Warning: lengthy maudlin post ahead! PMS and choc withdrawals have CLEARLY caused self-pitying behaviour…shameful stuff
There is always plenty of guilt wallowing in the Hopeless Household. It is probably the result of being hopeless; the knowledge that when it comes to the small stuff, I am practically incapable of getting it right and always have been. I seldom think through the consequences of my actions and am often in dreamland when performing a mundane task; examples include failing to switch the oven from grill to bake on a number of occasions (and wondering why the cake resembled fudge pudding, or why the chicken took three hours to roast but had exceptionally crispy skin), applying sunscreen to every part of my body except the back of my legs before sunbathing on my front, trapping fingers in the back of a horsefloat only to rip open the wound weeks later by trapping them in a boat hatch, popping a champagne cork into my cheekbone (first bottle of the night, FYI), constant bruises on hips and thighs because of a failure to judge exactly how close I am to a tabletop, desk, chair etc when walking...you've probably got the picture. When my family call me hopeless or variations on the same theme ('Lemon', 'Useless', 'Dill', dopey behaviour in another referred to as 'Pulling an A'), it's often done with affectionate as well as mocking tone - I think! Sometimes the name calling is accompanied by a resigned sigh if I've been 'specially incapable. But even though I am consciously aware of this character flaw, it doesn't seem to change my behaviour. Hence, guilt.
But the guilt is much more multifaceted than that. My most constant source of guilt at the moment is my work. I'm not going to get specific about what I do, suffice to say I've had a change of direction in my career recently that feels like a mistake and I'm failing to give my all or best to the job as a result. I hate being mediocre but it seems that the inability to 'win' at this job leads to a failure to care as much as I should, which leads to guilt which cycles back around. And the guilt/scared feeling about the next performance review/future is terrifying, compounding the problem.
The guilt also includes family/friend guilt. I am hopeless at corresponding (in large part due to laziness and an aversion to phone chat, god only knows why but I've always hated making phone calls and vividly recall being unable to go rollerskating at about age 8 because I was too scared to call the rink to ask the session times). So I feel guilty about neglected relationships all the time. Still, it doesn't shift me from my inertia. More guilt. Guilt that this is a shittystupid problem to have when it has such an easy answer!
Money guilt. I'm now earning a fairly solid wage yet failing to save it/spend it responsibly. P thinks I'm a bit of a tightwad, 'specially when it comes to his spending, which, fair enough I probably am. BUT the man knows how to spend! He has spent the last three days online looking at speakers and amps and announced this morning that we were going to buy copious amounts of wine to curb his spendlust brought on by sound equipment he knows I don't want him to buy (that shit is expensive AND ugly!)). However, the advent of online shopping in my life since moving from the third world has been like a transfusion of spendahol via internetty waves or tubes or however it is transmitted….
Body/image/drinking guilt, known generally as LACKING SELF-CONTROL GUILT. Let's shelve that for another day shall we, I'm pretty sure there's a tragicomic contemporary novel in there somewhere….fuck, I fancy myself the Kiwi Jonathan Franzen, don't I? I'm about 90% certain that I'm an effing genius waiting for recognition but when or if I ever did put pen to paper it'd probably be the worst sort of chick lit (yeah, I have read chick lit and I recognise it has a place, BUT. You know).
Guilt about not feeling guilty! This one has to be a lady-spesh, amirite? You know, where you're feeling all mopey and self-guilt-centric and then begin to feel guilty that your guilt isn't about the big issues like domestic violence and the abuse of children, or the plight of those in need etc etc…not to say that the big issues don't concern me (they do, and I often feel guilty for not being charitable with my time when I'm someone with a particular skill-set who could assist the vulnerable in some small way), but to say that I often feel guilty for not feeling guilty enough! Could someone please hand me a hair shirt and a knotted cat'o'nine tails? This is turning into a self-flagellation session the extent of which Dan Brown has not yet even dreamed!
This is where I should segue into discussion of some Worthy-with-a-Capital-W resolutions for the New Year but eff that, I'm not that self-reflexive. In large part, I already know the answers to my wee guiltstravaganza, so I'm going to head out, buy some champagne with P and toast the New Year and the infinite possibilities for change it brings.
And snapping out of the pityparty for a moment, here's to you and yours this December 31! Whether your problems are bigger or smaller than mine, I drink to you and impart these words of wisdom: always ensure there is at least one person more drunk than you in the room!