On Feeling Guilty

Rainbow Rock n Roll Bride

The rumours are true, I’m obsessed with my work. But I have a dirty little secret… I sometimes feel really guilty about just how very obsessive I am.

Confession time (deep breath). On an almost daily basis I have that overwhelming feeling of guilt that I’m devoting too much time to this blog and not enough to everything – and everyone – else. As painful as it is to admit, I often feel like I’m letting everything else play second fiddle to work. That, by the way, is an awful feeling to have.

I am so incredibly lucky that I have an understanding husband. He supports me and my choices so much and our relationship has never been stronger. But every time I only half listen to what he’s saying because I’m concentrating on something else, every time I have to get back on a plane, every time I have to head up to my computer as soon as dinner is finished… I feel bad.

So how to we banish it? Can we ever let things slide a little but still strive to be the very best at what we do?

Danielle LaPorte once said, “The guilt of following your heart is a weight you can bear if your dream is strong enough. It’s the price of admission to fulfilment. You’re going to feel guilty. Breathe. Keep going.”

I’ve recently come to realise that, although guilt is an inescapable part of running your own business, that sometimes things really can wait. I was actually talking about this with Gala a few weeks ago. She was telling me that she’d taken a whole Sunday off just because and that it was wonderful. “Well that’s very nice”, I thought, “but what would I do? I’d be SO BORED if I wasn’t working…”. And then it hit me. How incredibly depressing is that? Is that what my life has become? Nothing but work, work, work?

I’m not going to lie, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. It’s hard for me to stay away from work, but I’ve been trying. And I’ve quickly realised that it really doesn’t matter if that email stays in my inbox a little while longer, my blog posts aren’t scheduled as far in advance as I might like, or my spreadsheets aren’t in their most perfect order. Perfection is a massive myth… in fact it’s a big fat lie.

Real life, and having a life, is what really matters. Isn’t that the whole reason why we do what we do anyway? Following your dream isn’t easy, we all just need to make sure that the ultimate goal is still worth it.

Supporting Cast

15 comments

  1. Bran

    Well said lady. I have a constant feeling of guilt that I am not being the perfect wife and mother because I’m trying to be the perfect career woman. Balance is key but it’s putting it into practice that’s the hardest part. xx

  2. As I have just stopped editing photos after an almost straight 24 hrs…I get that…I like to be busy, but I also feel that my work isn’t “work” which is why I like to work hard at it :D That being said, I do understand the importance of having a bigger bubble than your work :D

  3. I always feel guilty when I’m working, if I could be spending time with my little boy instead. After all, they’re little for such a short time, and he doesn’t understand. But then, if I didn’t work, would I go bonkers?

  4. I love that age old adage that ‘If your job is your passion, you’ll never work another day in your life’. That couldn’t be further from the truth as for me, that passion and my fiery Aries drive means I am not good at relaxing, always restless and constantly feeling this guilt. I’ve made a Sunday pact with my hubby now, no work, just us, family and friends and putting this in my diary means I am paying equal attention to that day as I am work…..sometimes {gasp} I even leave my phone at home….it was odd to start but we’re enjoying to more and more now.

  5. Yes, I completely identify. And when we’re ill? Ha… even worse. I have had severe earache, headache, throatache and sinusache for the past 3 days, and I have spent every single one of those days glued to my screen, dosed up on Lemsip/paracetamol and ibuprofen. I even did an engagement shoot up on top of a mountain on Sunday. Our work is our life, and because we enjoy it so much it doesn’t feel like work most of the time, but we have to make time for relaxation too.

  6. Great post and definitely a reminder of balancing things up, although I think work / life balance doesn’t exist when you run your own business! A lot of the time my work doesn’t feel like ‘work’ (which is fab) but that’s exactly why I need to remind myself not to get sucked in and start missing out on seeing friends and family. I try and have at least a Friday night and good part of Sunday ‘off’. I’m lucky my husband is understanding as well bless him!

  7. Wow! So well said! I LOVE my job and I do it a lot! it feels so good to work that sometimes in comparison everything else FEELS like it’s going to be boring but when I actually take the time to take a day off I always have such a lovely time, no matter what I’m doing, and I always feel so inspired and more creative for stepping away. X

  8. It is a privilege to do a job that you enjoy, love even. I am grateful to have that, as are you Kat, and many of your readers. But I think it is so important to remember the reasons why we have to work sometimes. To be able to afford the basics of a good, comfortable life, or to take a nice holiday with the one you love – but there’s the thing. Are we giving up precious time we have with them now, to work towards a future allocation of ‘us time’? My other half is amazingly supportive of my work but he does get neglected, and we both know it. So I do let things slide sometimes, that probably mean the difference between success and getting by, because cuddling up with him on the sofa is just more precious. And then I feel guilty for neglecting my work – but not as guilty as if I’d neglected him.

  9. I had no choice these past few weeks, I had to let work go, I had a family emergency and in the back of mind I was thinking, ‘oh my god, WORK’ but guess what, I had no hate mail about late responses and none of my followers dropped off social media, it WAS ok, just like everyone kept telling me. Soon it will be the school holidays and I will be feeling guilty a lot but I will try and remember this, one life, literally one!

  10. I have two jobs. For the last five years I’ve been training to be a Paramedic. And then, three years ago, I started up my little photography business. For the last three years I have worked pretty much constantly – the workload has slowly been growing, along with my guilty feelings…

    Your post really resonated with me, especially when you mentioned Gareth. My hubby is the one I mostly feel guilty around because I know full well that I spend more time on my little business than I probably do talking to him. I spend more time at my computer in my office than I do being in partnership with him – the cooking, cleaning and other chores have definitely wound up on his shoulders more and more often lately.

    Thankfully, there is an end in sight. I’ve finally qualified as a Paramedic – no more essays to write!! – which means I can now seriously start thinking about going part-time giving me not more time to work on the business but a bit of breathing room to do the boring household chores and, every now and then, have a day off. And I can’t wait.

    Thank you for writing this Kat. It makes me realise that it’s not just me and that it’s okay. Phew!

  11. I constantly feel guilty, balancing the 2 businesses with a husband and 3 children and a dog – is never easy. My youngest starts school in September and I feel I’ve wasted nearly 5 years not spending enough time with her as I’m always juggling work. Just 5 more minutes on the computer, not now Lena I’ll be with you in a minute.

    In short my life is one big GUILT moment. I try hard to schedule time for girly days or boys days with my oldest two. How sad is that though – scheduling time with them. But on the up side i take them to school/playschool, attend all school functions they are in so I hope they grow up to respect the fact I was a working Mum but I was around for them as well.

    Oh and I couldn’t do it without my wonderful supportive husband.

Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *