Sunday, July 26, 2015

When Should We Feel Guilty?

I wrote yesterday about making rain. If you don't remember, I was the grandmother that planned a pretend outdoor theater party in my daughter and son-in-law's backyard then woke up the morning of to find rain, rain, rain. I talked to my daughter and we cancelled the party with no further ado. Period.

We went camping several years ago,
 it did not rain and my grandchildren
were not disappointed. It was wonderful.
Then, as any grandmother will tell you, the guilt began to seep in and I began to question things that I could not change. After all, who wants to disappoint their grandchildren? Not me that is for sure.

Here is where it gets tricky. Guilt should be all about what we can change. Wouldn't you agree? We can't change the past so feeling guilty is useless. We can't change the weather so feeling guilty about something that is caused by the rain is useless. Even feeling guilty about not being perfect is useless.

We honestly are in control of so few things in our lives. If we are smart we have passed the mantel to our children as we age and they control a lot of the social things we had taken care of when we were younger. We do not have a say in the behavior of our grandchildren or children. We are not in control and everyone is happier for us accepting that reality.

The new mantra in my family dynamic has to be "I am not in control!" Did I say that was easy? No, of course not. I still hear myself chiming in when grandchildren stand on their heads at the dinner table or interrupt a conversation even though their parents are way ahead of me. Darn.

So, "I am not in control!" is something I repeat to myself often. Everyone is happier for it. When I forget, I can only ask some indulgence from everyone. After all, one does not recover from a lifetime of bossing people around overnight. But when I do forget, I think a little guilt is in order. I can control my behavior and when I don't, I need to get a little nudge from my conscience. It is a good thing. Hard but good.

So there you have it. Guilt is not all bad. It just needs to be kept in its place.

Have a wonderful day.



  1. Yep, I'm a control freak, but I know when to throw up my hands and say 'no can do.' ;)

    1. Well, see I don't understand "no can do" so I do it anyway and them I am in deep trouble. Darn.

  2. Good idea. Hard to do. Very hard. Very.

    1. You know what I mean Linda. We are very "in charge" of the parade but in my case, the parade does not follow me anymore. :)


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