I hear the term “guilty pleasure” a lot and I’ve never really understood it very well, even though I do use it myself sometimes. I always wondered, “well why is it a GUILTY pleasure if it makes me happy?” And so I just refuse to feel guilty about things I enjoy.
But it isn’t just those things like mediocre television or delicious chocolate bars that cause guilt. A lot of things do. And in the world of social media there’s a lot of judging that can contribute to that. I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of done with feeling guilty about things just because society says so. How about you?
Here are 10 things that I refuse to feel guilty about:
(In no particular order). See if there are any you can kick to the curb as well.
Not making my bed every day.
Seriously. At least half of the productivity articles and blog posts I’ve ever read mention that. Something like, if you make your bed first thing you’ve already accomplished something! It’s a catalyst to more accomplishments! Listen. I have had super productive days and I’ve had shockingly last days. The state of my bed has never been a factor.
Do you want to know the absolute truth? I rarely make my bed. I make it when I’m folding laundry because that’s where I do that chore. I’ll make it when we’re having company who may come upstairs to use the bathroom and might peek in the bedroom. And I might even make it just because I feel like it.
Most of the time though, it’s unmade. I’m just getting back in later and I’m more productive if I skip the bed-making to go and actually DO something else.
I’ve talked about having anxiety for years. I was first introduced to it when I was in high school. I didn’t even know what it was and neither did any of the doctors I saw. It was related to being overwhelmed by too many Advanced high school courses (specifically Math and Chemistry) that I was not cut out for. When summer rolled around it disappeared.
Then it came back when I was 24 and it hasn’t left my side for long ever since. It used to be something I was so ashamed of. I felt like there was something incredibly wrong with me for internally freaking out over nothing. I’d have a panic attack about going to work or taking a bus or going to the grocery store.
I buried it for a long time, only discussing it with people I trusted like George or my sister Amanda. And then I got tired of the effort that requires and I started talking about it. The best thing about being open and vulnerable about anxiety is that I quickly learned there are A LOT of people with varying levels of anxiety disorders. I realized I was not alone.
Once I started feeling a little less like some weird anomaly (at least in this case, haha) I kicked my guilt to the curb. It’s not my fault that I have anxiety and panic attacks anymore than it’s someone’s fault for having epilepsy. It’s just part of me. No guilt required.
Hating the sounds of noisy eating.
The short version: I can’t. I just can’t. The sound of someone slurping and smacking and loudly chewing their food makes me feel borderline violent. Before I started my new job where I work from home I worked in a call center environment. There was a guy that I didn’t know who was often scheduled for lunch at the same time as me. We’d both end up in the lunchroom together and even with people talking and the TV on at a moderate volume, I could hear him. He was THAT loud.
Eventually I just couldn’t take it anymore. I started getting my lunch and bringing it back to my desk to eat while I read a book or poked around online. I felt strangely bad about it, but I don’t know why. Because to be perfectly honest, making THAT MUCH NOISE while eating is gross.
If you have a cold and need to breathe through your mouth I will deal with it. But if you’re just loud because no one taught you to close your mouth while you chew I’m going to react. If I don’t know you I will leave for my own sanity. If I do know you I’m going to ask you if you always eat that loud in the hopes that you’ll catch my drift. And if you are part of my family I’m going to tell you to knock it off.
Sorry, not sorry.
Staying up too late.
I’ve written about this before, but I tend to stay up too late night after night. I can’t seem to change it. I frequently have the very best of intentions. I will wake up feeling tired as I face the work day, and I’ll think, “wow I should really go to bed earlier tonight!” Then it’s midnight and I’m rushing to the bathroom to take out my contact lenses and wondering what’s wrong with me.
But it’s how I’m wired. I am a night owl. Even if I start off tired, I almost always wake up around 8 pm and then I want to do things. I’m done apologizing for it. I’ve always been like this and I’m okay with it. Some people get up at 5 am for “me time” right? Well I get my “me time” at night instead. This night owl is not crawling into bed early unless I’m sick.
Sleeping in whenever I can.
This obviously relates directly to the previous point. Obviously, because I am up later at night I am not exactly keen on hopping out of bed with the rising of the birds. I usually get to bed around midnight or so during the week. On weekends I’m often up until 1 or 2 am. That means that I’m sleeping in when I get the chance.
During the week when there’s school, I get up by about 7:30 or so to get Breanna ready to go. If there’s no school I will stay in bed until about half an hour before I start work (one of many perks of working from home!).
On weekends I never set my alarm earlier than 9 or 9:30 am unless I have to go somewhere. Even when the alarm rings I tend to snooze and stay in bed for another half hour after that. Granted, in the summer months I do like to try to get up by 9 at the latest to get the most out of my favourite season.
But even though I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to trying to become a morning lark the odds of me being up at the crack of dawn for fun are very, very low.
