Start the School Year Without Guilt

Resolve to Start the School Year Without Guilt

Guilt, as defined by Webster’s New World Dictionary is: the fact of doing something wrong or committing an offence. A feeling of self-reproach from believing one has done something wrong.  Ok, so if you in fact have done something wrong, you should feel some guilt. Interesting point here is that the word guilt falls between the words guillotine and Guinea pig – both of these can also serve to keep us in line.

Over the years the emotion of guilt has served the human race well in modifying our behaviors. This is the time of year when many of us have one scary thing in common – we all seem to buy into the idea that we all should be feeling some guilt for some reason or other.  And if you are not feeling any guilt at this time, well then you should feel guilt just because you’re not…

Perhaps you missed the annual family reunion, even though you’ve gone for the past 20 years.   You didn’t get in that fun family camping trip you had built the kids up to and ended up down at city park instead one Sunday afternoon.  Did the garden you planted, end up going to seed and with some rationalization, you thought to yourself,  ‘what the heck you wont’ have to plant it next spring, because the seeds are already falling to the ground.’  And don’t let the goal you had of fitting into that bathing suit you wore back in grade 12 bring down your self esteem…

But even with all this guilt you are feeling of unattained summer goals, there is still that smack of guilt mixed in with the emotion of utter delight, as the kids are now back in school.   Whew!  Yes we survived another summer!!!

This school year has a new feeling for me, as both my girls are heading into new schools.  Josee, my youngest is going into Jr. High, grade 7, and Chloe my oldest is now in Sr. High, grade 10.  Both girls are excited and nervous, which I totally expected and my anxiety comes from, of course, the unknown.  Will there be drugs, how much partying, and the hormones that will bring on the opposite sex, BOYS!  Now I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night and I know there are lots of the above opportunities that will be presented to my girls in these next phases of their lives, but I do trust in their own abilities to make good choices.  So with that enthusiasm, I dropped them off at their new schools yesterday, crossed my fingers and went and bought myself an expensive Starbucks coffee, hold the guilt please.

You see, the Martyr has been around for centuries and I think it is high time we declared an epidemic on this once revered personal characteristic.  Mind you it does give you a great training background for your career as a soap star, and these days as a mother of two teenage girls.

Who ever said you are only a good person if you give so much of yourself that there is nothing left to drag into your shower every morning?  I mean just when you are too tired to think about it.

Here is the challenge as we try to accomplish all the “heading back to school” goals we have set out for ourselves for the next 10 months.  I honestly think most of the population finds that September is more of a new year than January is.  It’s the time we take on new challenges, renew our zest for learning and most importantly, buy new shoes and jeans.

So this year find some balance.  It’s that simple and that hard.  Bottom Line, you will be living YOUR life when you move towards some balance in it.  And by the way, that is balance how you and only You define it.   If you are working towards balance in your life, the fact that you have chosen to do so, will decrease your feeling of guilt in yourself.  Here’s the Balance Secret: there is NO such thing as balance.   If you work inside or outside of your home, excluding sleeping, you spend 2/3rds of your life working, so it’s not balanced to begin with.  The number one thing you can do to increase a feeling balance in your life is to get some control of your schedule (work and home life).  Linda Duxbury from Carlton University has done extensive research in the area of Work/Life Balance and her findings prove those of us who sense some control over when and where we work have more balance in our lives.   When we do, we experience more job satisfaction, less absenteeism, stress leave and mental health days off.  A sense of harmony or peace comes from choosing to do things with your free time that fulfills and nourishes your soul.  But more simply, balance occurs when we start to make most of our decisions based on the values we stand on.  So perhaps you need to start with writing down what really is important to you.  Google the word ‘Values’ and write down about 20 that you hold in high importance.  Then start to base your daily decisions on those values and wha la…  Balance!

This is not Einstein stuff.  Moving towards a balanced life is a continuing process.  It will change as you, your family, the weather and the moon changes.  As you get comfortable getting back to eating more scheduled meals and get back into the norm of the day to day, your boss might throw you a project that you had not expected, you may get transferred, a family member may turn ill.  And off we go on the roller coaster again.  That’s the deal.  That’s Life.

The good news is, it will all change again.  The bad news is, it will all change again.  As one of my favourite posters says: “There is No Finish Line.”

When you think about it, how do we ever have time to feel guilt?  But we seem to find the time.

  • Here is the KEY:
  • Make a list of everything you want to do this year.
  • You must hand write out this list.
  • As you write your weekly to-do lists, add one thing to that list that moves you towards one of your annual goals.
  • Email me your weekly to-do list (this is the accountability part) email: [email protected]
  • Just watch as you start to accomplish more while increasing your energy and motivation and balance and guilt just fall into their respective places.
  • Remember, the key to balanced living is having a sense that you are in control of your life, which comes from living within your values.
  • If you haven’t already done so, order your Guilt Free AccountabilityTM Kit today.

Just keep it all in Perspective, and every once and a while SHIFT!  Get your circulation going.  At least your cheeks will be rosy.

Have a great School/Work Year!

Linda Edgecombe, CSP
Motivational Speaker
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Linda Edgecombe
Canadian Speaker Hall of Fame