Just How Selfish am I?

Richie RichI’ll be honest. (Not that I’m usually dishonest on this blog, but I’ll be EXTRA honest right now.) I’ve always considered myself a fairly selfish person. Not that I didn’t give of my time and means to others when asked to or when I saw someone in need, but overall, I just had this nagging feeling all along that I wasn’t nearly nice enough. That I was far too jealous of my time. Does that make sense? It wasn’t that I wasn’t giving, it was that I gave with the wrong sort of spirit. At least, that’s how it felt to me. Even with my kids, I felt like I should always be doing more for them.

This whole “time alone” thing has made me reassess that guilt. Here’s the thing. I’m not a particularly happy person living alone. I’ve realized that most of what I do, I do for my family, not for me. The times that I want to do something for me isn’t because I’m particularly selfish or time-greedy. It’s because I’m genuinely tired and want a bit of a break. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

I’ve been really busy since I dropped Denisa and the kids off at the airport. Making trips down to Portland and back for work-related stuff. I’ve left the house at 7:30 in the morning and gotten home at 8 at night. And that’s good, because during the times I’ve had to just be at home, it hasn’t been very pleasant. I have to make a conscious decision to try and forget feeling lonely and do something else. That’s probably why I’ve only watched two movies, but I’ve swept the kitchen, done the dishes, vacuumed the entire house, worked in the garden(!), cleaned my room, cleaned the kids rooms, mowed the lawn–see a pattern here? Anything to take my mind off of my family.

I suppose I’m just surprised that my family is as central to who I am as a person and what I do to have fun and enjoy myself. Yes, at times I can get frazzled and tired, and I really want some quiet time now and then. But going without family, cold turkey . . . not fun. Not fun at all. I guess I’m really not as independent as I always thought.

I’m not meaning to brag about what a non-selfish guy I am. It’s just not every day that one of your self-perceptions gets so fundamentally challenged. I’m more in kind of a funk of a mood, and I’m trying to write to get myself out of it–and you, my faithful readers, are the victims of the funk. My apologies.

Sheesh. This has turned into a downer of a post, and it hasn’t helped anything. Maybe I’ll go clean the bathroom . . .

2 thoughts on “Just How Selfish am I?”

  1. I love this post, Bryce, because it is exactly what I go through when the family’s away or I’m away from them.

    Our creator agrees as far back as Genesis 2:18: “it is not good for man to be alone”. In my church mens’ group, the most common prayer request is for men who are travelling away from their families or who have the house to themselves. We make pacts to call each other regularly and pray — to fix ourselves on what is good and pure, and if temptation starts to appear, to “turn it off, like a light switch”.

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