Bad girls do it well?!

There are times when I wish I wasn’t so chicken.

Remember this song:

Live fast, die young
Bad girls do it well
Live fast, die young
Bad girls do it well

It is tiring being the good, disciplined girl. There are times I wish I was a little more carefree, that I wish I wasn’t overly committed to work, or I wish I’d care a damn before bunking or taking leaves. In my case, leaves have always been accompanied by a fair amount of guilt. I wish I wouldn’t feel too guilty about taking a sick leave so that I can save my annual leave. Every dear soul on earth does that. You get life only once, then why feel guilty about using your ‘own’ time doing things you really like. Why feel guilty about taking a day off, just so you could do all those things on your personal bucket list that keep getting pushed to be bottom of the pile. Why feel guilty about a little pleasure? Why do some people (like me) take sadistic pleasure out of being ‘overworked’? Yes, people do that sometimes. They fail to draw a line between work and life. Especially whose work and life are not overlapping. They miss a dear friend’s wedding, because they are too busy, and too chicken to apply for a leave. They feel that if they leave work place for one day, people will forget them, their good work will be forgotten, and their promotion will be given to someone else. I am that person sometimes. I don’t like myself when I am like that.

I hate myself for being the ‘good’ girl sometimes. I always was. Even back in college, I rarely missed a class, because it came with a huge bag of guilt. While everyone else had a rollicking time, my feelings were always in the grey zone – wishing to miss a class and being part of the fun but at the same time not being able to miss that class. And constantly thinking about the fun and frolic my friends had outside the class. I must have missed out on so much fun. I must have missed out on so many moments of bonding and friendship. If I did bunk, my joy was punctured by thoughts of lessons I missed. As a result, I never was truly able to savour or relish any one type of feeling and was always thinking about ‘what if’.  I wish I was more carefree. I so wish.

Live fast, die young
Bad girls do it well
Live fast, die young
Bad girls do it well

This is a pattern and this has to change. Even to this day, I feel guilty about watching a movie or just lazying around the house when I could be engaging myself in more productive things over weekends.  Like taking on freelance content writing assignments that would bring in some extra money, or reading something knowledgeable or intelligent that would add some value to life or intellect. So it makes me question myself? Is money (or knowledge in some cases) the only barometer of happiness (And this is totally self-imposed)? Would earning a few extra bucks make me happier? This is why I feel guilty. When I could be earning a little extra working on the weekends (even if I don’t wish to), why waste time watching a movie or doing fun things? My idea of productivity has to change.

There probably is a reason to this madness.  Time is money and time is precious. So if you are in an average job like I am, working 5-6 days a week, doing things you would rather not do if given a choice, you feel like you are wasting time.  And let’s face it. You have to pay the bills so you have to work.  There is hardly a choice there. That’s when you feel like you have to get maximum out of your weekend because the weekdays have no bandwidth at all to accommodate your personal favourite things to do. Your time during weekdays is not really ‘yours’. You have no control over your own time and that’s when it starts to feel really crappy. You feel like you are doing menial tasks just because you have to pay the bills. But if work was play, if work was fun, if work was things you love doing anyway, it wouldn’t feel so emotionally and mentally taxing. But not everyone is fortunate to turn their hobbies into profession. Not everyone is able to love/enjoy what they do.  And that is why this battle between the two voices in our heads will never really die out.

But hopefully for me, things are set to change. I have a plan. I am fed up of myself for being too chicken, too afraid and too calculative; for choosing the comfort and security of a mundane job over exciting and interesting things. I am at a stage in life where I have a choice, where I can choose, where we don’t have children to worry about. This is as good a time as it ever will be to do things differently, to rock the boat, to enter the unchartered territories, to come out of the comfort zone, to take a bit of a risk, to lose the regret and take the step. Hopefully it will all work out as I have planned. Watch this space for more. More details will come up soon.

And when that happens, when my weekdays will be filled with joy and satisfaction, then I will probably not feel so guilty about unwinding on a holiday.



Acute Guilt Syndrome

It happens to me very often me. It happens to me almost every time, unfailingly. It grips me tightly and its tentacles suffocate me sometimes. I wonder if it happens to me and only me or if it is a constant companion of others like me also. I seem to be having this acute guilt syndrome.  I feel guilty for things normal people don’t care two hoots about. I feel guilty about feeling pleasure and being happy. I don’t know how this whole thing started. But little moments of pleasure always come with accompanying bouts of guilt.

I feel guilty about enjoying a piece of cake. I feel like I am cheating somehow on my self-imposed diet vow.

I feel guilty about missing my workout.

I feel guilty about eating rice
P.S. I love rice, but I feel it will make me fat almost immediately.

I feel guilty about being vain, about spending some insane amount on a cosmetic product. My mind immediately goes into a calculation mode and calculates how that much money could easily have been some poor family’s food budget for a week. Last week, I felt like pampering myself and thought that I deserved a hair spa. Now, I work hard and I am sincere and I earn my own money. So if I decide to spend some not-so-small amount on pampering myself once in a long while, its rational right? It doesn’t harm right? After all, I am not that vain. I spend judiciously. I think wisely. I prioritize. The hair spa should have given me a high. And high, it did. But almost next moment, I felt a pang of guilt. I immediately thought that I could have bought a dozen poor kids a nice meal with that money. Wouldn’t that have been a better thing to do with money? Such thoughts leave me high and dry. Is it really bad to spend money on vain things? Why does this always happen with me?

Then I also feel guilty sometimes about doing hardly anything for a social cause, thinking beyond self and family. Sometimes I wonder am I really shallow? Am I really indifferent to pains and poverty around me? Isn’t it everyone’s moral obligation to do something for the society? To give back to the society in someway? To have a higher cause? But, then immediately on the other hand, i realize that unless it comes from within its useless. If I don’t enjoy what I am doing, it wont take me too long.

Okay moving on, another example.

I feel guilty about not reading newspapers daily. Ya, I am silly that way. Now this may be due to the mental conditioning. Our teachers in school imbibed this habit of reading papers every day. So this guilt finds its roots in that school time habit.

I feel guilty about not finding enough time to read. Read enough. As much as I would like to.

I feel guilty about having that occasional scoop of ice cream on a whim. Ya, ya that same calorie-calculation mode in my brain gets activated. And I am not even fat really. Sigh

I feel guilty about not spending enough time with parents, due to work, and gym and many other commitments. I feel i am failing my responsibilities as a daughter.

I feel guilty about sleeping in the afternoon on weekends. I think how many pending things I could have ticked off my never ending to-do list if I wouldn’t have slept.  Now tell me, is this abnormal? Who doesn’t enjoy lazying? Who doesn’t enjoy a good afternoon siesta?

So you get a drift of what I am trying to say right? I feel guilty about almost everything that brings pleasure. Be it those two pieces of chocolate that give me a high; be it an occasional expensive thing I buy myself, be it things like lazying and sleeping. Not wholly, but this feeling is somewhat similar to survivor’s guilt. I feel guilty about enjoying too much, because I quickly think that some other less fortunate people are living in misery.

And now to add to my guilt list, there is one more. I feel guilty about not finding enough time to write my blogs. Sigh!

Everything that I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening 😛

Do I need to see a shrink? What you think? Such things happen with you? Do you suppose this is an unusual case?

I feel like I want to take care of everyone and I also feel this terrible guilt if I am unable to. And I have felt this way ever since all this success started.
– Jim Carrey