But first, let’s see if I can remember the definition of guilt. Guilt is the feeling you get that feels bad enough the you feel you’ve atoned for what you did – and therefore allows you to continue doing it. For instance, if I steal an apple from a store, I feel guilty for it afterwards – because I have an image of myself as a person who doesn’t steal. By feeling guilty, I pay the price and I get to keep a lovely image of myself (I’m not the kind of person who steals – that’s why I feel guilty). If I were a professional thief, I wouldn’t feel the least bit guilty – hey I scored an apple. Shoot – shoulda taken a dozen!
And so here’s my guilt: I “should” be working alongside Simon on this house project – not sitting here in a cabin blogging etc. A good person – a good woman and wife in particular – would be working right alongside him. I really believe this is true. And so I feel guilty because I have an image of myself as the kind of person who does help – who loves her husband and wants to be by his side.
The way to get over this is to tell the truth – that I’m not that kind of person. Based on fact, I am the kind of person who doesn’t like “projects.” I am most especially not the kind of person who likes to “help.” I am quite good at having a project and running with it. I am horrible at “here – hold this for me please.”
Projects have simply never interested me. I think they “should.” And so I feel guilty because I’m not the kind of person I’m supposed to be. And it goes beyond guilt – I feel inadequate. Bad, actually.
And I know that Simon is disappointed in me too. I’ve actually given this quite a bit of thought the last couple of days – ever since I moved into this cabin. I’ve been escaping rather than contributing. I actually brought that up tonight in our phone conversation. I asked Simon what I could do to help. It seems that the ceiling isn’t a job for me but I can sand the floors and varnish starting Thursday – so that’s what I’m going to do. This will free Simon up to do soffits and help us finish the project sooner. And I’ll move back on Sunday whether or not it’s all done.
Today I hiked up to the flagpole – and actually had a view. Tomorrow I will get the dogs out for two good walks – they need it. Thursday I will roll up my sleeves. I don’t know if it will help with the guilt. It’s so much easier to tell yourself the truth about the good person you are. But I also have to tell the truth about the other side of me. I am not necessarily good. People like my friend, Vida, amaze me. She has fully thrown herself into the work at Sandon – everything from repairing trolley busses to do doing anything and everything involved with generating electricity including operating big machinery. My friend, Annette, who almost single-handedly renovated more than one house.
Me – I feel pretty useless in comparison.