No Regrets… Much…

I have a hard time finding ‘work/life balance’, because I work from home and I love my work.  Sometimes I’m more stressed when I don’t work than when I work all day and half the night.

But I do try to allow myself some guilt-free indulgences every now and then.  The indulgences are easy.  The ‘guilt-free’ part?  Um… not so much.

I’ve read a lot of motivational books, so when I’m enjoying a treat or taking a break and I catch myself feeling guilty, my inner motivational speaker pipes up:  “Do you really think you’re going to be lying on your deathbed thinking, ‘Gee, I really wish I’d eaten broccoli instead of that ice cream thirty years ago’ or ‘Dang, I wish I’d worked longer hours’?”

According to the books, that’s supposed to work; but my twisted mind just can’t resist rhetorical questions like that.

I immediately imagine myself weighing five hundred pounds and dying in agony from diabetes-induced gangrene in my extremities, heartily wishing I’d chosen the broccoli instead.  Or being a hungry 92-year-old huddled in a cardboard box in the rain, cursing myself for not working harder while I still had some earning capacity.  A vivid imagination isn’t always a good thing.

I try to comfort myself with the knowledge that I love writing and I can continue to work for the rest of my life if I need to (as long as I don’t get dementia, and that’s a whole ’nother nightmare).  But the way book sales are plummeting these days, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be able to make a living as an author even next year, never mind in a few decades.

That’s when I start to envy people who coast through life doing whatever they damn well please without worrying about the consequences.  They just assume that somebody will take care of them when it all blows up, and somebody usually does.

But not always.  And since I’m capable of foreseeing catastrophes caused by goofing off for half a day once a week, I can only imagine how wild-eyed I’d be if I completely dropped the ball and took a whole weekend-

Hang on.

I can’t actually imagine it.  Because if I could cause a personal apocalypse just by taking a few hours off or eating a box of leftover Halloween candy (not that I’d actually do that… okay; yes, I would), how could the outcome get any worse?


’Scuse me, gotta run — there’s a junk-food-and-binge-reading session calling my name!

Does anybody else get the guilts from goofing off?

Book 14 update:  It was a great writing week!  I hit Chapter 30 and I’m working on the last few details to wrap up the plot.  I’m on a roll!  (And I’m not goofing off.  Just sayin’.)  😉

22 thoughts on “No Regrets… Much…

  1. After raising three girls, paying for three college educations and three weddings, I knew I would always be working in some capacity or another. I feel blessed that before I “retired” I loved my job, the people I worked with,etc…still keep in touch with my former boss and employees, but all of that said knowing I would always have to “work”, I decided that the next phase would be doing something that I could control and had a passion for, thus my art…

    You have a passion and you are good at it…I believe you will always find a way to utilize your gift…it may change in methodology of delivery, but there has always been and always will be a market for these types of gifts such as writing or art…the market may look different and change in time, but our types go with the flow and adjust as needed.


    • Thanks for the encouragement, Kirt – you are wise indeed! And I’m glad to hear you’re able to do something you love for a living, too.

      “Go with the flow and adjust as needed” – I might have to hang that on my wall. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Diane I definitely am constantly trying to find a work life balance and I’m supposedly just doing this writing thing for fun. Guilt seems programmed into our brains. I do think breaks are necessary for healthy minds and bodies and really how much broccoli can one really eat? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel guilty about not getting stuff done, but fortunately I overcome it pretty easily most of the time 🙂

    I do have those forays into an imagined future with regard to my eating habits, though. It’s what keeps me trying to eat better and move more. But I also try to really enjoy a treat if I have one. No little voice in the back of my head saying I really shouldn’t have it; just full enjoyment and then back on the straight and narrow.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think we are programmed as I still feel guilty if I don’t accomplish something every day and I’m ‘old’ and retired. Pleasure and rest are their own rewards and a rare quantity these days. The ego mind is a powerful thing that unfortunately we can’t surgically remove! Wonderful that you love your work . So many spend a lifetime toiling away at something they hate out of necessity. You are also excellent at what you do. How wonderful to have found your calling….and….if I wasn’t sitting on my ass right now I wouldn’t have gotten to have a wee visit with you xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Feel bad about goofing off? Nope. Not even the faintest little twinge? Nope. I still get stuff done, but when I need to park it, it gets parked, and for as long as necessary. And I determine what’s necessary.

    I have my wife’s permission to say so. Just sayin’…

    And who knows? In another thirty or forty years, I might even get to retire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, lucky you don’t have to answer to anybody! 😉

      See, the thing is, I don’t even want to retire from writing – I love doing it! If only I could be assured that I’d be able to continue making a living from it, I’d be thrilled. But the whole “making a living” thing (producing/packaging/marketing) is what eats up the time and makes me feel guilty (and anxious) when I shirk it. Maybe I need a brain transplant… or another box of Halloween candy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Box of Halloween candy? Box? As in CARTON? Wow, that’s, er, ambitious! 🙂

        My own, uh, over-indulgences merely tend toward the, um, giant economy size bags. But cartons? Sista, I like your style! Yep, I’m still thinking ambitious is the right term. Followed by sugar coma. Ah, well, quiet relaxation is where one finds it, yes? Emergency room hassles notwithstanding, of course.

        Congratulations on your progress with BOOK FREAKING FOURTEEN!! Gad, that’s marvelous! Me? Well…it’s like this, see? I went to another one of those two-day writing seminars a couple of weeks ago. Now I have a bunch of editing to do. Again. Happens every time I go to one of those things. You’d think I’d learn, huh?

        Liked by 1 person

        • LOL! Hey, you are learning (it’s just kinda annoying, is all). The way I see it, anything that kicks off another round of edits is a good thing. When I stopped running across articles/classes that made me think, “Dang, I need to do that”, that’s when my first books were finally ready for publication. 🙂

          And yes, I was talking about a carton of goodies. As in, 90 pieces. I blame Hubby. I don’t buy that stuff, so I figured I was safe. Ha. In he walks with a giant box of Reese’s peanut butter cups and Oh Henrys. My faves! But it takes me a long time to eat the whole box – I usually manage to limit myself to 4 a day, and a “binge” would be 6 or 8. That’s enough to put me into sugar (read “guilt”) shock.

          The sad part is that I’m perfectly capable of eating the whole damn box with no adverse consequences whatsoever, except for the queasy knowledge that I’d have consumed three days’ worth of calories in a single sitting. A cast-iron stomach can be both a blessing and a curse… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  6. No.

    I’ve worked hard all my life and as I approach retirement I often think, “Done.” Done with working too hard. Done staying up all night for a project and damn, wish I’d spent more time white water rafting when my body was young enough to do it.

    Got to go, time for my morning break. Back in an hour or two…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yeah, you don’t see, “Gee, I wish I had spent more time at the office” on a tombstone. I am getting to the point in my life that I feel less and less guilty about taking time for myself and doing very little of consequence. I am usually doing SOMETHING, but I don’t feel the need to be really productive any more. Unless I am really motivated for something specific. Maybe I can just go live in a tent with a pile of books and my guitar and live off the fat of the land. My ideal retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad to see someone else in the work/balance guilt trip… I too love my work, work from home and am finding it harder to make a living at it…..(bookkeeping no less). I fully expect to be an old lady huddled in a cardboard box….. which I am going to place on Parliament Hill and pan handle….. just saying….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookkeeping?!? Good Lord, I thought at least bookkeepers would always be able to make a living. Maybe you need to become a spy instead. 😉

      Excellent plan about Parliament Hill – I’ll join you there with my cardboard box. (But only in summer. I’m thinking the Parliament buildings in Victoria would be a better option for winter.)


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