Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The Guilt

I've been reading up a storm the last couple of days and am just a little proud of my progress. As I headed through to the kitchen to tidy up before bed I was for once not beating myself up. G is on backshift and instead of my usual brain dead evening in front of mindless TV I read a book. And not just any book. A classic. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Even typing Steinbeck makes me feel good. Admittedly, it isn't a very long book but nonetheless an improvement on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In the kitchen I was pottering; washing the dishes, listening to Today in Parliament, treating devil puss to milk and trying to decide what to read next. By the time I switched off the light I was no longer proud of myself. The Guilt had returned. As a self confessed procrastinator I am familiar with that small nagging voice asking me when exactly I plan to get started with whatever I'm putting off. The Guilt is not that friendly voice.

The Guilt is mean. Harsh, cutting and horribly astute. Tonight Guilt started when looking at the mess of the kitchen windowsill. The problem with the Guilt is that it doesn't stop with a gentle reminder to clear off, wipe down and tidy up my greenhouse/gallery/dumping ground of a kitchen windowsill. No the Guilt continues to remind me that I didn't hang the washing out or hoover or mop or do any of the other mundane but essential jobs that I had mentally listed for today.

But still the Guilt keeps on at me. If I haven't been bothering to tidy or clean the house I should have at least been doing something productive. A glance at the kitchen calendar notifies the Guilt that my plans to menu plan and online shop have also come to naught - thanks Steinbeck!

I try to defend myself. I was reading, it's really important to read if I want my writing to sing. Stephen King told me. The Guilt laughs. "Write? When did you last pick up a pen?"

Well you know what Guilt you're right. I am a lousy housewife and proud that my life is too interesting to care about a pristine show-home. But I care about writing. I delayed my plans for bed and wrote. Now I'm off to make a to do list for tomorrow.

I'm fed up having to listen to your nagging so it looks like I might have to get organised, a little more productive and make you shut the hell up. 

1 comment:

  1. I get The Guilt too. The boyfriend doesn't understand it - if he has a TOIL day from work, it's spent in his pants watching films or playing computer games. I end up spending mine cleaning, going to the supermarket, and then feeling guilty for not having hung the washing up. I hadn't really thought much of it, until he pointed out a year or two that I'm not very good at relaxing, and he's right - the only time I feel relaxed is when I'm on my one week abroad a year. I wonder if some of it, for me, anyway, comes from being a fairly anxious person and not knowing how to switch that off until the list is ticked.