Giving up running.
If you’ve known me for awhile, I was once pretty hooked on running. I would go out about three times a week, often training for a local race. Even if it wasn’t training season though I would still get out there. It was even one of the few things I would willingly get up early(ish) to do. Not only was it good physical exercise (and helped me with my anxiety too), it was my therapy. Had a really craptacular day at work? Go for a run! There was nothing quite like sticking my earphones in and taking off for a nice 5-10K run.
And then I started to lose interest. It got to a point where I wasn’t saying “well, I feel like going for a run, see you!” It began to feel like a chore, like just one more thing I had to do, or was supposed to do. Sometimes once I got going I enjoyed it again, but fast forward a few days later and I was practically forcing myself out the door again.
I loved it so much that I hated to dislike it so strongly so I just stopped. I sold the treadmill that was taking up way too much space in my bedroom. My running clothes are nicely folded and put away. My Saucony running shoes are collecting a layer of dust. And I’m okay with that. I don’t feel guilty just because something I enjoyed no longer brings me joy.
I haven’t written it off, so if I ever look outside on a nice sunny day and feel like lacing up my shoes, I’m open to trying running again. If I don’t ever run again, well i enjoyed several years of it and have the medals and race t-shirts to prove it.
My random, obsessive, and occasionally nerdy interests.
It’s possible that I may have, um, a “few” obsessions that are odd, random, and sometimes nerdy. I won’t apologize for them. I love the zombie culture so much that I have a whole zombie blog about it. I watched one of the Star Trek films with George once and actually paused it to explain why people don’t “smash up against the back wall and die when they go to warp” when he rhetorically asked the question. (I also own the Star Trek encyclopedia and Technical Manual.) I get giddy over Star Wars and Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. I have the entire Britney Spears discography. Despite giving up on running for myself (for now), I still watch running videos like those on the Ginger Runner YouTube channel and obsessively hit refresh on Twitter during the Barkely Marathons weekend.
My interests are random and occasionally weird, and not always related to each other. But they’re mine and I will not let myself feel guilt or shame.
Being addicted to reading.
Hi, I’m Sherry, and I’m a reading addict. I have been for as long as I’ve known how to read. I was always the kid pulling out a paperback from my bag when there was downtime in class. I was the one who would be reading a for-fun fiction novel alongside whatever the required reading was for English class. And I would curl up in my living room reading on the weekend or in the evening.
Not a lot has changed. If it’s quiet at work I’m probably reading a chapter in whatever book is currently on the go. Whenever I leave the house I have my ereader in my purse just in case I have three minutes of free time where I can read a bit. I have so many books coming into the Overdrive app from the library that I occasionally wonder if I can go on short term leave from my job so I can try to catch up.
Reading is my most long-term, enduring hobby. It’s an escape, it’s entertainment, it’s something that always brings me joy. Someone once told me reading is a waste of time. Not for me it isn’t! I will never apologize for loving to crack open a book, whether it’s a physical copy or a digital version. I can not live without books.
Speaking of reading, the vast majority of my books are digital. This is not a new argument of mine. I’ve talked about this before. I don’t really care if your preference is reading a physical copy of a book or reading an ebook, reading is reading is reading. For me though, it’s the easiest way for me to ACTUALLY read. In this blog post I listed several reasons why that is my primary book reading method. However, the biggest reason of all is my eyes.
The older my eyes get, the more I find it difficult to read the print in most books. I can manage of course, but early in the morning my eyes refuse to focus well. Late in the evening when I want to crawl into bed with a book and some tea it’s even worse. But reading something digitally means I can adjust the font size to what my eyes need.
If the people who look down on ebooks as somehow now “real” reading want to give it up altogether when their eyes start to give out or use a magnifying glass, have at it. Meanwhile, I’m still reading the same damn books as anyone else, and it’s working for me. So no guilt!
Enjoying slow, lazy days.
Somehow it’s become a badge of honour to tell people how busy you are and how tired you are. I used to do that too. “Oh wow, I am just EXHAUSTED because I haven’t stopped running around for three weeks straight.”
Why do we do that? Why is it admirable to lock yourself into so many commitments you practically need to schedule in time to breathe? Imagine doing that. “Okay, I can just sit and breathe on Wednesday from 7:30 pm to 7:39 pm…”
Obviously there are things we have to get done, but I don’t personally need to fill every waking second with tasks and productivity. I’m actually a big fan of enjoying completely unproductive time, thank you very much.
That’s the time you get to laugh, relax, read (see above!), daydream, and replenish.
Stop being so busy!
What about you? Do you refuse to feel guilty for things that used to bother you?
What things do you feel guilty about? Can you choose to let go of them? What guilt have you already kicked to the curb?
Leave me a comment and let me know!