The Karmic Challenge: Week 33: Blue. Seriously.

Seriously and LITERALLY. If anything has the power to send me into a psychopathic axe-wielding frenzy, it’s when the internet stops working (flatpack furniture brings me pretty close too, though). Mr F, incredibly generous big brother of Ms M, BUILT her a new computer, which he set up on her (relatively) new desk (see Flatpacks). Turns out, though, it doesn’t have a wireless card. So Ms M ‘borrows’ my cable connection while I fruitlessly (but then, why WOULD there be fruit in a computer?) wander the Internet Options tabs trying to find my long lost love, otherwise known as the wireless connection I used to have before I had the cable.

As usual, Captain Savage saves the day by doing something fiendishly clever – BUT, we’re also missing a monitor cord. So Ms M nicks my monitor cord and replaces it with a monitor cord last used by Tutankhamun to play Tomb Raiders. And guess what. EVERYTHING IS NOW BLUE. I guess Tutankhamun liked it that way.

On a different subject, I’ve been thinking that the trouble with trying to be good is that it inevitably involves guilt. If you never do anything for anybody, you needn’t feel guilty, because the only person you’re letting down is yourself. Whereas if you put yourself down to visit old people, entertain children and feed cats, you start feeling overloaded with responsibilities. Some of which you MISS. Then you feel like a VERY BAD PERSON.

Seems like a good idea to me too!

Talking about bad, before elderly Mr L, I used to visit a confused old lady I’ll call H. Every time I went to see H she’d say ‘it’s been such a long time since you’ve come’ (even if it’d only been a week) and every time I got up to leave, she’d say, in a tremulous voice, ‘when can you come again?’. And I’d say, ‘soon’ – but with 2 kids, a lover, a job, a novel and 3 pets, sometimes it wasn’t soon, and when it wasn’t, I felt really guilty. Eventually, H died, which was a mercy for her, as (like so many old people) she’d been pleading to be allowed to drop off the twig for a decade. Among the feelings I had around her death were – guess what – GUILT (that I hadn’t gone to see her more often) and RELIEF (that now I could lie in on weekends without thinking, ‘how am I going to organise the time/motivate myself later to go see H?’. Is that bad or what?

Which brings me to points – lost. This week, I didn’t get organised to go see Mr L (although I did have little Beetle over). As for Cat Lady, I have 2 bags of frozen minced organic chicken with her name on them. If I don’t give them to her soon, they’ll be more organic than I bargained for.

Do you feel guilty? What for? (One of Guru Fred’s lesser known powers is the ability to forgive all sins, so please – tell the Guru and you’ll feel much better.)

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33 comments

  1. Such a difficult one. You are doing a fabulous thing, giving back to others but I so understand that guilt bit. Problem is, there’s always more to do and more you feel you should be giving. Just remember that what you are able to do, is making a difference. No one person can do it all. Plus, you’ve given me a good laugh whilst reading this, so you’ve done even more good.

    • I think we’re a mutual admiration pairing, Long Life. I think what you’re doing is just wonderful (I guess that’s cause, deep down, I really like cats and dogs more than I like people).

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  2. That’s a point! It reminds me of my ex,who was kind of relieved when we split because he didn’t have to feel guilty about being a creep any more. Anyway, I think my next few posts will be about being bad!

  3. lovely post. after the initial few laughs (I esp. liked the “fruitless computer” thingy and the Tutankhamun reference), I was expecting a light-hearted post. But this was quite reflective.
    I feel guilty about “not feeling enough” for other people. I feel that I am very cold-hearted and don’t reaaallly care for others. So i tend to over-compensate by being extra nice. Which not many people can see through — but the most important person knows all the way(me) that it is all fake and a charade.
    However, I guess as long as you feel the guilt – and it drives you to do some little thing for others, i think you are a good “cog” in the wheel of this unfair, unjust society. May the day never come when the guilt disappears. That will spell doom for the world — and a lot more hedonism for me! 😛

  4. When my grandparents died I felt really guilty for not seeing them more often. As for the fasrt reference in the blog title, our little girl turn two next month, and she thinks farts are hilarious, which in turn makes me laugh. Nothing cuter than a two year old who slips one out and then looks all surprised ” Ooo Sart “.

    • You always do, when people die – and yet, you just live, you can’t live completely optimally, or completely for other people – it’s just not possible. That is cute about the farts! I mean, really, they ARE funny!

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  5. Confused about the computer stuff. Hmm, what happened to your wireless?

    Oh yes … well, you can’t win on the guily EVER! As they say, it’s wasted energy … you’re the only one who suffers (in real time)? In reality? No one else knows your angst, plus if they find out you feel guilty then they have LEVERAGE! AHHH!

    The other issue, however, is of being “self-sufficient” (AKA, perhaps selfish) … and that’s a huge bummer! Lonely, snarky, self-pitying, etc.

    BUT, once you’ve overextended you either (a) feel guilty you can’t keep up (as you stated so amusingly) or (b) you get resentful … or you feel relieved when someone cancels on you (or dies) ??? well. hmmm.

    OH DEAR, what’s a Karma Goddess to do? Do tell, Auntie Melsz …

      • I know i have a bitchy side. I actually have an anger problem! I mean … i’m nice, and then something happens after some pile-up and i let it rip. My brother does the same thing. However Jeff often include murder and guns and ammo in his rants … i just say the meanest thing i can think of, then GUILT. AND, it is a poisonous combination.

