Guilty? Not guilty!


My name is Liza and my days are peppered with guilt.

Do tell me: is this is only me, or if you might feel the same way? Let’s hear it in the comments box below.

I feel guilty if I want to sleep later in the morning. I feel guilty if I want to sit longer with my cup of tea and stare into the garden. I feel guilty if I eat out when I have a full fridge. I feel guilty if I want to take a nap. I feel guilty if I want to watch a movie in the middle of the afternoon.  I feel guilty if I want to do nothing but read all day. You get the drift.

Is this a generational thing? Or, is this from my family where you had to be productive to be accepted and respected.

Here’s the latest.  I’m officially “retired” now. I feel guilty being retired (even though I worked all my life).  And: as a retired person, am I “entitled” to a vacation, even though apparently my whole life is a vacation now?

(Never mind that I tutor ESL from my home, help young people with their college entrance exams, write Camp Liza and guest blog for Sixty and Me.)

I turn to my animals for guidance. My cats hunt if they see something, but otherwise, their life is about enjoying the morning breeze, napping on the verandah, nibbling some kibble, sipping some water, watching the birds, enjoying a rainstorm blowing in. My dog has an early morning nap, a late morning nap, a noon nap, an afternoon nap, pre dinner nap, after dinner nap, and a nap before going to bed. Okay, maybe animals aren’t the best example. But still, pure pleasure filled enjoyment of life.

Living with guilt is exhausting!  This has got to stop. To that end, I created a meme.

Okay.  I’m off to kick my guilt habit. I’ll let you know how it goes.

xo Liza

PS  Read my guest post over at Sixty & Me on retirement as a time of luxurious gifts.

PPS Erase the expression, “guilty pleasure” from your vocabulary. The word pleasure says it all.

Hello my lovelies! Do you suffer from guilt? If yes, tell us what. If no, give us super reasons to banish guilt, or tell us why you don’t suffer from it. We’re here to learn. If you enjoy being part of a witty, wise, fun loving community of stylish women around the world, enter your email in the box above so you won’t miss a thing.

15 thoughts on “Guilty? Not guilty!

  1. Is actually YOU feeling guilty or are you hearing someone telling you you should feel Guilty as in:
    Voice: What are you doing?
    You: Nothing …
    Voice: Well get up and do something.
    You: Don’t feel like it.
    Voice: Lazy, good for nothing ….*^&%*

  2. I loved your blog. You are right, why do we need to feel guilty. We definitely need to let go of the negative voices. Pleasure – yes. Guilty pleasure- Heck no!

  3. I think if you grew up in a family and in a part of the country in which you were judged and valued by your work ethic it is difficult not to feel guilty if you are not constantly doing. However, I find I am, more and more since I retired five years ago, finding it easier to be like my aunt, not my mother. My mother thought she, and therefore we, had to be doing something “worthwhile” all the time. We lived on a farm and worked hard even as children. My aunt, on the other hand, enjoyed sewing, reading and cooking and she spent a lot more time on those endeavors and let other things like cleaning house and washing dishes go. We were always aghast at the condition of her home, but I think she had a much more enjoyable life.

    1. Hi Teddee. Thanks for writing. It’s great that you can see your mother and your aunt in perspective and apply it to your own life. Carry on!

  4. It isn’t just you. Not at all. I am recently retired too and still haven’t gotten used to more time on my hands. I volunteer, I have grandchildren, I read, I cook for my husband and I care for a house and garden, but how I structure each day’s hours often makes me feel guilty. Friends tell me that I will relax into retirement, but I haven’t yet. I now watch too much tv news and get stressed – – but I can’t look away!

    1. Hi Colleen. I appreciated reading about your perception of your life. You sound so busy. Hopefully you will acquire the relaxed attitude we all need to have at this time in our lives. It’s hard to slow down after a lifetime of obligations. I too can’t turn away from the news… Thanks for writing! Carry on!

  5. Having been retired just 14 months now, I am using BALANCE as my watch-word every day. I could just sit at my computer doing admirable things for many hours, but I know that’s not good for me physically or any other way.
    So I balance my time with many different activities. Watching a movie in the middle of the day can be my reward for cleaning a bathroom or working out for a session. It’s all about Balance and no guilt.

  6. thank you for writing this post, Liza. I just retired at 68 and have been struggling with this issue. Knowing I am not alone is so comforting.I have to convince myself it is ok to take a nap even when I’m totally exhausted. I think my brain has been damaged by work ethic and I have to heal it.

    1. Hi Mary! I feel your pain, I mean, guilt! The work ethic is a part of our DNA. I have some successful role models in retirement from whom I’m trying to learn. We have “earned” the right and delight of using our time for pleasure! Carry on and thanks for writing!

  7. Yes Guilt/Guilty has long been in my DNA! I am working on releasing this by conversations with close supportive friends, doing the work in a “Course In Miracles” and trying to listen to “the small still voice within” that tells me how to show love to myself and not feel guilty.

    1. Hi Grace! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! How fab that you are conscious of this and working on “releasing.” Loving ourselves is the hardest and the easiest thing to do. Carry on.

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