Irreverent Mama

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I didn't do it. My success last year notwithstanding, I did not complete NaNoWriMo. No, that is only part of the truth: the bare fact is that I did not write ONE SINGLE WORD toward it. Really, I bailed even before I'd begun.

Do I feel guilty? Embarrassed? Nope.

I am grateful to my mother, for advice she gave me back when I was fifteen. Advice that was intended as guidance to my sexual future, but which has proven applicable in every venture: "When you do something, make sure it's your decision. Don't do anything because someone else has pressured you to do it. And when you do decide to do something, ENJOY IT. Don't waste time regretting it." Which advice I have extended to include, "If you make a bad decision, don't bemoan it - learn from it."

Sensible woman, my mother.

This advice has helped me avoid 90% of the guilt so many women seem to revel in piling on themselves. I don't know about men. Maybe they battle guilt, too, but I can only speak to the women I know, see, and read. What is it with women and guilt? Yeesh.

Sometimes I feel like a bit of a freak, I experience so little guilt. I have some. Most is warranted; some is not. That which is warranted, I do what is necessary to deal with it: I make sincere apologies, I make retribution, I seek forgiveness. Being guilt-free does NOT mean denying/avoiding all consequences of poor decisions and plain old bad behaviour. Guilt, however, doesn't weigh me down, it doesn't haunt my soul, it doesn't often cloud my relationships and muddy my decisions.

Thanks, mum!