Monday, October 31, 2005

Guilt, anyone?

A friend of mine posted a recent blog about ; how busy his life is.; I can certainly relate.

One thing I can’t relate to is that he has a "special needs" child; he’s got cystic fibrosis. To be honest though, I hate the term "special needs." I’ve got four "normal" children and each one of them has special needs unique to them. Those needs just don’t tend to migrate to the medical extremes that my friend’s kid does.
Which, of course, makes me feel guilty when I complain to him about my life.

In spite of my shortcomings with understanding everything that goes on with his youngest son, this bit from his post was telling:

And overall, in spite of the fact that it’s filled to the brim, I’m constantly feeling like I’m not giving enough. I don’t work with Jacob on his therapies enough. I don’t get things done at my job enough. I don’t get to spend time with Jodi enough. I don’t sing or write enough. I don’t go out with the missionaries enough. It’s just not enough.

That’s how I feel, sometimes. I’m complaining a bit here, but I work 40+ hours a week at a job it takes me over an hour to drive to. That’s two hours a day, lost in traffic. I’m a student as well, putting in nine credit hours a week (which translates to 20+ hours a week if you include homework and study). I’m also a private music teacher. I’ve only got two students right now, but that sucks about 3 or four hours a week if you count prep time, as well. I’ve also got a wife and four kids to deal with. Each of them needs my time. Our church recommends “dating” our spouses. My wife and I barely find time (or money) to sit in front of the TV together for a short video, let alone go out on a date every week. Now I’ve got the director of a local community orchestra asking me to come and perform the trumpet solo for the yearly Messiah production. I’m a decent trumpet player and I like supporting the arts in the community.

Somewhere in all of that time I’m supposed to find time to pursue stress-relieving hobbies and self-development, and keep up on the bills that four growing children, and insane gas prices, create. And when any of that falls by the way side, I feel guilty for not doing what I should.

My choices these days seem less about what I want to do, as much as what I want to feel guilty about this week.

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