Posts Tagged With: guilt

Day 1550: Worrying and Planning

Earlier this week, I spoke to somebody in therapy who believed  worrying was a necessary part of planning.

I replied, without worrying about it, “No, no, no, no. Worrying is never helpful.  Never.”

While I rarely plan to use all-or-nothing statements like that, I do believe that worrying never helps. People often believe that worrying helps motivate planning. Actually, worrying wastes valuable time and energy while you’re planning.  Planning is much more productive and fun without the burden of worrying.

Even though we weren’t planning on it, we had a good discussion about the uselessness of worrying.  At the end of the therapy session, we both said, “No worries.”

Right now, I’m planning

  • to sing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” accompanying myself on a Kalimba and
  • to see a house by the water, which we might make an offer on.

I’ve been planning to write today’s blog post in order to let go of any worrying about all that.

I’m planning on sharing all the photos I took yesterday, without any worrying.

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Are you worrying about what music I’m planning to include here?

If you’re planning on leaving a comment, I’m not worrying about that, either.

I’m always planning to end each post with gratitude to all who helped me create it and to you — of course! — no matter what you’re planning today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 347: TGIF

It’s Friday. Here’s what I’m looking at, for today:

  • For the second day in a row, I have to get into work earlier than usual (which leaves me limited time to blog);
  • I have too much to do today.  I won’t be able to do it all.  There’s no way.

So how am I feeling, in the moment? Rushed. Annoyed. And I’m having anticipatory guilt.

Anticipatory guilt?  What the hell is that?

Well, I’m expecting that guilt will be on my plate today, because

  • I don’t like being annoyed.
  • I will have to prioritize and make decisions about what I do and what I don’t do.
  • I will probably question some of those decisions.
  • Some tasks will remain undone by the end of the day.

So, my dear readers, we’re looking at a Friday that is Fraught with Guilt Potential.

I’ve noticed that, these days, there are catchy names on the internet, for the days of the week. For example, I’m aware of Throwback Thursday.

I wonder if there are catchy names for Friday that involve the potential for guilt?  Somehow, I doubt it. I think most characterizations about Fridays have to do with relief, not guilt.

For example, I’m aware of this one:

Thank God It’s Friday, often abbreviated to TGIF.

Personally, I’m looking at this kind of TGIF:

Try Guilt, It’s Friday

Arrghhhh!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t find guilt a helpful feeling.  Like worry, guilt doesn’t do me any good these days.

So as I’m looking at my own Special of the Day — that offer of “Try Guilt, It’s Friday” — THIS is how I’m going to reply, right now:

Thanks, but no thanks. And, I would like to take this opportunity to change that TGIF to something else. How about these, instead?

Try Groaning, It’s Friday.

Try Griping, It’s Friday.

Try Grinning, It’s Friday.

Try Gratitude, It’s Friday.

Try Growing, It’s Friday.

I’ll probably do all of the above, at some point during today. And that’s fine, because those are all better than guilt.

I don’t know about you, but I feel better now.

What’s missing, before I end this post?  A picture, of course!  Haven’t you been paying attention???

(As I mentioned at the top of my post, I’m starting out this morning annoyed. And when I’m annoyed, I tend to get pissed off at certain things, including my sense that people aren’t paying attention.  So don’t take it personally. It’s not you. It’s me.)

So where was I, before that digression in the parentheses?

Oh, yes.  A picture. Let’s see what I have, on my iPhone ….

Here’s a photo I took yesterday, of something I have in my office:

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It’s a gift I got, around this time last year– an action figure of one of my heroes, Carl Jung. I took that photo, yesterday, because I  thought I might want to use it in today’s post.

I was right!* So let’s end with this one:

Try Goofiness, It’s Friday.

Gotta run!  Thanks for reading, today.

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* I’m a good guesser.  Here’s another guess of mine: I’m not going to be the only one who uses this title for a blog post today.

Categories: humor, inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , | 33 Comments

Day 127: Reasons why somebody hasn’t e-mailed you back yet

Somebody wonderful I know, named Mia, recently said to me, “You know what, Ann?  I’ve realized something. I’m not the only one who doesn’t respond to e-mails.”  And that clicked with something I had been thinking about.

In every relationship involving a back-and-forth communication (which would include every friggin’ relationship), one person is waiting for a response from another person.

In every relationship, at any particular point in time, one person is waiting for a response (and  is perhaps wondering what the wait means) and the other person hasn’t responded yet (and is perhaps feeling guilty about that).

That, ladies and gentlemen, leads us to this:

Reasons Why Somebody Hasn’t E-mailed (or called or texted or otherwise contacted) You Back Yet
by Ann
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  1. They* are waiting until they get enough space in their lives, so they can give you the time you deserve and a response they think is worthwhile.
  2. They responded to you by THINKING what they wanted to say, and then confused that with sending an actual e-mail.
  3. There is some task required or some information they need before they can respond to you effectively.
  4. They have some complicated feelings about you and may be waiting for those to resolve.
  5. They tend to respond more quickly to the people they are worried about, and they are not worried about you.
  6. While they are waiting for the right time to respond, they become overwhelmed by having to juggle too many priorities, and they lose track of things.
  7. They believe you don’t need a response from them.
  8. They took in what you communicated, appreciated it, and moved on.
  9. They don’t think they’re important to you, thus assuming you won’t care whether or not they respond.
  10. You’re not  important enough to them.

