… and then I went blank

I felt guilty yesterday.

It had been the first time in a while that I had five days off in a row.  I guess in most cases a lot of people would be jumping for joy to have that kind of time off.  But, for me it wasn’t the case.  Not at first.

Last Wednesday I was really looking forward to being off work for a little longer than usual.  I always get Memorial Day off and generally its adds up to a three-day weekend for me.  But now that I only work Monday through Wednesday I was sure I was going to have a nice five days off.

The first few days went fine.  I ended getting the relaxation that I needed after a jam-packed work schedule.  Sadly, I’m still trying to get rid of this cold I inherited weeks ago.  It seems to shift to different locations in my body.  Now I’m congested again and there’s a pain in my left ear.  My hearing is a little muffled on that side now.  Wonderful.

With the weather being beautiful on Saturday I spent the afternoon at La Mauricie National Park hiking and sight-seeing.  The only complaint I have is that there were swarms of these little biting flies everywhere.  It made my excursion a little less enjoyable than I had hoped yet I still managed to kill about four hours there and took some great photos along the way.

Now normally Monday I head back to Vermont.  Monday marks the beginning of my routine and I’ve just grown accustomed to waking up early those mornings and hitting the road.  But, this time I didn’t do that.  I got to sleep in a little.  I got to see my wife yesterday morning which is a change of pace because she’s usually sleeping like everyone else at that early of an hour.  After she left work I started doing laundry.  Then I just sat and zoned out.

I felt lost.  I felt strange just not being on the road; not having left earlier.  There was really anything else that needed to be done around the house nor could I think of anything productive to do.  I started watching Netflix.  Then I switched over to Fallout 4.  I didn’t feel good.  I had this feeling of guilt.  Like I should have been doing something else with my time rather than nothing.  Even the things I normally enjoy for leisure were not enjoyable.  I got depressed.

I did my best to shake the feeling off.  So after a little debating I changed and hopped on the treadmill for a good forty-five minutes.  That seemed to help in the moment, but once I had finished exercising I went right back to feeling useless.  Why?

I struggle with this.  When I feel like I’ve had too much time to do whatever I want and that free time perpetuates I start feeling really guilty.  And it doesn’t necessarily have to be that I’m off.  Sometimes it just happens without warning.  That feeling of guilt from doing nothing is haunting.  I don’t like it.  It’s as if my existence in that moment has no meaning.  Like I’m not contributing to anything good; no cause, no purpose.  It’s like being in some sort of self-inflicted purgatory.

Maybe I’m over thinking this.  Maybe.  At times that’s the case.  But where does this guilt come from?  Why does it make me feel like less of a person?  Why can I not just simply enjoy doing absolutely nothing?  Is this a result of being constantly overstimulated by technology?  Or am I just being too critical of my own existence?



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