The summer is typically my time to reset. It’s a busy time with running the kids to a million camps and activities, but my own work schedule slows way down and my work can be completed at home whenever I choose. So, it’s typically my time to take care of myself–doctor’s appointments, haircut and color, and amping up my workouts to “get back” into the shape I want to be in, physically and mentally.
I was really devastated last Monday when I was called into jury duty and was not excused after making my case to the judge about how impossible it would be for me to serve on a 8-10 week (yes, you read that right) trial with the kids and other responsibilities.
I ended up playing a trump card that I felt really guilty about. I got an abnormal result on a mammogram, which requires extra testing. My doctor assured me that it’s 99.9% most likely nothing–a faulty scan, a shadow. But, nonetheless, the result required additional testing at the next available appointment. I’m sure I could’ve pushed that back. But, instead, I went in and showed the results to the judge and got a dismissal on medical grounds.
I have been feeling really guilty about that, even though it truly would have been IMPOSSIBLE for us this summer. We don’t have childcare besides me, and my husband works so far out of town that I’m the only emergency contact we have in the area. I’ve got all sorts of work responsibilities that only I can cover, and we have several expensive trips planned over these 10 weeks. But, still, I kept feeling guilty for weasling my way out of this civic duty.
Then yesterday, as I was walking outside, I realized that I wasn’t simply shirking responsibility–I was putting myself first. My mental and emotional health would have been a total mess if I didn’t have this summer. I would be a basket case physically, without time to reset, rest, and workout. I wouldn’t be there for my kids and would feel like a complete failure. I needed this to be the outcome, for lots of reasons.
I’m working on re-framing this situation to feel pride instead of guilt.