Nothing Gold

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. -Robert Frost

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Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

I am a white American middle class suburban housewife trying desperately to tell herself that that is not who she is. One time I was a glowing young ruffian. Oh my God it was a million years ago.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

On Guilt

Is it just me or is any one else plauged with a general vague sense of guilt a lot of the time? Yesterday, Levi was playing with rice outside and a lot of it ended up on the grass. I've heard that rice can kill birds and I felt vaugely guilty about it, but didn't do anything. When the garbage is full I look at it and feel guilty. How can such a small family produce so much trash? We recycle cans and bottles, but still throw away a lot of stuff (much of which is junk mail). I'll notice a light on downstairs, and feel bad about it, but be too lazy to go down there to turn it off. When I really want a long shower, I feel bad about it, but take one anyway. When I see a homeless person sleeping in a doorway, I feel bad, but don't know what to do. When a car is pulled over on the freeway, I want to stop and help but I am usually past by the time I realize it. Then I feel bad for not stopping. Motherhood has only compounded this. Levi is watching Elmo right now and I feel bad for not playing with him (even though he doesn't want to play). I feel bad for not brushing him regularly (see post on The Life of Levi). I feel bad for nursing him too much. I feel guilty that he does not have a very good nap schedule.
I'm just wondering if other people feel this way. Am I crazy, or do I have very low self-esteem? I don't really think so. By the way, this sounds more negative than the reality. I'm usually a fairly happy person.

2 Comments:

Blogger Deanna said...

Oh man, it's SO not just you... I have a firm belief that motherhood breeds paranoia and guilt - there's always something that could be done differently or better. And being a wise consumer these days is an almost crippling task -- who can keep up with the ethical and environmental issues involved in buying a pound of coffee?? And trying to be a responsible consumer on a budget is ridiculous - as Bono's responsible clothing line clearly demonstrates. Maybe we should just embrace the guilt... I had a friend who used to say being Cathloic was easy -- you could do anything you wanted as long as you felt guitly about it afterwards. Hmm...

4:28 AM  
Blogger aBhantiarna Solas said...

Ohhhh, Maggie, there's a whole industry that has sprung up and is preying on just those feelings of guilt and inadequacy. In fact, they (the industry) is growing those feelings so that you will buy into more stuff. I read a book called The Mommy Myth last summer ... some of it was too much feminista yuch, but some of it was about what you're talking about. You just have to do what you can, and let go of the rest. Let it go and smile your great big Maggie smile.

11:20 AM  

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