The Guilt

It was the day before my family’s trip to Florida. Any mom in her right mind would spend the day reorganizing the carry-ons and putting away the laundry. Unless you live in my house, where “crazy” is the new “right mind,” and the real priority is securing a few good turns (with good friends) before a  Week With No Skiing… I mean, a lovely week reconnecting with family and friends.

My husband spied me texting madly while I prepared breakfast for the kids. “Work email?” he wondered. “Nope, Telling Deb I’ll meet her at 9:20 at Snow Park. That should give me just enough time to drop off the pre-school carpool, boot up in the parking lot and grab my skis from the valet.”

“The day before the trip?”

“Yup. Don’t worry, I’ll change out of my ski stuff before we get on the plane. Though given the weather forecast, that may be a bad move.”

Thing is, my pal had messaged me the night before- she had an unexpected week off from her travel-intensive job, and did I want to ski with her one day. I told her the only day I had was Tuesday, and I thought I could make it work. I know she never doubts my friendship, no matter how many days we go without hanging out or even texting. But I think she doubted my ability to pull it off.

So when she got my text, the response was “Really?! Cool! I will see you then!”

This friend underwent successful treatment for a life-threatening disease a few years back, which crimped her ski day budget in an uncomfortable way, and then last year, I had my season derailed by a (curable but inconvenient) illness. So I’ll tell you, that No Time Like The Present is a theme the two of us try to keep top-of-mind. With jobs and kids and, you know, lives, that tends to get lost. Today, it would not.

This day, we celebrated good health and the luxury of time. We met up with a couple who are also our friends, and I posed the following “Deep Thoughts” question on the chairlift, in between laps on Hidden Treasure (my FAVORITE BLUE RUN OF ALL TIME). “Do you feel guilt when you’re skiing and you could/should be working or doing stuff for your family?”

We three moms admitted to it. Yep, we got guilt. We have to force ourselves out the door to do something non-work, non-family related. Part of this stems from the fact that, for the most part, we do work we enjoy, and we like our families, too. Part of it is just dumb guilt. The dad in our midst said this: “I feel guilty when I’m working and not skiing.”

The top of Hidden Treasure ski run

I got that. I feel that. As I type this, it’s day five of an awesome storm, and I’m working instead of playing in powder. It feels wrong, and also right. You know?

Anybody want to weigh in on their guilty and not-guilty pleasures?

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