31 Steps to an absolutely guilt-free day

Awakening refreshed after eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, you luxuriated in the memory of yesterday, a day devoid of guilt.

What steps did you take to earn such a rare treasure?

  1. Applied sunscreen before turning on overhead light.
  2. Attached FitBit and logged 30 minutes of low impact aerobics.
  3. Practiced 15 minutes of Loving-Kindness meditation.
  4. Celebrated day 163 of “reading through the Bible in one year,” started six years ago.
  5. Wrote gratitude list in journal.
  6. Wished Facebook friends happy birthday, even those you didn’t recognize.
  7. Ate eggs from free range chickens.
  8. Scrambled in extra virgin olive oil.
  9. Fed gut healthy bacteria with designer Greek yogurt.
  10. Savored a hot cup of fair trade coffee.
  11. Deodorized the toilet bowl with Poo Pourri.
  12. Paid bills.
  13. Transferred money from emergency savings, preventing overdraft fees.
  14. Asked God to bless driver traveling 17 miles below speed limit, who made you late for work.
  15. Munched on organic granola bar for midmorning snack.
  16. Drank 8 glasses of filtered water.
  17. Refrained from swearing when realized no toilet paper in employee bathroom, forcing drip dry.
  18. Changed toilet paper roll, even though it involved scary dive into dark closet, opening new case, and lacerating finger on giant staple.
  19. Didn’t write scathing letter demanding reprimand of cleaning staff for crime against personal hygiene.
  20. Stopped crying 20 minutes after receiving tetanus shot.
  21. Kept wounded middle finger gripped firmly on steering wheel, while following God blessed driver home from work. See #14.
  22. Sipped 4 ounces of red wine, for pain relief.
  23. Initiated amorous interlude with partner.
  24. Stayed awake.
  25. Tossed aside ‘Thai 2 Go’ menu, and opened recipe app.
  26. Healthy home cooked dinner included grass-fed beef.
  27. Just kidding, it was vegan and included kale.
  28. Lots of kale.
  29. Pushed away from table after modest intake.
  30. Curbed retching.
  31. Turned burners off before partner noticed, avoiding another tiresome conversation about early signs of dementia.

Suddenly, you realized there was one last item on your agenda:

Work on character defect: perfectionism

Desperate to succeed, you scarfed a spoonful of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream when no one was looking. Out of the carton. Okay, several spoonfuls.

Was it euphoria or brain freeze? Immaterial, since what mattered was the triumphant achievement of earning a guilt-free day.

Even addressing the most important detail: not being perfect.

Have you ever achieved a guilt-free day? Did you think you deserved it? Did it include eating ice cream? What is holding you back from letting go of guilt?

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21 thoughts on “31 Steps to an absolutely guilt-free day

  1. Molly,
    Thank you for this; I REALLY needed it!

    I really do struggle with that nearly constant fear of guilt, feeling guilty, and trying to avoid it is truly exhausting! There’s certainly a happy-medium here. (Happy (hyphen medium? Or without hyphen? See comments above! 😉 )

    Thank you again. I think more women struggle with this than we realize! I hope I grow into a “less guilty feeling gal” with age!

  2. Yes, perfectionism even gets in the way of living guilt-free. Are we “sinning” correctly? I’d say that ice cream is a good start. Fun post, Molly. Needed this.

    • It feels like there are so many more ‘sins’ to commit these days, Laurie. I couldn’t even get into buying items with minimal packaging and recycling, since I needed to keep my word count below 1000. Isn’t it great to know we can’t be perfect?

  3. Awesome list! Honestly I do not spend a lot of time feeling guilty. I mean sure when I have two bowls of ice cream I feel a little bad, but I get over it pretty quickly because yummy!
    My husband on the other hand needs to read this list. Maybe I will print it and put it on the fridge! LOL!

    • Good idea Christina. It seems like there is a new thing every day that a ‘responsible’ adult needs to do to avoid this dastardly feeling of guilt. I’d write more about it, but I need to go eat a bowl of ice cream. Or taking your advice, I believe I’ll eat two!

  4. Since I started my blog writing about midlife I’ve listened to my own advice and have worked on my ‘guilt’. I’m a great believer in ‘me time’ to nurture myself and reflect. It is surprising how many women find this so difficult to do. Enjoyed your post and would love some ice cream thank you ?

  5. Any day with no or at least less guilt is awesome. Enjoyed this post, made me think. Popped over from Elena’s #BlogShareLearn and as always, glad to be here. 🙂

  6. Okay, the guilt-free bar is a bit high for me to hoist my midlife butt over. Can I limbo under it instead? Funny piece, Molly!

    • I think you should aim low, Lee. But here’s the thing. It took three comments that included the word guilt-free with proper hyphen included to make me realize I had made a terrible grammar mistake. wheeeee! I feel so guilt-free! (Except I did go back and insert the hyphen).

  7. This was awesome! I love how you sprinkled humor amongst the more serious. It’s how we cope, get through, and make things happen. So good! I gotta tweet this!
    Enjoy another guilt-free day!
    Michelle

    • So glad you enjoyed my post, Michelle, and thanks for sharing. Writing humor has helped me develop the art of seeing aggravations as material for my draft folder. I had an awesome guilt-free day today, and I hope you did too!

  8. I’m happy to report that, with each passing year, the guilt-free days are easier and more frequent, largely as a result of my growing capacity for not giving a f*ck–a definite perk of getting older (and one that partially offsets all the other crap that comes with age). As a recovering perfectionist, I occasionally have urges/twinges when I fall short of some other-defined ideal–then I just let that sh*t go. I highly recommend the practice!

    • Isn’t it a wonderful side benefit of growing older to acquire more guilt free days, Roxanne? I have certainly struggled with perfectionism in my life time and it is a relief to give up the illusion in my wiser years. With some of our new limitations comes freedom!

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