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?