        How would you treat MY bitchy side. I need advice. Especially now … Americans hare having Thanksgiving in a few weeks. My dad, brother, my boyfriend’s sister and kids AND Don’s daughter and her girlfriend are ALL coming … plus some dogs (YAY). I may BLOW. Tell me how to be a proper bitch.

      • You should go to the Incredible Bitch for that, Mel! I don’t actually lose my temper often. Um..I think,when you feel the steam rising, you should go Somewhere Else and have yourself something nice. Like a nap, or a martini. Or sex. Then come back and do nice, cause they’ll all be gone soon and you’ll feel so proud of yourself if you manage to get through Christmas without letting rip. Maybe?

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  6. “If anything has the power to send me into a psychopathic axe-wielding frenzy, it’s when the internet stops working…” This sentence immediately made me smile, because I am the same way. Like the recent night we lost our electrical power – but not until long after the storm causing the power outages was gone. Of course without power, I was without the internet. And without the internet, I was NOT happy!

    While it’s true that I was happy while making love in the dark to my wife for almost two hours, after she went to sleep and I was still awake and couldn’t sleep, I was once again NOT happy – because I had NO internet! So I went outside at 2:30 am in the morning and walked the streets of our neighborhood until I found the utility workers who were NOT doing their jobs properly, and I emphatically corrected them!

    The end result was that by 3:15 am my entire block was lit up by street lights since our power had been restored because I had punished the guilty parties. Later that morning as word got around about what I had done, my neighbors spoke of me with admiration and gratitude. But there was no virtue in what I had done, because what I had done was driven by a furious rage when I had NO internet for NO valid reason! Lol 😀

    • I think it means we’re both filthy addicts, Chris! But at least your wife benefited. I’m not sure my daughter did, because I get so cranky I’m very bad company.

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      • I’m just going to admit that you’re right about my internet addiction, because I know I have one, and nothing has ever made it worse than it was, when I was sitting in a dark house at 2:30 am with absolutely nothing to do. I did briefly consider reading a book by using a flashlight, but just the thought of being reduced to that, when what I really wanted was to be able to get online, only made me more angry. But this wasn’t only because of internet withdrawal symptoms, since there were other more rational reasons for me to get angry… I did write a post about it, and here’s the link if you’re curious.

        http://wp.me/221lH

  7. Okay, the computer trials and tribulations are something that could have come from my home (and kids, unfortunately).

      • I like how you think. You’re reaffirming that it’s okay to call them little bastards. Even when they protest at the term.

        Hell, I figure transferring all guilt to them is the best option – for any type of guilt. Pass the buck, to the ultimate degree!

  8. Rose, you are so good to so many – the sweet Beetle, the cranky Mr. L and your own children. It seems that you should be able to celebrate that! But guilt is an occupational hazard, particularly I think, of mothers. I feel guilty for the little things – sending my boys to school with store bought cookies instead of homemade – and the big. While in New Orleans, I missed one son’s birthday and another’s black belt karate promotion. I’m trying to come to terms with being a good enough mother, but I hear the refrain, “Bad Mommy!” rolling around in my head regularly.

    • is there any mother who DOESN’T hear that refrain? I don’t think so. And if you make cookies for your kids EVER to take to school, that’s more than I do!

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  9. Oh, Rose, Rose….
    People die; that’s a fact…!
    I used to be a volunteer ‘phone’ link. You know; that means that every day one calls an older person (generally living alone), and makes sure they are still living…! Yes, you guessed it, she died. Ah well; guess my phone calls didn’t have the desired effect… Say what…! I can remember awkwardly thinking; “What will she want of me today?” She generally wanted me to talk much longer than time permitted. I do hope, when I am old and incapacitated, I don’t have to rely on someone like me who ‘guiltily’ does something to make them feel their worth… Was that what it was all about? Was I just trying to feel better about myself??? Hmmmmm
    I no longer do any volunteer work of the ‘overt’ type… I’m enjoying living my life these days… Say what…!
    Guilt, schmilt; it’s for the birds, Rose; and I’m not a bird… 😉

    • I agree about the fact bit. I suppose you made her life better while she was around, though. It’s a very legitimate choice, to just live for yourself. I have this odd superstition that I’m going to need ‘speakers for the affirmative’ in my atheist version of heaven, though. I’m going to get up there and the cockroaches and snails I killed and so on are going to say ‘make her be a snail!’ and things like that, and then maybe some old lady will say ‘yeah, but in a rainforest!’ or something like that, so I’ll get a reprieve.

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  10. The only people who don’t feel guilty are sociopaths, and I don’t want to join that club, so yes, I feel guilty. But I try to keep it realistic and not let it grow like weeds in the wild.

  11. I was pondering this trying to work out where I stood…

    In the end I’ve decided that ultimately you can’t be all things, to all people, all of the time. Do what you can, accept it and move on, leaving any guilt aside.

    As humans we are blessed, and cursed with intense emotional feelings. Look at the animal world, a mother loses a chick, a bird falls out of the nest, an eagle snatches a small animal on the plains. Does the mother feel guilt? I suspect not, she has others to look after and feed, and eventually the young will leave, never to be seen again.

    Mind you, I’m happy to be blessed with that ability to show emotion. Accept it as a human frailty and do the best you can…

    But don’t burden yourself with situations you could never change nor influence.

    Thought provoking!

  12. Well, one could be like Jesus (as reported) or Buddha (similarly). They presumably didn’t feel any guilt because they did everything they actually could. Then again, they may both have been creeps, for all I know – just like us!

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