If you’re like me (and a lot of other people I know), you might assume the reason is that last one (because that would be your worst fear, people).

Look at all those other possibilities, though! Chances are that the last reason is NOT the most accurate one. (Although it could be.) (Still, probably less often than you think.)

Can you think of other helpful reasons  to include in this list?  Are there some other reasons why YOU might not respond back to somebody in your life?

Thanks to Mia and all the other people in my life who helped me think about this post. And thanks to you, for reading.

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* For you grammar fans out there, I am preferring to use “they” instead of “he or she.”  Feel free to protest that decision; I would be delighted to read what you have to say about that.
Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Day 126: Ridiculous things I’m feeling guilty about

  1. For over a month, I haven’t been reading issues of The New Yorker magazine that download on my Nook every Monday.
  2. I’m not reading enough, in general.
  3. I’m angry at a local organization, which hasn’t fulfilled its promised obligations to me.
  4. I’ve been “too nice”to this local organization, for about a month, and now I’m feeling taken advantage of.
  5. It’s a charitable organization, so I think I shouldn’t be angry at all.
  6. I wrote a very clear e-mail to the organization yesterday, stating my needs and expectations.
  7. My cat has been biting me lately, and I suspect it’s because I haven’t been paying enough attention to him.
  8. I don’t have enough cat toys around for the cat to play with.
  9. I’ve been doing too much at work and need to set better limits there.
  10. I haven’t been responding to patient needs at work quickly enough and (because of my long-time experiences as a patient) I know how bad THAT can feel.
  11. I’m on vacation, so I shouldn’t be thinking about work.
  12. I probably shouldn’t be writing in this blog at 2:42 AM, even though I think this might help me get back to sleep.

Boy, the title I chose for this post was pretty good, wasn’t it? These are pretty ridiculous, when you think about it.

Sometimes I wonder whether guilt has ever done me any good. I can’t think of any instances of that, right now. What’s been your experience?

Thanks for reading, people!

(Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz)

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Day 81: An Appreciation Trip

I have the privilege of doing work that I truly love: being a group therapist.

As usual, in this moment, I am very conscious of language, as I attempt to communicate with others — out there in the blogosphere.

Here are some ways I can describe what I do. I lead groups. I facilitate groups. I do groups. I run groups.

My title? Group leader.  Group facilitator.  Group therapist.

None of this language completely captures what I do, and some of it seems misleading to me — giving me too much power, or otherwise not accurately reflecting my role and my experience in a group.

Digression about Language and Communication

I am focusing on language as I write this because language is sooooo important to me.  I really want to be understood. I really want to communicate, to another person, what is important to me.  I want to do that effectively, recognizing that there are so many reasons and ways that I might be misunderstood. There are so many barriers to people understanding each other.  I experience that every day — in my professional life and in my personal life.

Sometimes I say this when I’m talking about communication:  Each person is so unique — with a  history and a current experience that is so personal, so different from anybody else’s — that it’s amazing that we can understand each other, at all.  It’s like each one of us is our own country, with our own culture, language, and government.  No wonder there are misunderstandings — when two separate countries try to exchange with each other.

Now, I know that may sounds extreme.

And as usual, the opposite is true, too — sometimes when I communicate with others, or witness communication, I experience people understanding and connecting with each other in amazing ways — understanding each other so profoundly and unexpectedly, no matter what their differences. Then,  people can seem so connected,  it’s like we are almost one entity. (Not like The Borg, though.  Heaven forbid.)

Hmmm.  I was planning on writing about something simple, but instead, I seem to be trying to communicate Things Profound (and even Trippy).

End of Digression

When I lead or run or facilitate or do groups, I sometimes (if I’m lucky!) work with somebody else, often called a co-facilitator or co-leader.

For the groups I do on Thursday evenings, I’ve been lucky enough to have a co-facilitator this year.

But I work at a teaching hospital, so people who work there are often there for limited periods of time.   And it looks like my co-facilitator is leaving in a month or two.

Which I feel sad about, because I really enjoy working with her.

Last night, she couldn’t attend the group.

So this morning, I wrote her an e-mail, letting her know that I missed her last night and  that I’ll miss her if she leaves.

But I hesitated before writing it.

Why?

For several reasons:

  • It feels risky to let somebody know that I appreciate them.
  • It feels risky to let somebody know that I am sad, because I’ll miss them.
  • I’m afraid she might have some sort of adverse reaction, like guilt for missing last night’s group.

I recognize those feelings and fears, but my priority is  to let people know when I’m having a positive reaction to them (as I wrote about, here.) So I wrote the e-mail.  The subject for the e-mail was

An appreciation trip, not a guilt trip

And I let her know about how she was missed at group last night, as well as my feelings about the possibility of her leaving.

It felt like the next right thing to do. Or more simply, it felt right.  And as I wrote that e-mail subject, I thought, “That’s my topic for today’s blog.”

Which is now done.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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