Guilt By Association…

Written by mitch on. Posted in Uncategorized

I feel guilty… almost, like I was cheating on a friend. I should have checked in Friday night or, certainly, some time on Saturday: Maybe, even this morning. But, I definitely feel like I should have checked in…

What does that feel like? Well, it kind of feels like ‘playing hookie.’ (Does anyone still call it that? Has that expression been lost somehow, like so many of the other expressions I grew up with: A victim of “generational context?”). Whatever it is: it feels like you really should be somewhere else, doing something else… that you’re not!

Now, the entire weekend has gotten away from me and I feel as if I’ve been untrue somehow. Trying to rationalize it all, I know I shouldn’t feel this way. After all, it’s not like I spent the weekend in bed or sprawled out on the couch. I didn’t! I swear it!

In fact, I didn’t even get to watch the whole Super Bowl: just the first Quarter – which I watched while visiting my Mother; and, then the last two Quarters and the end of the game, at home. I was driving home while the Second Quarter – Perhaps, the best Quarter, if you are a Saints fan – was being played.

To some degree, at least: that’s the heart of the problem! I’m always running somewhere to do something: something, it seems, I absolutely must do – and, generally, for someone else and not me!

Do I have to tell you how frustrating that can be? I didn’t think so! Especially, when you start off exhausted most Friday nights. That exhaustion is almost always the result of a fifty-five or sixty hour work week: and, that’s just the hours spent at work Monday through Friday. It doesn’t count all the ‘stuff’ you have to… Or, at least, I have to do on the weekends in order to stay current. I think that’s what makes it so hard. You come home completely “torched” Friday after work and then you find yourself desperately trying to cram five quarts of everything into a one gallon container for the rest of the weekend.

The cold hard truth is; it won’t fit… At least, not without making a mess!

So, it was off to the shop Saturday morning for at least a couple of ‘quiet’ hours: productive hours. Home for some errands… Swimming at the “Y” for me!

Did I mention that I started swimming. I wanted to say: Did I mention that I started swimming again, but the fact of the matter is… what I was doing before wasn’t really swimming. It was more like not drowning than it was like swimming! Now, I’m actually trying to teach myself how to move through the water as effectively (and, gracefully) as I can while expending as little energy as possible. That means learning how to breathe as well as the other, more technical elements of swimming like proper kicking, arm movements, body position, et al. And, Saturday was the best time in the water I’ve had so far!

I didn’t get as tired as fast as I have in the past. I was able to keep my heart from exploding. I did more laps with more different strokes – I wonder if that’s where the expression came from? And, I wasn’t as sore this morning. Consequently, I’ll be there again tomorrow morning before the sun gets up!

After the pool, it was off to volunteer at an event where my wife works. And, then, out with some of the other volunteers afterward.

I know there was other stuff… But, to tell you the truth, there was so much of it I can’t remember what it was!

Today was more of the same. Only we managed to visit my mother some fifteen or twenty miles away, ran some more errands, got some more work done, watched a little football, and did some more work.

Now, I’m finally checking in again.

Outside of going to the “Y,” I can honestly say that nothing I did was for me. At least, not in the sense that it was only for me. In fact, just about everything I did was done for some other person or organization.

I’d like to make the argument that it shouldn’t be that way, but I can’t. Although, I’m not sure how much rest I really allowed myself, everything I did felt ‘right’ somehow. Everything I did, albeit, for someone or something else – needed to be done. So, I guess it’s a good kind of exhaustion: the kind that helps heal the world… And, that really does make it OK. At least, it does for me.

And, if I am guilty of trying to do too much, it’s a kind of guilt by association, I suppose. Guilty of doing too much of the right kind of things, things that really do need to get done… And, guilty of associating with the right kind of people, the kind of people who do the right kinds of things because they are the right things to do.

Now, it’s off to bed… and, finally, some rest!

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I am a fourth generation, forty-sixy year veteran of the automotive aftermarket: an ASE Certified Master Technician, Service Consultant and Approved Automotive Manager. I grew up in this business with a passion for all things mechanical, particularly those things relating to performance. That passion grew to include all aspects of management, leadership and personal development with a special focus on every day shop operations which resulted in an eight-volume series on automotive shop management published by Cengage Learning and Thomson Publishing. I have been a trade journalist writing to the aftermarket for almost thirty years, devoting my professional life to improving both the image and experience of everyone struggling to succeed in the service industry and I've worked diligently to improve communication and increase understanding between all segments of my industry. This site and everything on it is both an extension and a continuation of those efforts

Comments (1)

  • Ironmadman


    Congrats on the great swim session! Happy for you and proud too.


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