.)
I often ask her opinion or thoughts on topics or circumstances we are in because she isn’t real forthcoming or talkative. Recently, as we walked into Olive Garden I asked her if it made her uncomfortable or bothered her to wear the mask. She very laid back said “no.” I asked her if it made her feel safer or better. She said in the same tone – “no.” She is twelve, so I’m not gonna read into her answers too much. What I am going to do is keep having conversations with her and cherish the extra time we got to add to our summer!
In the grand scheme of things my husband and I work hard for what we have and we are proud of the life we have built. Some would say that justifies me to not feel guilt. We aren’t living off anyone or getting assistance. But the guilt reminds me that there are individuals, generations in fact, that can use help.
I ask myself today and other days, if that family or individual needed something would I extend aid to them? Even in the midst of my uncomfortable-ness with what’s before me? Would I? I hope so but honestly there has been times I have not, which I am sorry for. Once again something to work on.
The noise in the world today is getting louder and louder. I can get away from it sometimes because of where I live and am able to stop scrolling or shut off the television. Walking away isn’t out of fear – it’s out of a longing for peace and once again teaching my youngest to choose your battles and simplicity is a good thing.
The guilt in my mind of whether I am doing enough doesn’t leave. Breaking the habit of complaining about what I don’t have is hard. Gathering the blessings of my life and putting them in the forefront of my mind so I can share them is something I need to do as much as I make sure I eat or the habit of brushing my teeth.
Am I doing enough for my fellow man?
A better question I think is this…….
Am I adding to the chaos or subtracting from it?
I don’t need my voice to be loud. I don’t need for my words/opinions to be put out there daily on social media to make a difference. I just need to figure out how to share the wealth and freedom I’ve been given with others. I just need to open my heart more like I used to and take the chances like I once did.
Thanks for stopping by this has been a good processing post! 🙂